My guest blog-
“First of all, My thoughts on the film, because, I watched it, finally.
I am from a younger generation than my friends Charlie Hill and Neil Diamond and most of the people in the documentary. So, I found this film to be very informative and inspirational. Yes, inspirational! It inspires me to want to be myself. And represent myself at the highest level I can possibly achieve. That would be as a member of my family, tribe,community, country and world. Treating all others with respect and dignity. So, this a very awesome film and all hippies and members of the ‘Wannabe Tribe’ need to watch, and try to understand why they believe the stereotypes of Indian people. And it is important for Indians to watch this film so they can also understand how the world views us and why.
A majority of my thinking, told me that the US Government were the only people who made life tough on Indians. But, after watching this film I realize, that Hollywood has really done a number on us. Just as bad as Uncle Sam did.
It’s interesting to watch how the past century of Indian depiction in film making has changed. Due to the “Battle of the Little Big Horn” or “Custer’s Last Stand!”, or the economy, world crisis, Civil Rights Movement, Vietnam War, Alcatraz, and Wounded Knee Massacre, just to name a few, Indian people were treated as endangered species, not as human beings. This is flat out ignorance. And everybody is guilty. Everybody.
The problem here is, Indian Stereotypes. The solution is accurate depictions told from an Indian perspective without editing of the truth. And to keep telling our point of view over and over again. Not caring about what the general public thinks. Because the general public is stupid. They believe what ever flies across their t.v. screens, computer screens, and/or print. Whatever mass media puts out, they believe.
I used to think that if i went up on stage making jokes about ‘my’ reality, I was selling out. What is my reality? Well, I tell these stories in my comedy. That’s just what it is, comedy. And my stories are of what I experienced growing up on the ‘Rez.’ And if you had the privilege of growing up on the rez, then you know that it is very dysfunctional. We are taught to hate the white man, hate each other, and most disgustingly, hate ourselves. All of this behavior is learned from birth, but started even before then. It is all part of the systematic oppression and genocide against the Redman. It still exists today. Example, look on the Crow Creek Sioux Reservation in South Dakota, where hundreds of Indian’s electrical power is being shut off in the dead of winter. I won’t elaborate further, but, if you are interested Just google, “Crow Creek Project” to learn more, you’ll find several videos about Crow Creek, or go to http://can-do.org to watch the videos. My point is that it is my experience from growing up on the rez, to hate myself and hate others. Our people are a defeated people, and we are slowly realizing that we have to help ourselves, and stop standing around waiting for a handout. So that is my point of view. One man. I’ve experienced my culture as well. And that is very beautiful and something to be proud of and respected. Something ‘Hollywood’ has a hard time explaining because they don’t live it like we do.
But, the simple fact that we are talking about Indians is awesome! Cause, there is a voice and it’s getting out there. And if history has taught us anything, “It’s cool to be Indian!” So, let’s represent ourselves at the highest level we possibly can, stop abusing our women, children, elders, alcohol, drugs, spirituality, and All other human beings. There is nothing greater than love.
Finally, this generation has changed in many ways, and our elders have struggled to get us here. Let’s remember where we come from and appreciate that. We are all human beings, and come from different backgrounds. We can all be looking at the same thing, but we all have a different point of view. So let’s tell our stories. Hatred is not an Indian virtue so let’s learn to forgive.
“The weak can never forgive, forgiveness is an attribute of the strong.” Mahatma Gandhi
JR Redwater “The Reservation Sensation!”
JR Redwater is a nationally recognized motivational speaker and comedian. Touring with the Pow-wow Comedy Jam, and Lone Worlf Comedy Tour to Iraq to perform for the troops, and most notably, being featured in the upcoming Showtime Comedy Special, “Goin’ Native, American Indian Comedy Slam, No Reservations!” which debuted on Showtime Cable Network in November, 2009. Visit his official website at http://www.reservationsensation.com/ for more info.