You’re at a fundraising for helping at risk kids and you’re seated with strangers, which you’ll never see again. It’s like being at a wedding and none of your friends are at the same table…you’re trapped. I noticed there was lots of bling-bling in the crowd. There were a lot of powerful, wealthy, and socialite types of people – the movers and the shakers.
I walked into a large ballroom and didn’t know a soul. I was rescued when Kenny Smoker spots me and waves me toward a table that he and Dr. Megan (full time DC and clinic director on the Fort Peck Reservation) are sitting at. Just like at the wedding, I went around the table and introduced myself and partook in a bit of awkward chit chat.
It was time for Dr. Megan to introduce herself. A wonderfully dressed, educated, and wealthy socialite asked if she was Native American. Dr. Megan said no, she works and lives on the Reservation however she is not Native.
…and then it happened
This woman asked her if she lived in a teepee. Unfortunately, Kenny Smoker has probably heard it before but neither Dr. Megan or myself had. We sat there stunned in silence. Remember, this woman is college educated, wealthy, aristocratic and IGNORANT!
There was no malevolence in her remarks, just ignorance.
Kenny Smoker was the keynote speaker and talked on the inequalities of health, lack of values, and the 3rd world conditions that are endured on the Reservation. Some people tuned into his message and others could have cared less.
Why was he invited to speak at an event about something that doesn’t concern people 1,500 miles away?
That’s where she and others aren’t aware that the kids and adults living this way affect us all. Not only those that live on the reservation.
After Kenny Smoker delivered his speech and the silent auction began, people of all different religions, colors, levels of education, and wealth wanted to shake his hand and hug him for bringing such an important message.
They got it!
A message everyone, not just those at a glitzy, fundraiser event, but all of us need to hear, absorb and then do something about it.