It was just a fun time :-)
By the time I was getting a roller-coaster routine down my mom was done with summer courses and it was school time. Around this time everyone needed new clothes!!! Luckily for us poor Dine kids there was a Tribal Government Ration Santa!
There was something about those days when the words Tribal Clothing floated around school. Getting tribal clothing could be used to make fun of people and their disadvantaged economic backgrounds (having material things and rich parents were all the rage back then; sad but true). Tribal Clothing were donations of clothing that were dispersed throughout the various school districts on Dine-land. They were then handed out to students with the economic demographics that warranted assistance- which was almost everyone!
Come on now! Anytime you get free clothing is cool!!! However tribal clothing time could also be a time you would cross your fingers and pray that you didn't get anything "uncool." The plastic bags the clothes came in were the clear 30 gallon size janitor specials! There were the occasional teasings because someone had underwear visible from the bags!
"Ewww. Her panties are showing!!!"
"Look she got hamburger shoes!!! Ha ha ha" Of course no one was immune from the teasings because it was a mixed-bag of luck when it came to what you got! Hamburger shoes were generic brown dress shoes. They were cheap and lo and behold this is what I found while cleaning out the house this past weekend!
Sometimes you would get lucky and get the now "fucking awesome" Converses and the (anyone member these???) Kangaroos. The Kangaroos were nifty and groundbreaking cuz' they had a pocket with a zipper on em'! I loved those shoes!!!
Tribal Clothing was a godsend to parents in the early days of the Navajo Nation. The Seventies, when I was a little girl, were rough times for a lot of folks. My parents were young thirty-somethings who were in university during the summers and working at entry-level positions at the local boarding school the rest of the year. We had a two bedroom trailer that we called home at the time. Horribly hot summers when the air-conditioning was on the fritz and a horrible cockroach infestation were the nightmares associated with that trailer. My dad and mom may have been making just above minimum-wage at the time while supporting the three of us rugrats (the other two came later).
Years later my dad finished University and bought us a brand new spanking home! Nothing fancy just a three-bedroom, one bath, and no fence home. These homes are part of the housing development agency here on the reservation which is another blog in itself! It was a step-up from the trailer believe me!
These days with all the high gas prices and need for more "things"- I'm thankful this program is still ongoing. My niece, who has absolutely no shame in social settings, proudly proclaims, "I'm getting tribal clothing!!! Yay!"
Gee. I wish I was still eligible for that program!!!
On a totally unrelated note!
Go Team USA!!!