I have been blessed, in this life, yet cursed in the same breath, I was born 7/16 Alaska Native, with blond hair and mostly white features. I am the lightest of my mom and dad. I was an anomaly of sorts, even causing some speculation as to my paternity, which probably caused some friction or at the least, whispers of infidelity. I have been called white by my own family members, maybe in a kind of jest, but with every joke, there is a hint of truth. We are judged on our looks, fat, skinny, brown, black, ugly (beauty is in the Eye of the beholder) for me “ugly” has more to do with personality, than looks, not to minimize true beauty, but that can fade with a bad life or a rotten core. This scribble is more about being an Alaska Native, that looks white, or at least whiteish. I am not rare, by any means, Kodiak is full of white Natives. The question that I have been asking myself, am I really entitled to health care and whatever perks that Native people enjoy? are Natives even entitled? they get to live in the greatest county on planet earth (disputable) what entitles me? I can easily slip under the cracks as white, well at least in northern states, where my skin does not darken, lack of facial hair, I gots a little beard :/ my chinese eyes? pointed out in third grade, by a mean kid, the lack of hair on my arms and legs?
There are many white people that are out there that are ugly, fat, or lazy, that have far less prospects, than I ever had. Yet I have seen many superintendents, project manager, and other contractors, that could not build themselves out of a paper bag.
I am descended from both Native and white, and proud of both. I have been ridiculed by both, fought both. I have always exerted my Native rights. I am entitled, I am a Native. both my parents grew up in orphanages, to Americanize them, well me mum broke her hip, or something, not sure. My dad preferred the Orphanage to home life as a bastard. Somehow, he got us out of Alaska after the 64 quake, had I not been raised in Southern California, I can tell you 100% that my thinking would be much different, Kodiak has been ruled by the White elitist back to the days of the Russian occupation. We were purchased, lock stock and barrel for a cool million. people and all. how does one complete the occupation? incentivizing free Alaska land for All Americans, Not mixed Natives or Natives, we were a commodity, always have been.
my Native has been self serving for as long as I can remember. I am not saying that I would not have gotten where I am today, without claiming my indigenous roots, perhaps a different path, perhaps better? there was never any question in my mind, that I was entitled, to healthcare, and perhaps jobs in Alaska.
fighting back: I have fought the system, I learned early on, that the squeaky wheel, gets fixed first. I learned the hard way, one time, while going through another bout of strep throat, and the old Native hospital, kept sending me home, fever, big white blotches on my tongue, finally got penicillin after another 3 hour wait, or the time, they took gauze out of my mouth from the year before, the dentist who had booze breath, had left me a present…
I got into the Carpenters on my Native Card, but made sure that I was never just a token Native, no I was completive and gave 100% not only staying on top of the class, but pushing myself to learn above and beyond. These day, all that has paid off with my being able to do most jobs, unassisted.
where was eye? ok let me close this piece out, before it gets too convoluted.
My point? not sure, but I do not want to bash white people, but it seems as though, I have to give them some credit, not sure how, ok let me square this shit up
The majority of white people are from hardworking families and just trying to get ahead. they are no to blame, because the status quo, prefers to hire, people most like themselves. someone with the same accent same old same old, does that make it wrong for them to take the job over other more qualified candidates? I think it would be more wrong to refuse the job. I mean, we are born into a certain “station” in life, right? they would be stupid to not take the good job.
The same can be said for us white Natives. my dad was less Native than me. he was only a quarter, but since he looked Native, he had Native issues. the ruling class in Kodiak, has been very adept at keeping the Native people down. in Alaska too, but since I was born in Kodiak, that is my experience. the tool is the borough and State of Alaska, under the pretense of the Federal government, all working in conjunction to suppress. This is not a new story, my grandmother, who was also less native than me, at least quantum wise, lived the Native lifestyle, Russian lifestyle and then the American lifestyle, she talks of marrying her own kind. Kelly Simeonoff, my step-Grandfather, but the only grandfather, that I ever knew. did I mention, that I am a grandpa, grandpa richard to be exact, I wonder, if I can pay them to call me grandpa.
I have lived in Alaska for quite a few years, I worked any job I could find. The good jobs were given to the oil people and their families, they shipped them up in droves, these were not high tech jobs, but labor jobs, the bars were full of implants from Texas, Louisiana and Arkansas. there has been a change in that over jobs, and was happy to see carpenter in lead positions, two come to mid Jeff and what is that kids name, Justin.. yeah o and there is Roy, but many more, Jeff actually looked the part, but that means nothing, the others were Native too, just white looking.
it it all about looks, well hell no.
so in review, my dad is 1/4 Alaska Native, my grandmother 1/3, both grew up under a territory, when all the land was being given away, to non Natives, farms, homesteads and whatever they wanted to have. my children, whom all look as white as snow, are almost as much Alaska Native than my father, true fact
We are judged by our looks, plain and simple.
