Sunday, April 14, 2013

#12 Hockey

I, a Red person, do not like hockey. Neither does MJ.

For me, it's because of the OBSESSION my family had with hockey. It was always on T.V. and you were not allowed to change the channel. There was always a local game and if you wanted to be cool then you went to the game.When I was younger the Winnipeg Jets were around (now they're back - still don't care) so a treat was going to an NHL game.

hockey, hockey, hockey.

You'd think I'd be down with something so closely resembling the word hickey. But no, I HATE HOCKEY!

But this is not a blog called Things Red People DO NOT Like. Amongst THAT list is asking if you can take a picture with us or touch our hair, telling us you are a Cherokee princess, dressing up and playing "Indian," and spiders - because who the f*ck likes spiders?!

The benefits of playing hockey:
Exercise, enhances communication, working as part of a team, improves self esteem (unless you suck) helps with coordination, build individual and community relationships, whiling away the cold winters, tight hockey player ass muscles...okay...I like THAT part about hockey.

I'm talking small time hockey. None of this bullsh*t that is the NHL (you make me sick professional sport divas!) And although many of Red people aspire to the NHL it's for the love of the game, not their egos - at least not initially.

Hockey is very social - it is after all a gathering. So I can see why people dig on going to a local game. In fact if I still lived on the Rez and had child in hockey I would go, just to be nosy and do some visiting.

Because of my bias I cannot do this topic justice. So I did some research for you.

Here's a TV show on First Nation Hockey. It's on APTN and I went to university with one of the coaches so I'm going to shamelessly promote for people I think are good peeps.

And here's an article about First Nation hockey in Manitoba, with a short video clip. (I love the Cochrane's Peguis accents!) I'm also from Peguis and a Cochrane, so again shameless promotion. Can I help it if I know people who are news and TV worthy?

Watching and reading these things on First Nation hockey, I get it. But I still don't like hockey. I'm just never going to. But it's a staple in many of our homes and communities and I respect what it means for so many people.

It keeps our youth in shape and out of trouble. It allows us to come together in unity by cheering for the same team. Healthy activity, positive influences and unity are things we need in our communities and those are good enough reasons for Red people to like the sport.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

#11 Breaks

Isn't it nice that I lead by example?
Here I was telling you all about Red people likes and I had yet to provide you with a prime example of which you could be an active participant. Then I had a brainchild...wouldn't it be an interesting experiment if I, a Red person, did something that I liked and all 7 of my readers could experience it via this blog? So after 18 long months, I give you post #11, BREAKS!!

Ever work in a band office? If yes, it's a wonder you have any sense of humor or even enough soul left to access this blog after that ordeal. If no, you should go work for's great fun. *covers mouth and snickers*

I worked in the vicinity of a band office in 2005. And let me tell you, most of my experience with political, financial and caffeinated Red people comes from that 6 month stint. Here's my first day:
7:00 am wake up, drink coffee (break from sleeping), shower, coffee (break), get dressed, rock out to some Hollaback Girl (break...also don't judge me!)
8:45 am drive to office, sit in car and smoke (break)
9:00 am walk to office door, pull hard on door for several minutes, realize door is push door, push hard for several minutes, realize door is locked, sit on step (break)
9:30 am still waiting for someone with keys to arrive, smoke (break)
9:45 am someone arrives, they start talking about their hickie, or fight, or new snag or the pow wow they went to (break)
10:15 am make coffee in staff room, read paper, drink coffee (break)
11:00 am check voice mail and paper messages, go outside to smoke (break), eat apple (because it's important to be healthy)
12:00 LUNCH, food, coffee, smoke, talk (break)
repeat morning routine in the afternoon.

Okay, okay, okay. That's an exaggeration.

Most people in band offices are hard working folks trying to cut through the bureaucratic bullshit spoon fed to them on a daily basis for hundreds of years. Who wouldn't need a multitude of breaks when trying to deal with government directive and agenda pushing day in and day out? *jumps off soap box*

Thursday, April 28, 2011

# 11 Hickeys

Ever go to bingo and come back with a
hickey? Me neither.

But people do! I've heard stories. I don't know who these people are or why they do this, but hickeys are a big deal amongst the Red folk. It seems that they are a sort of status symbol, that symbol standing for being in a relationship.

Granted I was a teenager with a testosterone driven boyfriend. All he wanted to do was suck my neck.

<<<< Here's my first hickey, I framed it. Awww..."Baby's First Hickey"

HAHA!! Gross. I'm kidding. Facing the wrath of strict parents was not worth the "thrill," that was highly visible neck bruises.

Why do we like it? I don't know if this is something we necessarily like or continue to do out of habit. Every single Red person I asked said that they do not like hickeys. Those same Red people have had and/or given a hickey at some point in their pre-adult years. Therefore, it may be safe to assume that this is something most participated in by teenagers.

