in da chips..

or at least in da wood.  i was cruising round da rez today. i was taking tobacco around for a ceremony. i seen a guy i knew. he asked me how the wood was working out. i said i am about out. i told him i only got 3 half loads all winter.

i had to buy some with my per cap to get by. i said i dont know why i have to buy mine when many have it stacked outside. and my nephew and the crew he worked on brought me some. i told the guy i just figured someone didnt like me. thats the way it works many times in our tribal organization. it dont even have to have anything to do with you. if they dont like someone in your family then they dont like you either. and you get nothing.

the guy i knew said he would cut it for me. said i had to have a work order in. i told him the bureacucrat on the phone said once i was on the list that was it. they would take care of it. a month and a half into winter i still didnt have any wood. we called a number of times. nothing.  a council guy said he would look into it. nothing.  i thought that was the way it worked. i was told i was on the list. someone else called and was told they took care of everyone on the list. i didnt get any wood . i finally got some and it was only half a load. then two half loads since then.  i assumed that was it. i wasnt gonna beg anyone. if i was able i would just do it myself. those days are gone.

so today the guy i knew brought me a load. they were told to wait for a work order. i was told i wouldnt have to fill anything out. another case of the left hand not knowing what the right hand is doing i guess. reality is some tribal employees wont do a damn thing for anyone. thats sad. i have to run ceremonies all the time. whether i want to or not. whether i am busy or not. i just do it. i dont make up excuses. i would hate to be like one of them tontos.  then when they need help they come to me. and i do it.

off da rez…

a few years back some touristas came to the tribal office. they wanted to talk to someone that had left the reservation and had come back. i remarked that ‘i left da rez last weekend and came back’.  they continued on as though they hadnt heard me. guess it wasnt funny. usually some people only want preconceived ideas of theirs to be reinforced. this country njun wouldnt give them that.

well i left da rez again this past weekend. went to haskell to see my niece tara play basketball. was alot of rez folks there. all to see tara play. the other team won. they were bigger, stronger and looked like they were better coached. tara played more last year at johnson county. haskell better wise up and play that girl more. she is good.

i got a kick out of the haskells team name. they are the ‘fighting indians’. sounds like me and my brothers back when we used to party together. if indians use the term indians its alright i guess. i get grief now and then for my use of the term ‘njun’. i dont need to justify myself to some bleeding heart. i lived in the days when i was called a ‘fukken injun’. i got into some hellacious fights over that. carrying a sign and protesting wouldnt have done any good. ignorance ruled those days. some idiots only understood an ass kicking. that usually stopped the usage of the term.

being on campus brought back some memories. i had gone to haskell over a ten year period. i was young and crazy then. it was my heavy drinking days. its a wonder i even graduated. got an a.a. in liberal arts. it was a juco then. the course work was no challenge to me,  my out of control drinking was the problem. being in a non stop party scene didnt help. the bars would be crowded with hundreds of indians.

i primarily studied journalism there. wrote my first editorial there. and i was into photography big time.  ironically it was there that i learned roach making. for years  the mission was to churn out good little indians that went into civil service. someone had the idea that they should also teach indian culture. out of guilt maybe. so i took a ‘indian studies module’ for one credit hour. 200 students enrolled and only 4 of us finished the class. thats why there aint many roach makers.

while at the game my sister called me and asked if i wanted some cheech and chong tickets. they were 100 dollar tickets. i said not really. william took them. he said there were lots of gray haired people there. yeah. nothing funnier than old people still trying to suck on a joint. but on the other hand maybe we need the peace and love from them days. better than the wars and violence we live with today.

last time i went to the clinic i took tests. they said my cholesterol was high. so i been working on that. for years i have been eating fresh eggs for breakfast. so i started to eat oatmeal instead. i hated the stuff at boarding school. we had to eat it everyday. cept sunday, when we were rewarded with stale corn flakes. i wouldnt touch either for years. well in my cheech and chong days i would nail half a box of corn flakes. the other day i said hell with it and had sausage and eggs. gotta live sometime. i work with my diet as much as i can.

seen on the news where a movie shot round here is coming out. it was written by some professors. it is about indian boarding school. there are many people around here that went off to boarding school. we dont need to see a movie to understand the experience. probably could add things that the professors would never understand.

i have to check my junk email now and then so i dont lose something i need to see.  i get all kinds of stuff. usually scams of some kind or other. i even got a spam text message on my phone. i never read any of it. just delete it. i have to check it cuz anything with the word forward or fwd goes directly there. got tired of seeing the cutesy forward stuff. but i have to check for messages that are replied to. they go there too.

while at the game i got another order for a roach. so i am kept busy.


zach wamego is 13-2 in wrestling and ranked 5th in state.
zach wamego is 13-2 in wrestling and ranked 5th in state.

