Poem: I Guess I'm Not Indian Now


Existing in a mixed blood identity conundrum, 
My own community wants to tell me who I am, 
Outsiders want to tell me who I am, 
Internalized oppression,

Deep rooted,

Do not tell me that I haven’t experienced racism,
Do not tell me that I don’t know what it is to be Indian,
Do not tell me that in fighting for a part of my identity that,
Is forced assimilation,
Annihilation in my own skin,
When the community dissects me,
Rejects me,
Tells me I am not Indian,

Do not tell me that I have not seen what I have seen,
Domestic violence,
Abuse,
Internalized rage,
Internalized aggression,
Dominant culture forces to deny the screams of the spirit,
To heal the wounds of the generations,
To heal generational sorrow,
To heal generational grief,

I guess I am not Indian now,
In revitalizing my own culture,
In speaking up when there is racism,

I guess I am not Indian now,
When internalized patriarchy tears at me,
Prevents me from succeeding,

I guess I am not Indian now,
When my Grandfather is near,
And I can hear him crying for healing,
For love,

I guess I am not Indian now,
The amount of time I spend on the land,
In solitude,
Listening,

I guess I am not Indian now,
When the community turns its back on me,
Walks away,
Even in crisis,

I guess I am not Indian now,
When in healing,
We are a sober family,
Walking the red road to Wellbriety,
This doesn’t make us Indian,

Being Indian is not quantifiable,
Being Indian is not demeaning others or hurting them,
Being Indian is not sayin’ this or that,
It is what is in the heart,
I know the Grandfathers,
I know the Grandmothers would be sad to see our community this way.