The Perplexity of Life as a Mixed Blood Uinta
There are still many barriers facing the terminated Uintas that seem extremely difficult to over come. In the white communities adjacent to; along with the Indian communities on the Uintah and Ouray Reservation, and some individuals within our own group; there exists a foundation of prejudice which inexorably target’s the mixed-bloods efforts at regaining their Indian identity. While the full-blood Indian feels a need to marginalize the terminated mixed bloods and their descendant’s because of dogmatic tenets within the Ute Tribe; the tribe supercilious believes all mixed bloods must be held prisoner behind invisible bars and malevolently feel that to allow the mixed blood to escape this prison will be the very death of the Ute Indian Tribe of the Uintah and Ouray Indian Reservation in Utah.
This kind of mindset is nothing more then a 1970’s colloquium on South Africa and the Coloureds. This vociferous wanton attitude, by the tribe, its members; which is fomented by the white community, and with some mixed blood’s supercilious dogmatic attitude, assiduously maligns the terminated mixed blood, which only serves to empower cabal grift-ers ad-nauseum.
For the terminated Uinta, notwithstanding their disparate mixed blood lineage, this becomes a form of genocide, or, put in the word spoken as a hiss by Indians, assimilation. This is an enigma and is the crux of the problem for me.
I’ve been assimilated. It seems like a thousand years from Dry Mountain, Rock Creek, Pigeon Water and Mud Springs, to the freeways of California, and I traversed those thousand years in one swift stroke. I’m also one of the many thousands of metis¹ (mixed blood) whose combination ancestry serves to bridge those thousand years between white and Indian ways. I’m a living testament to the best, and the worst, of two significantly dissimilar worlds.
I suppose I’m luckier than most mixed bloods, including direct cousins. I look white and thus am automatically exempt from the immediate visual tag of half-breed. I do not consider myself much different from my white neighbors or my Indian cousins. However I do cling tenaciously to my Indian-ness and its like holding fast to a wet rope while the floodwaters try to carry me away.
We had our identities taken away by an antecedent wanton act, but those malevolent demagogues couldn’t and won’t make us disappeared. The terminated mixed-blood is still here and here to stay!
Most Indians seem to think the government owes them just because they’re American Indian, but that feeling isn’t true of all American Indians. A few, like me, realize that you can't turn back the clock. Instead, we argue, pay the Indian his/her due, as spelled out in treaties, and then leave us the “h***” alone!
Is Education Our Salvation?
Education is the great dilemma facing our people. Without it, we will never be able to survive the white man and yet with it the full blood Indian has tried to destroy us. On today’s U & O Reservation, Ute parents sends their child to the local white school located off the Reservation to learn values and trades that do not necessarily relate to the world on the U & O. The reservation doesn’t have the economy to support an Indian with an advanced education. It is fine to train a young Indian boy or girl to be a dentist, doctor or engineer, but when they must choose between going home and serving their people or moving to a large urban area and making money, the choice is obvious, especially if they’re a descendent of a terminated Uinta, but for the full blood an advanced education is like trying to break the suction of a suckling piglet clinging to the tit of a Sow (the government.) All though there are a few exceptions to this rule, but not many.
We mixed bloods are better educated, but having a diploma doesn't mean you'll be infused with or automatically gain wisdom; wisdom can only be gained by experience and time.
When it comes to my Indian-ness, I'm pragmatic and not ignorant. Ignorance² is the condition of being unaware, or uninformed.” I have an awareness of things as they really are and I know who I am. The enemy wants to keep us ignorant! This can be prevented by making an effort at keeping the lines of communication open between each other and not shutting anyone out of the loop.
We are surrounded by many tenacious miscreants bent on keep us down. We must all have fidelity, fortitude and not abrogate our faith in, both, Dennis Chappabitty and Felter v. Kempthorne.
1 - Métis were the offspring of local Indians and Europeans in the Red River area of what is now southern Manitoba. They call themselves the Forgotten People.
2 - Ignorance is a lack of knowledge. Ignorance is sometimes misinterpreted as a synonym of stupidity, and is as thus often taken as an insult.