i went to royal valley’s last home wrestling meet last night. my nephew zach texted me about it. so i went to watch him wrestle. he won both matches by pins. he won his last match in under a minute to bring his record to 13-2. he wrestles in the 285 pound weight class. a radio station said that he was ranked 5th in the state. i am hoping he advances on to state and wins it. i will try to go see him again.

it was senior night, so they introduced zach and his mother rachel. i know my brother mikey would have been proud of him as i was. many of zach’s family were there to support him in his last home meet. it was a fun outing. i got to talk to zach in between matches. he told me that football signing day is february 4th at royal valley high school. he will sign that day with the school he will attend next year. i plan to go watch that. he made all league as offensive and defensive lineman.  he also made honorable mention all state lineman. he was listed at 6’6 and 315 pounds. i wish i could take off weight like that.

i was watching one match with my nephew jaiden. i asked him when the guy was gonna hit the other with a chair. he answered so seriously that this was a different kind of wrestling. it was. they even had a few girls that wrestled. they did good. i remember back in bar fights seeing some girls whip up on some dudes. it is a different world we live in. girls can do anything.

got my ballot for the prairie band gaming election yesterday. i will send in my ballot soon, i vote in every election. i already decided i will vote for my brother gary and my nephew tug. tug looks slick in a suit. there is no rhyme or reason in how people vote in tribal elections. sadly we are at a point where somebody dont like somebody in every election. we haven’t gotten past that yet. then no matter who wins, someone wants to get rid of the one voted in. guess elections dont mean a thing. that affects our development. some people wont run because they dont want the hating involved in tribal politics. i wonder how strong we could be if we got along with each other. we could be a very powerful entity.

that reminds me we have a general council this saturday. i quit going to them. they are an exercise in spinning our wheels. we elect people to represent us, then allow mob rule to control us. we have our quarterly saviors step forward with solutions to every problem. dont know why they dont run for office. some do, but cant get elected.

i have been told that people are having trouble sending in comments to my site. i told them that for now i wasn’t allowing comments. i dont want my site to be full of anonymous comments  of someone hating on someone else. that is ignorant. it never solves anything. it is hurtful to both parties and to us as a people. and i used to get people that wanted to blog on my site after i built it. if someone has something to say, then he or she can pay for a site with their name attached to it. the internet is full of websites that will allow that.

all’s well…i guess

the sun came up in the east. k u smacked down k-state again. a cold front is moving in. politicians promise they will fix what they helped create. all is normal i guess. well except a global economic crisis. and an unending war. and new wars are popping up all over the globe. big business is getting bailed out by the government. while no help for the average joe. i guess that is normal in the times we live in.

i had cabin fever today so i ventured out to one of the native gaming establishments. shoulda stayed home. but my upper back and neck is sore from sorting porky hair all week. i didnt win but played for 3 hours. thats sorta like winning.  while at a machine, i heard a soft thud. i turned and seen an old lady had fallen off her chair. the casino cop ran up to help her, as well as a few others. seeing i would be of no assistance, i stayed at my machine and played. another gentleman a few chairs over also looked and seen all was taken care of. the lady said she was alright. we kinda looked at each other. i didnt want to appear to be a heartless bastard. she was back at her machine in no time. in gaming, no blood – no foul. i didnt feel bad then.

the treasury nominee didnt pay his taxes. said it was a mistake, and regretted it. so he may get approved anyway. when poor folks say the same thing, the gavel comes down loudly as sentence is passed. another rich guy is restricted to his penthouse, instead of being locked up. he scammed investors out of billions. someone robs a liquor store  of a few bucks and they will do years.

my home state will have a ‘revenue shortfall’ of $945 billion this year and next. they wont have expanded gaming this year after all. investors withdrew their bids. seems they didnt want to spend half a billion to build the state new casinos. so they will probably eye indian casinos again. trying to see how they can get a piece of the action. the easy solution is to take away from the indians.

there was a piece in todays local rag bout a dude in the 1850s. he fast talked some potawatomis into joining his wild west show. the guy got into a drinking spree in indianapolis. the show disbanded. the potawatomis had to walk back to kansas. damn…..

gip ka na ge ne

that is a question in potawatomi that asks ‘did you win?’.  i dont get asked that very much. probably cuz not many speak the language anymore. my mother used to ask me that. i would put on my stoic warrior face and just kinda grunt. usually i didn’t.

i go to the ‘indian’ casinos now and then. they are always identified as ‘indian’ casinos. as opposed to what i dont know. i go there because i live about 10 minutes from ours. its only a short trip to the other two closest casinos, maybe 45 minutes. the silent drive home seems longer than that if i lose. really they are the only game in town. my hometown has two liquor stores, and two churches. usually they have to be balanced in numbers. it also has a coupla antique stores. since i dont drink or buy antiques i head to the casino for a night out. and the boarding school experience keeps me away from churches.

