Shut up pale face

A sweet feature of the Two Medicine campground is daily campfire chats.
I went to hear a member of the local Blackfeet tribe and a scholar of Native American studies give a history of the Blackfeet people. He used the name “Blackfeet” for individuals and his tribe and would only use “Blackfoot” to describe the nation of several Blackfeet tribes.
It wasn’t the usual “My people, the land and the animals are one,” type of talk. He was a big ol’ pissed off queen and it got fun. I brought a big stainless steel cup of Cabernet Sauvignon so I could sit back and really enjoy the show.
To describe Glacier Park, he said he likes to use a metaphor for the park as being his people’s church because Europeans only seem to understand metaphors and churches. “What if I went to your church and asked you which part is sacred and which part I could rip out?”
He spoke of the atrocities of the white man and nothing of the history of the Blackfoot nation (I’m sure those atrocities make up 99.9% of his people’s recent history). A guilty pale faced lady in the front row asked him how to say, “I am sorry,” in his language. He said, “We don’t have a word for sorry, that’s something you Europeans need to use all the time for doing terrible things. And even if there was a word for sorry, I don’t know it because Europeans ripped the language from our people.”
He finished off by telling us not to be too impressed by America’s long history of democracy on this July 4th weekend. He said Benjamin Franklin used the Iroquois nation as a model for what would become the United States. “The Iroquois nation is still the longest running democracy on the planet, look it up!”

Here are some more pictures of the Blackfeet church.


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