Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Eradicating Discrimination Goes Both Ways

I am going to breach a subject that may not make me very popular among anybody, really. The liberals may not like my indigenous view. Conservatives may not like my white view, but I have held my tongue for years and things need to be said.
   I am a white girl who grew up on the Standing Rock reservation. Yes - the reservation that is leading the charge against the Dakota Access Pipeline. My great grandfather homesteaded on the land and began raising buffalo. He and my great grandmother raised 10 children. Four of those children stayed on the land and raised cattle. My grandfather was one of them. My grandfather and grandmother raised two children on the land. One of those children was my father, who, along with my mother, raised me. We ran cattle on the land that my family owned and on land that we leased from tribal members.

   When my father was a child, the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe adopted him and named him "Tatanka" in honor of my great grandfather. He still has the headdress that he wore to the ceremony. My grandmother still has the powwow dress that she wore to the ceremony. Both the headdress and the dress are stunning, and are collecting dust. Not because anyone is ashamed of them, but because the fact that we have them, as white people, is not acceptable. These were gifts given to my family by the tribe. Why do we have to hide it?
   Because, unfortunately, there is a discrimination that is sent toward white people who live on the reservations. People think we stole the land, that we are treating tribal members badly, that we believe we are superior to the Natives. I can assure you I did not steal land, neither did my father, grandfather or great grandfather. My great grandfather bought it. Now, he was able to do so because of the Dawes Act, an act which was not the best thing the federal government passed. After all, it did take land from the Natives that were within boundaries of the reservation. But, I can also assure you that my great grandfather did not buy it with the intentions of sticking it to the Natives. My family has worked hard over the generations to establish and keep good relations with tribal members. Some years have been better than others. Some relations between specific tribal members and specific family members have been better than others, but all in all it has not been bad. That is the story that can be applied to every single relationship on the planet!
   I can assure you we are not treating tribal members badly. Mostly, we go about our business of raising cattle. I can assure you we do not believe we are superior to Natives. If we believed that, we would not have friendships with tribal members.
   Now, as a child, I was met with flat-out racism, but it was certainly not in abundance. The vast majority of tribal members I met were kind and gracious. They let me spend weekends at their homes with their children and my family would let their children come into our home for the weekends. I was introduced to delicious authentic Lakota foods and received some lessons in beading.
   I recall one friend, in a small town called Little Eagle. Almost every weekend, one of us was staying at the other's home. The most vivid memory I have of my time with her family was their love of professional wrestling, her dad's impression of the Ultimate Warrior (which still makes me laugh) and a prayer her dad said before we ate supper. He prayed for a cure for my Type 1 diabetes. I had never heard anyone pray for me to be cured before. They really gave me a home away from home.
   It is those times that construct most of my memories with the Lakota. The few times I was met with racism - those were a few bad apples. And those bad apples can be found among every race of people, but it seems nowadays those apples are more plentiful.
   However, the discrimination now is coming from the outside. It is coming from people who have a deep sympathy for the indigenous people and for the wrongs that the government did to them. There were wrongs - horrific wrongs. There is no argument about that. But, how is telling me and my family about perceived sins against Natives righting those wrongs? How is creating a greater divide between whites and Natives righting those wrongs?
   Do you think, maybe just maybe, you are making it worse? Do you think, maybe just maybe, you should work on your own discrimination against whites on the rez? Do you think, maybe just maybe, that might be a small part of bringing Native and whites together in unity? Something to think about.

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Review: Swissvita Micrite 3D all Use Eye Cream

I have a fear of dark puffy eyes. They have a tendency to run in my family. I have seen some of my relatives walking around with huge dark puffs under their eyes, and sometimes those puffs were wet-looking, like someone who has been
crying for a while. I knew the wetness was from an effort to make the puffs go away.
   I vowed that I would never get those puffs. Here I am in my mid-thirties and I have managed to keep the puffs at bay, even though the dark circles are still there. I have used a variety of products in my quest to stave off the wet puffs, such as this eye cream.
   Now, a few months ago I took my glasses off and was greeted with dark puffs and I flipped out! I quickly doubled my efforts. Over time, the dark puffs got lighter and smaller, but it wasn't until I used this eye cream that I noticed a significant difference in
the size of the puffs. Now, the cream has not done much to lighten the color of the circles, but the puffs are almost gone and I am thrilled!

   I use it in the morning and at night, and it is more of a gel than a cream. And it is because of the gel-like quality that I recommend you do this a while before you have to leave the house. That way, you will not have that wet, crying look under your eyes.
Full disclosure: I was sent this product free of charge in exchange for an honest and unbiased review.

Review: InstaNatual Dual Mattifying Toner

I have never used a toner in my life, but I am always willing to try InstaNatural products. I love them so much! I have been using it everyday since it arrived. If you have never used a toner before, I will tell you what to expect.
   This product is to help combat skin oils. By combating
those oils, you are less likely to have blemishes and that is always a good thing. I have combination skin, which means both dry and oily. The oily part of my face is primarily my nose, which tends to have blackheads - more than I like. Since I began using this, I notice I still have blackheads, but they are not showing up as fast as they used to. My skin definitely feels different when I use it. While it feels healthier (especially my nose), my skin does not feel as silky. It is still silky after I apply moisturizer (which you need to do after using the toner), but it is not as silky. However, I do love the lovely matte look it gives my skin. My nose is definitely not as shiny as it once was. I am not a fan of the smell. I wish I could tell you exactly what it smells like, but it is difficult to pinpoint. That being said, it does not smell so bad nor so overwhelming that I will stop using it.
   When you get this product, make sure you give it a good shake before you use it because natural separation will occur. After you wash your face, pat the toner onto your skin, avoiding the lips and eyes. Since it is a liquid, there is not a lot of density, so you will not need a whole lot. After you have your skin covered, let the toner dry and then apply a moisturizer.
   If you are like me and you are focused on good skin care, I recommend this.
Full disclosure: I was sent this product free of charge in exchange for an honest and unbiased review.