there was a big billboard on the highway that asks the question ‘do you have a gambling problem’. then it lists a hotline to call if you do. only gambling problem i have is that i dont win. that billboard was located close to another one that advertised our casino. the billboards that advertise indian casinos usually dont have any brown skins on them. sorta a paradox. must be some reason to that, but it escapes me.

gamblers are like alcoholics. often they dont admit they have a problem, even if they do. i see the same people in all the casinos i go to. i wonder if they got a problem. but then they must wonder the same thing about me.

some gamblers are a superstitious lot. they do little bits of mojo to help them win, like maybe carrying a good luck piece. or they rub the machine. as if caressing the machine will turn it on to a big win. personally i dont like someone that stands there and watches me. i know i dont lose cuz they are watching me  but sometimes i just wish they would get the hell away from me. i carry a ‘lucky’  beaded necklace that holds my players card. i dont carry all my cards. i travel alot so i have like 16 of them at last count. i didnt pick one up at a number of places. that would have been one heavy necklace.

the players card keeps track of your points. a great gimmick. if you spend one dollar, you get one point. then when you get some points built up you can redeem them for some playing cash. i never have many points built up. i cash them in if i got 5 bucks. sometimes i get a coupon from the casinos. it can be redeem for playing cash. i dont get many of them. maybe cuz i am not a high roller. i never get one from our casino. dont lose enough money there.

i hear gamblers say our machines are ‘too tight’. that dont stop anyone from going there. during the occasional promotion you cant find a machine. the place is packed. marketing should take heed of that. others say you can win at the other casinos. been my experience i dont win there either. i win enough to keep me playing. havent learned yet to stay  away from them. common sense will tell anyone that it is in the house’s favor. thats why we get a per cap every 3 months. the possibility exists though that any machine at any given moment can pay out the big jackpot. thats what gambling is all about. trying to hit the big one. i am happy with just winning free spins.

i play the penny machines. my limited cash lasts longer that way. i hear many people say ‘i only play pennies’. kinda like an alky that says ‘i only drink beer’. it minimizes it. penny players bring in the most revenue for casinos. the casinos kiss the high rollers ass though. they comp them for everything. maybe they should do that to the penny players.

so most of the time i can answer the question with ‘tto gip ka na ge si’. i didnt win. i have hit a few times. once my wins paid for my trip to a big pow wow back east. another time i had 11 bucks and hit a thousand. life is a gamble. so we all gamble to some extent. people that played the stock market the past year lost more than i did. i may have had more fun even when i didnt win. so if anyone asks me if i am going gambling i can give them my best cutesy palin ‘y betcha’. a penny saved is a penny earned. but a penny gambled can pay off.

my 'lucky' necklace
my 'lucky' necklace

walking da dog.

i took my faithful dog  ‘ko nu gish’  for a 2 mile walk today. i have heard people that have said they would start walking when it warms up. i heard others that said they would wait til it cools off.  for whatever reason they just dont walk. i dont let winter stop me from walking. last week i logged 6 miles.  i have 2 today. but the forecast says we will get an artic front coming in this week.  so i walk when i get the chance. i’m like oprah. need to drop a few pounds.

i like to go get a paper every sunday morning. sorta a ritual with me. i have the paper delivered to my mailbox the rest of the week. i noticed that the price of the sunday paper remained the same. the daily paper went up from 50 cent to 75.  Now you get less news for the increase in price. The daily paper is in two sections now. The sunday paper is also a bit thinner. even the tribal paper went from a monthly to once a quarter.

i kinda wonder  bout the mainstream media. a month or so ago they were forecasting some real dire times. something like the worst recession since 29. wouldnt say its a depression, just something bad news coming. now you dont hear much of it. so does that mean we aint having it so bad?  or they just backing off so people dont panic. i see changes happening. like the price of chicken feed went up but the weight of the bag went down. i used to buy 50  pound bags. now they are 40 pound bags. and they cost more. the cost of the paper went up and we get less news. same with other items. cost goes up and we get less. gas is creeping back up. i cut down on my powwowing the past coupla years cuz of the cost of gas. price went down when pow wow season was winding down.

just have to hold on. cuz change is coming. got a new prez and all that. least ways we told that. he got his work cut out for him. on the upside he dont have a tough act to follow. hope he gives the american people a break. big business is getting bailed out. how bout the rest of us.

i get google and yahoo alerts everyday. they key on the word ‘potawatomi’. so any news with that word in it is zapped to my email. i kinda notice that there is always news bout the other bands. but the prairie band dont get in the news often. must be the reason we rely on rumor so much. when you dont hear facts, you tend to make them up. or else we doing damn good.

