Monday, February 7, 2011

Tommy of the Baby Seal Clan

Being an Inuk is strange.
i think its stranger than fiction
you can't make up the stuff that happens
past or present and the future

either as a group or as individuals
we have been made fun of
we have been desecrated
been portrayed as savage or noble
been given names and given ourselves names

but we should not take this so seriously
and we should not always trust
the governments and organizations
and especially people who say
they have good intentions

i don't come with good intentions
i come as i am and i try to be as i am
but its always hard, especially
being an inuk and being lumped
into other aboriginal groups
and as another minority group

here is a case and has happened
more than once to me and probably
to other inuit as well

i was at a bar in ottawa with friends of mine
and these african sounding people
(i don't know which country they came from,
as inuit we are not as nosey as others)
came up to us and asked us if
we were indians and if we have chiefs

and just to play with them
we said we were and they asked us which
clan we were from
and i had the great vocabulary
of saying we are from the
baby seal clan

and one of my friends pointed to me
and said i am the chief and i inhaled my smoke deeply
to give myself a sense of importance
and they shook my hand
and i told them the two guys with me
are my bodyguards
and we don't get to have fun so much
because we represent our nation

and they bought all of it and they shook
our hands again and and look genuinely impressed
that we were real indians and we looked it too

another case is even by an indian
whom i met when i was at a conference of some sort
where she asked
how we get our sweet grass to burn
and how we get out traditional tobacco
and she was really confused when i said
we don't associate with first nations
and consider ourselves different from them

and she looked offended by this
that i had the guts to say
we are different from her
even as much i tried to explain
that our languages are incomprehensible
to each other and that we call ourselves
inuit and not first nations

this written piece does not have a point or a purpose
i just felt like writing
it is just my rambling

although my only purpose was to make you smile
and if i did not succeed
i am sorry

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