However!! That is not always the case. Hickey quantities also occur in places that are highly under populated by males whereby the women are more likely to be very possessive of men (Cross Lake for example...that's right I'm talkin' 'bout chu!)

This is not to say that Red women are more likely to distribute hickeys. In places where women are more likely to be available in lesser quantities it is assumed that the male provision of hickeys will increase.

Alas, no hard data is available on this as my university won't provide me with the anthropological research grant requested through my proposed thesis entitled, "Hickeys, The Lesser Understood Form of Red People Marriage Engagement."

# 11 Bingo

Okay, this is a cliche.

It's true we like the bingo. Young and old - we all go.

We start off young, playing bingo with a deck of cards for candy prizes. Regular games are 5 cent candies, jackpot is a canned Pepsi.

We slowly graduate to Granny's little bingo helper - carry her dabbers, get her treats and coffee. In return she buys you junk food and you get a three strip bingo card. Word to the wise, don't ever spill tea on your granny's bingo cards. That's not fun because she calls you a, "Damn kid!"

Finally, you're old enough to buy your own smokes and find your own ride to bingo (if you're hardcore you walk.) It's really ceremonial. At this point the regulars know you. You have a favorite caller and ticket seller. You have spot that you sit in. You always carry a bingo dabber in your purse for bingo emergencies.

But why?

It's social - tons of people around. Ya know what that means!!! You get all decked out. Shower, hair, makeup, clean (sometimes new) clothes. It great time for gossip too.

It's also anti social - you can sit alone and no one knows you. You're like a bingo playin' ninja granny! This is even sweeter if you win, because it pisses off the regulars.

They have good eats - usually jam packed full of sugar or salt, OR BOTH! There's coffee, tea and pop, cakes, sandwiches, chips, chocolate bars, bannock, baloney, or those little cakes with the coconut icing...I'm hungry.

If it's on the Rez you can smoke cigarettes. Smoking...indoors. We like that.

There's a chance of cash flow. Albeit, a slim chance, it's still there.

Break open tickets - need I say more?

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

#11 Gatherings

Below is a list of the top 10 events Red people gather for.

1. Pow Wow
2. Treaty Days (bread and cheese day in Haudenosaunee territory)
3. Birth
4. Death
5. Spiritual ceremony or celebration (other than pow wow, wedding or funeral and including other church or traditional ceremonies)
6. Weddings
7. Funerals
8. Birthdays
9. Graduation
10. Court

Here are all the reasons we like big ole get-togethers

Opportunities for:
Laughing, joking and teasing
Snagging (NOT to be done at family reunions!)
Dressing up (ironing something, new white socks, wearing makeup or buying something new to wear)
Memory Making
Moral support and empathy

Chances of:
Good times

Crying (happy tears, except for that one sickening cousin who cries about everything)
Running into someone old flames, your nemesis, or your crush
Getting a present or a surprise (gum from your auntie counts)
Witnessing a fight (argument, conflict, disagreement, otherwise just plain ole gossip making goodness)

This is embedded in our culture. As many of our nations are formerly nomadic peoples, we met during the summer season after spending the long winter months in smaller family groups. See: visiting for more information.

We are also big on celebrating individual achievements as they related to life and all it's journeys.

Get-togethers that didn't make the cut: Christian based holidays, socials, garage party, election time, Walmart, the weekend, hockey games, yard sales

Saturday, February 5, 2011

#11 Laughing when people fall

I just noticed, the most recent posts go on forever, guess I'm long winded. Kinda like Grandpa Simpson. And he's also the reason I'm a history major...haha. But if I live through some amazing history, I hope I can one day tell stories like that old man. Speaking of stories, here's some...

The year has just started and I've already fallen down. Thanks be that Mo' and Salim were there to laugh at me because laughing at yourself is just not as fun alone.

Last year I fell down three times. And wickedly I might add.

1. I was crossing the street with my backpack on. Yeh know, just another Red girl on a university campus trying to get some education. I was just stepping up onto the curb when... BAM! Flat on my face! Skinned knuckles, bruised knee, busted ego! I tried to put my hands out to save myself, but they were holding onto my backpack straps. My leg was cramped so I couldn't even stand up! I just rolled onto my side. This new Canadian saw me and started calling "MA'AM, MA'AM You OK Ma'am?" Insult to injury?? Cars honked. Make it worse?? A friend's Red boyfriend saw me and put it on his Facebook status, I think he got something like eighteen likes. Brutal.

2. I was walking to my car; it was winter. Yeh know, just another Red girl leaving a place of higher learning. I slipped on some ice so, I put my arms out to balance myself - as any normal person would. My silver ring flew off my finger and hit the side of a building. **TING** More concerned about the ring than my dignity, I launched at it. BAM! Hello hard, dirty, sidewalk! Although I can't be positive, I'm sure the Red lady walking towards me thought I looked like a dog on roller skates, or whatever stupid looking thing she thinks is hilarious. And to silver ring. She probably put it on her Facebook status, I imagine it went something like this, "Just saw an awesome looking chick slip on ice. That was so damn funny. I wish she was my best friend. I'm lonely." Haha - Ok...more like, "Saw stupid woman fall for no reason - check out my secret video here!"

