Friday, November 11, 2011

A Sack of Clothes

It’s about that time of the year when all the good little Native boys and girls on the reservations are getting gifts. Not from Santa, from the BIA.
 Plastic bags full of clothes; a puffy jacket for the coming blizzards, a pair of jeans with hideous sparkles sewed on the leg, a few socks – or two and half pairs, a shirt or two,  some underwear that are most likely too small and some shoes to match the sparkly jeans that don’t match anything else you have.
I remember getting a bag of clothes like that when I was in elementary school. When I was younger it was awesome. All the shoes lit up when you stepped in them and the jackets were filled with goose feathers and were very warm. It was like Christmas!
When I was older: for the most part it was embarrassing because it made us all feel poor, cheap, as we were the age when free clothes was for poor kids and none of us were poor.
I don’t know much about this tribal clothing program but I’m only guessing that it’s another effort to assimilate Natives and give us urban clothes or to provide many of us poor kids with new clothes because our parents can’t. My bet is on the latter estimate. I know so many of my peers, and Native kids now, don’t have the resources for such necessities. I guess this is my thanks to the BIA for free clothes, even if they were sort of ugly and weren’t all the right sizes.
Do all low income, poverty and homeless kids get clothes? Probably not. They should get tribal clothes too.
Non-Native kids are always in need of clothes, for winter especially. I recently wrote a few stories for My Las Cruces about how these local shelters and aid foundations are stepping up their charity game this fall and winter to collect jackets and clothes for kids and adults who cannot afford these.
I don’t know where this blog is going but I think I have some extra cash to purchase a small, fashionable, jacket for a needy kid.

1 comment:

  1. Yes, it's that time of the year for giving. I am greateful for our tribe for helping these children with tribal clothes. They aren't the most fashionable but they keep the kids warm! I received tribal clothes when I was in grade school and I too felt shame and didn't want anyone to know that my parents couldn't afford school clothes for me but after putting on my new jacket, it kept me warm while I walked through the snow to the bus stop. I didn't care what anyone thought, just so I was warm!