Just to put this into a bit of context, when I came out as transgender, my mom didn't want to have anything to do with me. I still try to contact her and talk to her but she won't let me. When she turned her back on me, I felt like I wasn't deserving of my indigenous heritage, so for a long time(and sometimes still) whenever I so much as think about going to a pow-wow or learning the culture/language of my people more, I feel like I'm not worthy of those things. Like those things don't belong to me anymore, like I'm a separate entity from those things, I'm not supposed to be a part of them anymore. Now I know I shouldn't feel that way, what my mom did to me was separate and not even related. I can still and should still pursue what I want to or take up learning Ojibway language because I want to or take a moment and appreciate the music that my culture creates because I like it. Part of me still feels hurt when I do those things though and that's what stops me from doing those things.
Anyways, I just wanted to get this out there... I'm part of a mental health group that likes to make lunch when we get together, the woman that is leading the group figured we should all bring in recipes to make and a girl in the group is also from the same reservation as my family is(I'm guessing that she's actually a distant cousin because she was talking about her family today once I'm thinking about it) and she brought in a recipe for how her family makes indian tacos, which is pretty much like a taco except you make fry bread and lay all of your delicious ingredients on top of it it's pretty good and there's many ways to make it! It all made me feel sad because I still feel like what happened between my mom is unresolved but at the same time it reminded me about all the things we did with fry bread. Whether it be driving around the rez during the summer, going to people's indian taco sales and driving to the graveyard to have them with my grandparents or to one of the parks and just watch the river or the ferry. Or watching my mom make the fry bread recipe that's been in the family since her great grandmother, like the times she would add garlic to the recipe and the whole house would smell of garlic.
From my understanding, making fry bread could be a very tiny form of resistance. Allow me to explain. From what I've been told, fry bread hasn't always been a "traditional" recipe. It comes from the time when indigenous folks were forced onto reserves and the government were trying to beat the native out of the indigenous by controlling what they eat. The indigenous were limited in what they received: flour, lard, powered milk, you know, very basic things. The government were trying to starve the indigenous people so they began to make fry bread as an "F U" to the government and they were too stubborn to die of starvation.
It made me sad thinking about all that while making my own indian taco but thankfully, the lady leading the group knew that I felt that way and was there to let me ramble on about my emotions at the time, it was helpful for me. I probably looked and sounded like a mess but I got through it. Unfortunately, my mom never shared her recipe for fry bread with me but now that I have a different fry bread recipe to use, maybe things aren't so bad. Maybe this is the universe's way of telling me that I need to move on with my life, my mom is her own person, whether I agree with what she does or not that's her decision to make. A part of me wants her to be a part of my life but if she feels I'm not up to par with what she expects of me, it's better that she isn't here for me. Maybe it's better that way, maybe it's better that we're apart so that I can finally be the person that I want to be, be someone that I can wake up knowing is doing the right thing for his own future. So yeah, my rant on fry bread, there you go...