So back in the old days, Natives were judged by how much Native they had in them, the have been documenting this since the purchase of Alaska. if you were an eighth, you were judged a Native. it is documented. my uncle, who is only 1/8 Native, was treated just like all the other Natives. he was the leader of Koniag, until his fall from grace.
I have seen some post about Natives being white people, by white people. this has been a way to alienate people from one another. big mouths, another tool of the state and borough. the same people that would label you as a Native in order to server their purpose, this has been the norm in Kodiak for as long as I can remember.
The big problem facing Natives? I believe it is white Natives, whom have no empathy for Natives, I know confusing, let me elaborate, on what I am trying to say… ok
have you ever looked at the board of Koniag? they look white, well most do, is there agenda on the Native people they represent?
perhaps, but in all the bios, I have read, none has professed any issue re3levant to the Natives, instead it is more smoke and mirrors, with a nice little trick and treat. lets get this party started,
first, lets examine what has been lost by Alaskan Natives, their identity culture and way of life. I am a product of assimilation, I have no Native culture. We have no land rights, only under the thumb of a village or Corporation, land is being lost on a daily basis. Our only rights are with corrupt villages that seek to line their own pockets, while education and child welfare take a back burner to White Natives rubbing elbows with the white government elite. (I am sorry, to use white in a derogatory way, but that is the ruling class) the leaders of business and government in Alaska, please educate me if I am wrong. there has been a resurgence of Native language and customs, and young people showing pride in Being Alaska Native, but there is still a child abuse, alcohol abuse in many villages across the State, we are only as strong as our weakest link. One of the major things taken from Alaska Native is their ability to live and working in their own communities. jobs, not menial jobs, but good jobs. I loved being a fisherman, but that is a hard life, hard work, brutal work.
No there is no, plan to make lives better for all Natives. the plan is to keep them as a welfare people. that is government control at its best, the Native Claims act, was not for Natives, but lawyers, by lawyers for lawyers, the majority of jobs and Money goes to non-natives. My corporation has a jobs link, over 5000 original shareholder, yet, they have maybe 10 Native jobs, but look at the companies, That “we Own” and there are not natives on the the boards of these companies, not one, not even a hint of any native employment, these are the kinds of jobs my grandmother had spoken of given to “others” the high paying jobs, like our CEO making 500 grand a year, with 30 grand allocated to Native education. Can you honestly tell me that this clown would be getting paid this at any other company? Now, I must state the obvious, why would he do anything other than take the money? integrity? giving back? how did he get his schooling? who paid? I have seen some pretty incompetent leaders in the Native community, but my biggest pet peeve? there is nothing being done to bring Natives out of poverty. I applaud Afognak Corporation, they have jobs on their site. there is a lot more Native pride being
Million dollar companies, no Natives, just overhead and Salaries for others. Now, what is the answer, is seems simple, if you do not have the Natives to do these jobs, train them. We need more lawyers, there has to be a concerted effort to bring all the lives of Natives up to par. why is there no effort to become a sovereign people, an entity. I will tell you why, because the Act was just that an ACT, to divide and separate, the haves from the have nots. Kodiak and Koniag have missed the boat. Native allotment is a joke, a way to take Native land and give it away, or take it away. as soon as they allocate the land, the brought and State move right int and start getting their taxes. You only get Native rights if you join the corrupt self serving Corporate entity. corrupt, it is corrupt to overpay yourself, when you supposed to be helping our people, not all your white important friends.
ok so why am I writing this dribble anyway, this negative bullshit? I can be free if I choose, I have a choice, I have benefited from claiming My native rights. I have not benefited from my white ancestors, they raised their white families to great success, they flourished. I know it is written, well for the most part.
my story, my prerogative, my life,
I have lived in our village, it is in Bush Kodiak on the Westside a total of about 2 or 3 years, over time, between there and woody island. I have been loosely involved in our Village, which was ripped off in the land claims ACT.
our Village land claim, was about 25 acres per person, 750 acres divided by 30, now that number has grown to about 100, so that same 750 acres is now down to 7.5 that is if the State or borough does not come up with a way to put a lien on it and sell it at auction, We have had to until recently pay taxes on any improvements to the land. in another 20 years, an original shareholder if still alive will be down to 2.5 acres, that seems pretty cheap, considering all the oil and gold, not to mention the Salmon and other precious minerals that have been taken. why is there no help?
why? because the claims act was not created for Natives, it was created to fail, to create a system of corruption and smoke and mirrors. to create jobs for non Natives, government contracts, lawyers and the good old boy network. there has been a cultural resurgence and it is more acceptable to claim Native heritage.
these corporation should be at war with the governments that suppress them, instead it is just another way to control them. Alaskan Natives, hunting and fishing rights are no more or less than the average joe that comes up from the lowered 48 seeking fame and fortune. I had to work so much to raise a family here, I could not afford to buy a gun, let alone hunt or fish. subsistence has been deemed a right for all Alaskans, what are the Native rights? we can buy a license, we can limit hunting on our small government parcel. we can kill sea otters, we are under the thumb of the Federal, State and city governments.
