Over at StageLeft, Balbulican nails Frances Widdowson and her (poor) excuse (for) scholarly writing for what it is – racist and hatred directed toward Indigenous peoples in North America. She writes about the so-called “Indian Industry” in a book that you can look for on your own. I refuse to dignify it here.
I do have two things to say about her contempt of “traditional knowledge” and the “Indian Industry.” First, the Farmer’s Almanac is a pretty good example of “traditional knowledge.” It is based on common sense and keen observation over time which results in knowledge which has aided scientists in the testing of theories on weather and agriculture and a lot more over the centuries. So Widdowson is a fool to discount it. Her attack on Indigenous traditional knowledge is pure racism at its worst and most disgusting. As such, her book is a prime example of those who truly gain and benefit from the “Indian Industry” – those who exploit the situation with puffery and racist crap to hoist themselves up as self-appointed experts. Sadly, too many people eat that shit up.
Secondly, the real products of the “Indian Industry” are not rich Indians who exploit the poor naive White man of billions of dollars in guilt money. The real products are poor Indians — kept poor because they are the vehicle for White businessmen, academics, bureaucrats and idiots like Widdowson to accumulate wealth and even a measure of fame. Money doesn’t stick around reserves – it passes through with little benefit to the reserve and on to hardware stores, grocery stores, convenience stories, dental and health clinics, clothing outlets, schools, police forces, and a lot more off-the-rez. If on-reserve poverty were ever to be eliminated, there would be one helluva lot of White people out of jobs and losing business.
So head on over to StageLeft and say your piece. Because she (Widdowson) deserves it.