The excerpts and quotes in this article are taken from the following book and in no way show the fullness of the book that the collecting editor has amassed.
"Native American Testimony"
A chronicle of Indian-white relations from prophecy to the present: 1492 - 1992
Edited by Peter Nabokov
With Foreword by Vine Deloria, Jr.
This is a "Must Read" book for any that wish to gain any type of insight into the mind/heart/spirit of the Native American, and this includes the Native American of today as well. For some it will serve as a reminder, but especially for the youth of Native American society in these days, the stories related here are from real people and most assuredly are from their direct ancestors with no helpful "adaptations" from well-meaning, well possibly well-meaning, journalists.
I am going to put several of the "stories" from this book, in this article in no particular order and of no particular theme. I do this in the hopes that it will perk the reader's interest and cause them to beg/borrow/steal/buy the entire book and lose themselves in some truly great voices from out of the past and present. For sure you will reveal yourself to a side of history that is not written nor told with the fervor of aspiring journalism hell bent on chasing the almighty dollar.
The first one I put forth here humorously
deals with the BIA. Now, for those that may read this and do not know what BIA stands for, it is: Bureau of Indian Affairs. I am not going to get into the BIA subject; let it be sufficient to say that as far as the BIA is concerned Native Americans have both pro and con opinions toward it. I will also say that the "cons" are really CON as well as outnumber the "pros", if you know what I mean. I will let this simple statement acknowledge which to the two factions I side with: the anonymous "story" just tickled the heck outta me!
Recently anthropologists, who are dedicated to keeping the Indian alive, if for no other reason than they can make money studying them, discovered a new tribe.
This newly discovered group is known as the Beeah Tribe (pronounced BIA Tribe). A new book, A Man Call Horse S*** , by Dr. He-Sells-Out, beloved Indian expert, has been released by the Association on Preserving the Cute Ways of Brown People.
The book describes the strange rites and rituals of this much-persecuted tribe. Torn from their ancestral homes on Fifth Avenue in New York City to far-flung agencies around the country, the Beeah Tribe is held together by its function of running the affairs of all other tribes.
Incantations such as "Let me refer you to this other office," and "I'll look into that," are invoked daily to magically free one's self from harassment by people asking questions as "I'm hungry, what can I do?"
The chief is appointed by the President of the United States and all members are ranked from GS-1 to GS-18. The lowest ranking members are usually those who belong to other tribes as well as to the Beeah Tribe.
The daily rituals of the tribe
are graphically described. These include one hour coffee breaks, 100 dollars a day consulting fees, the feet-propped-up-on-desk-cigar-in-mouth-ritual, being photographed holding an Indian child, buck passing, and back slapping.
One of the most terrifying rituals described is the back stabbing ritual by which a member of a lower rank stabs a higher ranking member in the back so that he can take his place. This ritual is traced from primeval times when their ancestors were living in caves in Europe.
Dr. He-Sells-Out, in one of his more revelatory finds, has noted that the Beeah Tribe exists only at the expense of other Tribes. I cannot seem to live unless it has drained the other Tribes' human and natural resources and has sapped its leadership and initiative. In the language of the Beeah Tribe this is known as "community development" (pronounced rob-er-ry).
Needless to say, the mind of the Beeah Tribe is mystifying to outsiders. With a straight face a member of the Beeah Tribe will say that Indian religion and dances are bad and should be eradicated. But if you can find some white people to charge other white people to see you perform them, it is all right. Or, they will say that every Indian should be educated; but once educated he should not be given a job that his educations merits.
This is a war-like tribe in constant conflict with other tribes. Occasionally, through incompetence, the Beeah Tribe does something the other tribes like but these lapses are quickly corrected.
We thank Dr. He-Sells-Out for his valuable contribution to Knowledge we already know.