I have been called lots of things, but never an Aboriginal writer. I chose not to use that angle, and to write simply because I love writing. The other day, I donated one of my stories to a local group working to help teens deal with bullying and suicide issues. In the introduction to their presentation, the described the author as a young aboriginal writer who writes from the heart, with the passion of his forefathers.
I had to ask who they were talking about. I wanted to meet this guy, he sounded very intelligent. When I found out they were talking about me, I almost cracked.
Sure I am aboriginal, but so is everyone else on the West Coast of the Island. I never wanted to use my family history, which is as much French as it is Mi’Kmaq, to gain popularity. The fact of the matter is, only recently did I discover I was aboriginal at all.
My dad says that if someone called you an Indian back in the day, you beat his head in, but today, everyone wants to be aboriginal. It is the new ‘in thing’ here on the island. This is probably due to the new Indian agreement where, upon proving status, all Mi’kmaq people are given free health care, dental, and education. A great deal for sure.
I guess I should thank a family member for researching my roots so that I could obtain my ‘status’ as a member of a ‘landless band’. Now that’s quite the term, ‘landless band’. Can you imagine a tribe of Indians without land? Doesn’t make much sense when you really think about it, but what the hell? Free health care? I am in. Now where did I park my horse, and I want a new Tepee.