Ok, so now, why would I write this? I will tell you, I am fed up with being a corporate Indian, and want to be a tribal Indian, but guess what? I do not belong to a tribe. you see when we were signing up for this small parces in Uganik bay, which has gone back centuries, we were told to make a business, my grandmother the founder of Uganik, had to come up with 30 shareholder, we got lumped in, but not without a fight, literally.
anyway, we had been given a more substantial land, but that was taken away with the help of the governments key instigator Omar Statman. the same one that sued Lesnoi for the same thing, Natives have already been moved out of there traditional homes
as good as the whole Uganik experience has been for me, it has turned out a bust. We have no way to use our land without going through our local village corporation, which has been a nightmare for me.
no business, being in business, first oath should be to the shareholders, Natives first, just like trump says American first, I say Native first
not only were we put on this land, which we can not afford to visit, but was a tiny slice, way less per person that the promised to “Americans” land Allotments, but from the get go, it was a disaster
our Grandparents, had a Native allotment adjacent to the Native Land, about 68 acres, which we have to pay tax on now. there was some plan in the beginning to dole out parcels, but instead of doing a lottery, they just said, pick a spot, well, only a handful could even do that. there is only a small amount of beach front land or land that has water. the good beaches were grabbed up. there was nothing fair, but we were all kids at that time
that brings me to why im writing this piece of ” “
My Native line, the family that actually looks native, has been assimilated, I am a great part of that. My grandmother talks of marrying here own kind, which would be Mixed, but she meant Native, I married and had children with a full blooded white women, and I would not change a thing, you love and marry, whom you love.
I have been considering just getting out of the Native racket, just renouncing my Native heritage, being a white mixed, with Chinese or Mexican or something, just like all the rest of the mixed peeps, some say that I could pass as full white 100% but not sure, anyway, that was my option.
after a lot of wasted time, and alienated relationships, and selling out on our land in Afognak, I resigned from our board of directors, it had poisoned all the relationships with family in Kodiak, wasted countless hours, all for nothing, except being a part in losing some prime Alaska Native Real Estate. I am ashamed to admit, I was part of that deal.
This deal was put together with Bill Allen of Microsoft and a land conservancy, it was bad enough we sold out, but instead of letting us still access the land, it was given to the STATE of Alaska, forever gone. we could have held title as a tribal entity, although the leader of our tribe, never created a tribe
I have gifted some stock to my children in hopes that they will get involved, but getting to the point, of just ready to gift the rest of it, if they even want the burden of being a white Native.
I an not tell anyone how to think, but my way of thinking, at this point in my life, the benefit of being native, does not match the negatives, here I am again wasting time, thinking about what is right, and what is not. there are lots of Alaskan Natives who can not just change gears, for them, it is stuck in perpetuity, or until they are bred out and assimilated, I do not see any relief to the real problems under the current corporate scam.
White Natives need to be accepted, just as a full blooded Native, but with much more than just personal agenda, it should be an agenda for all Natives. We need advocates, we need education, we want our land back.
ok I have to fix the pool.
ok pool cleaned, in closing, being a Native is a choice for some of us, for others not so fast shorty
I have some cousins on my mom side, their dad, refused to sign them up for the Alaska Native settlement Act. They had not choice in the matter, just like the corporate Native mentality.
business first Native last
I have a son that also does not claim, Native heritage and does not want his shares, I respect his decision, and in part has me wonder if it is all just a waste of time an energy, I will never deny my Native Heritage, too many people have suffered with nothing but sorrow.
The governments mentality towards Natives, is one of “you can have land” but we will make sure you can not use it” with the help of the white Natives, whom are sheep in Wolfs clothing
there needs to be an effort to make sure all Alaskan Natives are properly educated, with video and the tools of today, that should be an easy to accomplish task.
The United States has benefited greatly from the purchase of Alaska, too bad it can not be said as much for the Indigenous people of Alaska
White Natives that show pride in being Native only strengthen the movement for sovereignty, as does acceptance of Natives that look white by Natives that do not, for me the way we can give back is to hire Natives, train Natives and be a proud Nativeblood quantum