High Point Enterprise Newspaper Archives Dec 23 1973, Page 71

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High Point Enterprise (Newspaper) - December 23, 1973, High Point, North Carolina She tells of being half Breed by Joy Stilley a new features writer new York apr a Book by Maria Campbell who is of Cree Indian and scottish descent reads like fiction but the Story she recounts in her autobiography is All fact a childhood marked by poverty and discrimination Quot Mother at age 12 to her half orphaned Brothers and Sisters marriage at 15 to a White Man who deserted her Mother of four children of her own by three different men prostitution heroin addiction alcoholism a suicide attempt and a nervous breakdown. Now 33, drug free sober remarried a to Indian writer Singer and composer Shannon two feathers a she is devoting her energies to helping not Only half Breeds but Quot All oppressed Quot it was hard to write about some of the things a miss Campbell acknowledged in an interview Here. Quot but i wanted to Tell the world outside that we Are people we cry and laugh and Are Hurt and feel love like everyone else and they should treat us like human beings. And i Hope the Young native people who read the Book can identify with it and wont have to feel the Way i did a that surely nobody else Ever went through the thin faced Black haired and Blue eyed author says she is not bitter at either the indians who called half Breeds Quot half people or the Whites who called them a a dirty but she is angry at the system which she says brings oppression about. Quot there is no excuse to put labels and colors on people a she says in her soft voice. Quot we can t say to Indian and in a fighting for indians alone a or to Black and in a fighting for Blacks the ultimate aim is to All come miss Campbell who lives in the Canadian province of Alberta has a weekly column in an Indian newspaper writes radio and television scripts and travels extensively to native communities. Fluent in Cree Blackfoot and Chippewa As Well As English and French she is Able to talk to audiences in their own language. Quot i try to make them understand that our contribution to the world is really important Quot she explains. A we have writers poets artists people who sing and write music. It you can to take Pride in who you Are and what you Are. You can to Start to go out and change things. A she has some Happy memories of her Early years in the Backwoods of Northern Saskatchewan where her trapper father taught her to set traps shoot a Rifle and ride horseback. There was warmth in the close knit family and Community laughter dancing and celebrations. Then there was her Cree great grandmother Che chum whose companionship and Wisdom Quot shaped my whole Way of thinking politically As Well As humanly. Before she died at the age of 104 she saw that i was finally getting involved in something that was but miss Campbell also recalls Quot the hunger the shame whiff11 people laughed at us because we were different. The White kids at school made fun of us because for lunch we had Bannock spread with lard and filled with wild meat or else whole roasted gophers. Quot and the kind of Indian history studied in school made native people look so Gross and ignorant a she adds. Quot the seed of discrimination is planted at Home but the educational system encourages it and Broadens As the oldest of eight Motherless children with the welfare people Quot sitting on our Doorstep threatening to take us All and put us in orphanages i went out and found myself a husband thinking it would keep us All together the Rich White Man she married at 15 turned out to be a very poor Man who abandoned her and the kids were taken away after All. Quot i was alone with my baby in Vancouver a she relates. Quot i went to work As a prostitute started using drugs became addicted to heroin started drinking. There was nothing bad i did t try. Finally my Che chum who was in Saskatchewan came to me in spirit and stayed with me All the things i could t understand seemed to fall away and i was Able to go on under my own High Point Enterprise sunday december 23,1973 7e f t

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