Two Stories by TY. (This story was told to me by my friend who is trying to make a new life for himself. It is a problem we all have to deal with.)
My relatives visited me in town. I looked at their faces and saw dignity and survival. Then they got drunk and I saw losers. My uncle began talking about when he was in boarding school. “They called me a no-good half breed because my skin was light. I believed my grandmother that we used to own this land and make a good living on it. Then I would look at all we had to eat– the flour and lard and some canned meat and I didn’t want to live like that anymore. So I left. Sometimes I feel like a strong Native with a good story about who my ancestors are and what we accomplished. Then I see that I have nothing and my only story is that I want to die. I hate having two stories.”
In town I see successful Natives who treat others with respect and I am proud to be Native. Then I see those begging for money in the street and I want to look the other way. I don’t know who I am and I am afraid which story will turn out to be true in the end.