i aint got no complaint bout them. i am just finishing up on my housing grant. i got a new front door, new plumbing, guttering, central air and a new 50 year roof. my floor will eat up the rest of the grant. i am getting a laminate put over the worn out vinyl. it will have a tile look to it. the cost is the same as putting new linoleum. and it will be more durable. it will stand up to the heavy traffic i get.  my humble house is looking good. i didnt get the full grant award cuz some bureaucrat decided i wouldnt. but i got lotsa bang for the dollar though. i am satisfied. i put lotsa my money into this house over the past 24 years. the flooring will cost more than what i got left in the grant so i will cover the rest. it will be worth it.

i tossed in the rest of the wood i had outside. getting ready for the cold snap coming. didnt have any back problems. thats good news. i see houses with wood stacked up neatly outside. i think that looks quaint. not practical though. i have to have the wood stacked in the basement, where i can put it into the stove. who wants to go outside to get some logs everytime the fire needs to be stoked up.

i have been sorting porcupine hair almost every day. i have piles of it every where. i can knock a roach out in three days. that is if i have all the material on hand ready to go. it takes weeks to sort hair. so when i get a bunch of it sorted i can make a number of roaches. i know this new website will keep me busy. and i can handle that.

'ko nu gish' answers commands in potawatomi
'ko nu gish' answers commands in potawatomi

Odds and ends

The background image on this website is a section of a full mural on my screened in porch I built. It is a scene of an Indian village. I was inspired by diego riveria’s murals  while in mexico city. His murals tell the story of mexico. My mural will be a history of Indians when ever it is done. In the painting are various Indians including: a cigar store indian, the cleveland indian, lone ranger and tonto, billy jack, pow wow indians, christian indians and homie indians. I am pictured with a group of native prisoners i worked with. I tried to include many different animals. I hope to have all the clans represented in the picture.

One of my porcupine hair roaches

This is one of my porcupine hair roach head dresses that I made. It is 24″  long with white deer tail trim on the inside and outside. It is made with a yarn base. I can make them any size and most of the primary colors. I can’t do neon colors like someone asked me. I don’t have those dyes.  I spend alot of  time sorting the porcupine hair. I like the porky hair to be all black with color on the tips. The deer tail trim covers the bottoms. Each roach then ends up with the color of the trim then black then the tips in solid color. I sort the hair so that it gradually flows. I like the roaches to be symmetrical. I dont have jagged lines. It should look appealing. It is an important part of a dancers outfit. I make sure that the hair bounces when the dancer moves. Movement in the roach is important. The roach shouldn’t distract from the overall appearance of the dancer. It should compliment a dancers outfit.

made for a guy in colorado
made for a guy in colorado

rez blog

electriceddieThis country injun decided to become a cyber-indian. I used to have a website that featured my roaches. The web host no longer carried my site. I had a good business with my roaches on the internet. I had more orders than I had time to make them. I still sell every one that I make, but there are times when some go unsold for awhile. You can make the best roaches around but if no one knows you have them you don’t sell them. I believe that I have elevated my craft to an art. I was extremely proud of the first roach I ever made but it doesn’t compare with the ones I make today. I have gotten better at making them after over 30 years. I like the challenge of making each roach as well as I can. I want each one to be good. There are many dancers all around the country that own one of my roaches. It is very satisfying to go to a pow wow and see one of mine. I can recognize them even from the stands. They are others that I see that I admire. My hat is off to the one that made them. I seen some though that makes me wonder what the maker was thinking when he made them. I won’t sell a bad roach. I take pride in my art.

I used to blog because I enjoyed writing. It gives me practice in writing. I am working on a book. I have been for years. I have re-written the chapters I finished many times. Every time I read them, I see wording that can be a little stronger. I have two brothers that have published books. I guess it is my turn to get a book out.

I plan to feature my art and my writing with this new site. All the artwork will be done by me. The writing will be my own original writing. My blogs will be opinionated at times. I used to have my own newspaper back when I was an idealist journalist. My favorite part was writing editorials. It was my opinion. Mainstream journalism claims to be fair and impartial. I think it is slanted at times. Many issues are ignored. I want to write about things i want to write about. And I want to have fun writing.  I hope that everyone can enjoy this new site.

We’re building a website


This is the website of Eddie Joe Mitchell, Prairie Band Potawatomi. The site is a work in progress. I am  getting familiar with the site. I am still learning how to add to it.  I had trouble trying to add more of the roaches i made to my gallery. They went to my media library but not to the page. growing pains.

My site will highlight my roach head dresses and my writing.  I enjoy doing both. I plan on opening the site with a greeting in potawatomi and have a song by my nephew. The song will be an original composition done by him. I am still learning how to add that to my site.