I am known as eddie joe. I am a prairie band potawatomi. I live on our rez in kansas. I spent most of my life here. I have traveled around during the course of a lifetime. I have criss crossed this country too many times to count. I was sent off to parochial boarding school during grade school. Believe me all the horror stories associated with that trip are true. I went to an all indian job corps. There I fell in love with the mountains. Done some time in the military as a computor operator. I went on a government relocation program to california. It didnt take too long to hit the streets. I failed at that program miserably. You can take the injun out of the rez but cant take the rez out of the njun. As usual i ended back on the rez. The rez has always been my starting out point and where i always end up at. i doubt i will ever leave the rez.
I lived here when there was no running water or electricity. i call those times b.c. (before casinos). I have maintained a simple lifestyle. I raise a garden to enjoy fresh vegetables, and i grow or gather many of our sacred foods. I raise chickens for the eggs. I gather many foods from nature like my ancestors did. I don’t hunt and fish like I used to, young hunters have spoiled me by bringing me game. I still burn wood as a primary heating source, it reminds me of my youth.
I claimed to be potawatomi before there was money in it. Aint no instant injun that found pride in being native when per caps rolled in. I am just a simple country injun. What i dont have i dont need. i havent done everything but i am content. i don’t feel a need to prove anything. My art keeps me going. I have been making roach head dresses for over 40 years. I also make hand drums, pipes, ball sticks, breast plates, fans and some bustles. I scrape the hides i use in making drums. I have done deer, elk and buffalo hides. I dabble in painting. My art is still evolving.
I am still working on a book to be titled “aint no fort injun”. It is a auto-bio, but most people can relate to parts of it. It is about growing up poor on a rez, going to boarding school and later becoming involved in the alcohol and drug scene. And the violence. I went on a downward spiral in my search for identity. It took me years to get out of that life. I returned to my traditional ways and that is what saved me. It occupies most of my time. I have worked with native american prisoners for 5 years, I learned alot from that experience. It took me many years to live all of that, so it is taking me time to complete my book.
I used to blog on myspace. I was read all over the country, and had some readers overseas. other native blog sites picked up my original writing. I drew some crazies, a few hassled me. i got some hate mail for merely expressing my opinion. Even though it was “my”space some invaded it. didnt need that. Got bored with that, but i miss writing. So I started this site to blog and sell my roaches. i use the term reznjun though it may offend some. i heard it all about stereotyping etc. i lived in the days when i was called an f’ ing injun. i got into many fights over that. so now when someone tells me how it demeans indians i think to myself ‘yeah tell me about it’.