3. I fell down three stairs at the university. While two guys watched. And Laughed. Then called me "sister" as in "HOO WAH okay?" (I think the sister part is more embarrassing - so I've never told anyone that until now.) Not only was I literally RED in the face, but I broke my shoe, and hurt myself. But being laughed at made it easier...well at least it made a good story (for them, I guess.)
Guy #1 "Dudes, dudes...We were at the university yesterday when this chick fell down the stairs!! AHHH MAN! Dumb chick, tryna be cool...HAhahahaaa...aaah...she had nice shoes."
Guy #2 "For real! Three stairs! Straight down. Yeah, her shoes were nice."
What?! Those shoes were gorgeous! Those guys totally noticed.

Ugh. So all I have to say is, yes I fell down and lost my dignity (First time ever! I swear!) But it was made so much easier by the people who laughed - who may I add were all Red people.

So, why do we laugh when someone falls down?

For most of us, it goes back to when we were babies just learning to walk. Babies learning to walk, fall. But, instead of getting hysterical and yelling "OOOOOOOH!!" and scooping the kid up, we just sit there and laugh. The kid then realizes that it didn't get hurt and they pick themselves up and carry on. *If they keep crying - then maybe they hurt themselves, so we investigate, but this usually isn't the case.

As adults, the vast majority of us can walk. And we're all very good at it, after all we've been doing it for years right? There's really no reason to fall down. And that's why it's funny. There's no reason behind it. The person who fell is just stupid. And stupidity is funny.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

# 11 Tea

From this point forward all posts will be number 11.

Similar to coffee, Red people's like of tea has many levels;

Some are loyal to only one flavor or brand,
My granny likes Blue Ribbon tea, yeh know...comes in a red plastic bag, 100 tea bags for 49 cents or whatever.
My friend D likes Red Rose, she's just nostalgic about the old flowery tins and free knick-knacks that it used to come with. *sigh* ...yesteryear....
My mom and aunties like muskeg tea (AKA Labrador Tea) and cedar tea, I think it tastes nasty but hey, it keeps scurvy at bay.
I used to like mushroom tea but that's a different blog... a different Space Cowgirl...a different lifetime...whoa, I have fingers!!!

Some of us like to make it in different ways, (I'm talking about tea here, not the other thing we like to do in different ways. Oooooo!)
The completely average way: boil water in a kettle, drop in tea bags, pour into a cup, drink.
Ooooorrrrr!! The awesome memory making way!!!

BUSH TEA!'s right, just me...
Alright, maybe I'm the only one down with this, but soon you will be too, especially if you're all about being outside at inconvenient, unconventional times of the year.

First, you need to dress appropriately, long johns, jeans, long sleeve shirt, t shirt, knitted wool sweater from your Kokoom, Mukuluks or rubber boots, mitts that flip over into gloves, and a bright orange toque (so you don't get shot.)

Second, you need some provisions. tea, sugar, canned milk (yuck!) one spoon, some cups, water, matches.

Third, you need a 4L tin can (or you use a camp kettle...boring), some wire that won't break if it gets hot.
To make a bush tea kettle:
Step 1, Make sure you can has no holes in the bottom.
Step 2, Poke a hole in side of the can about an inch from the top, poke another one directly across from it.
Step 3, Run the wire through to make a handle.

Fourth, start walking into the bush. Find a spot that has some fire wood to be had, a fallen tree to sit on, some moss, some shade, an opening for the smoke to escape up through the trees, some rocks...maybe a berry bush...a nice stream...some bunnies...a few chirping birds...a singing nanny....wait a minute...this isn't Disney.

Fifth, get two forked sticks and one straight stick. Drive the two forked sticks into the ground fork side up, steady with rocks if required.Thread the tin can filled with water onto straight stick and lay stick across the forked sticks. Build a fire under the tin can. Boil water.

Sixth, make the boiled water into tea. Enjoy your memories.

(These directions are very simple, so if you screw this up...your granny will be so disappointed. ARGH! And granny disappointment it the worst! It comes with embarrassment and teasing!)

This is done best in the spring, a little snow on the ground, crisp air, wet earth...good stuff.

For a little more on Labrador tea, Check this out:

Isn't that awesome? What I like most is that Granny is DECKED OUT...her prettiest dress, her beaded bling. And those little girls are ragamuffin cuties - I'm a little disappointed that they are not wearing matching, but different colored outfits, but still very cute.

So, why do we like tea? I dunno. I don't have all the answers dammit. MJ tells me that they are all about the tea in Norway what up MJ? Enlighten us.