Friday, June 27, 2008

A Sad Barona Story


I'm not sure why, but for the first time in my life, i've decided to write a little about my life. What I am about to write is not a story of greed, nor a story of "whats right and whats wrong", this is a story about whats moral.

My grandmother, who will remain nameless, was a Kumeyaay indian of Capitan Grande, what was once my families land. She had 2 children before everything went wrong, Rose, the older sister, and Debra, the younger, Debra is my mother. I dont know all the details, because my mother does not speak much of them, and I find it hard to blame her for it based on what little I have heard, but sooner or later after the birth of my mother Debra and the flight of my grandfather whos name I do not know, my grandmother married a white man, who shall also remain nameless.

Before I go on, I would like to say that my grandmother was a caring, kind women, but as is the way of many good people, she was afraid to be alone. That, along with the fear, is why she never left this white man she married, and had 5 other children besides my mother and her older sister. He was a cruel man, I recall days from my childhood of him terrorizing my older brothers, making my young sister and myself sit outside in one hundred plus tempature, with no drinks, for hours at a time, because he thought we were too dirty. But that really is nothing complared to some of the stories my mother has told me about him, he was a bad man in my childhood, but he was a downright evil man in my mothers childhood. I'll skip most of the details here, seeing as that is not what I am here to talk about, but let me just say he was abusive in just about every way a parent possibly could be, and it went on for years.

But as time went on and I got older, and my mother begin to open up more about this man, I learned about how deep his cruelty ran. For his own greed, he sold us out, giving our land away, and renting to others not of our tribe. I dont know the full details of this, but not long after, the Barona natives removed them from any native immunity. This was after my mother left I think. We of Capitan Grande are now known as the "spinter tribe", a name meaning that we are nothing more to our own people than a slight pain that they must pull out and throw away, and pull they did.
My mother did the best she could with what she had, but one thing led to another and we moved back to our land via trailor. There was no electricity or running water, but we made do. Eventually we were kicked off our native land, by a white man, representing Barona. Since that day life has been hard. We work with what we have but it never seems to be enough.

Natives will not give us any help seeing as we are not living on native land, the same land they banned us from living on. America would not help us, they saw it as we were getting our rightful benifits from Barona, and didnt need any from america, though they knew we were getting nothing. So we worked, and worked hard. My mother had many children, some better off than others. I myself am going through a very trying time at the moment, but I suppose that the fault in that is mine.
I had always hoped that somehow, Barona would give us what was once ours, but that is not the case. I do not claim that what my supposed grandfather did was not wrong, but I guess its just hard to think that my whole family is having to pay for his mistake, and that Barona will not even listen to our cries of help. Most of my family, my older brothers amoungst them, do not even honor themselves as native americans. I have defended our heritage to my own family many times, but I am finding it harder to argue with them.
For years I wondered why others of the splinter tribe remained silent, as my family has. Is it that they are homeless, like we? Is it that they are scared? No, I think it is that those who still remember our proud land are ashamed, ashamed that they cannot do anything but aid themselves in the seemeingly unwelcoming america.After so long of waiting for my native brothers and sisters of Barona to see us, I had lost faith that they ever would.
For years I did not pay any mind to my tribe. But one day I went on a small hike with my brothers son, and we saw fields stretching for miles. He asked if this was our tribes land, and when I looked down, I nearly fell over. He was so excited about possibly seeing the land of our ancestors birth. And I knew then that I will not give up. I'll be damned if I let some miserable greedy bastard ruin that sight for this child, i'll be damned if I sit patiently while america chooses to side with Barona, and more importantly i'll be damned if I let Barona or any other damnable casino tainted tribe take away a sight that I will die to keep alive.
That sight is the sight of our land, our land being ours, and I will not rest until I find a way to make it so my children, and my childrens children, can walk free on that precious soil. I am a Kumeyaay native american of southern california and I am damned proud of it.I apologize if I posted this in the wrong area.

I would like to dedicate this in memory to Gary Youngblood, one of the greatest and wisest men I ever knew. Rest in peace my friend.


Luiseno said...

I don't know what to say here, I wish I could offer some words of encouragement but I feel a bit a loss for words here. I am sure if there were no casino you would not be having this kind of problem with your tribe.

Creeper said...

Hello Christopher, i pray that the Creator gives you the strength to see this thru. You and your family had a bad deal, that seems to be the norm with us Native American's. You speak as a fighter who will not accept what was dealt out to you. We need more Warriors like you...Stay strong and never give up...

Anonymous said...

I no longer go to Barona because they have something against my husband (who is Native American). for some reason they have blacklisted him and refuse to have anything to do with him. I have officially boycotted their casino.