All text and audio copyright, 2015 by the Native American Development Center ©
Lana: My full name, Lana Marie Washinawatok. It's going to be that. My Indian name is [...] which means taking care of others. My last name, Washinawatok, means the concerned one. I am a Menominee Indian from Wisconsin. I am the daughter of five children; two are half-sisters and one is half-brother, but I have two biological brother and sister. I'm the youngest daughter. There's three of us with my mom and dad.
My education, I went through school. I graduated. I did graduate but I went through several different school curriculums because my dad was a iron worker and we moved all over the United States. To all of that, I got a diploma but all my credits were all over the place but they were managed to gather them all together. I graduated in May 1991 from Flandreau Indian School. I did pretty good with honors, too.
Employment, is right now, I am employed full time. I work for the KMHA Radio 91.3 in New Town, North Dakota. I am the traffic and billing director and do some DJ talk show. I didn't tell you that.
Lorraine Davis: I guess. You got to tell me about that.
Lana: God bless me with that. I'm enjoying that opportunity right now but I did go through quite a few employments. I've always managed to be in management or directing something. I think there's a little message there for me if I look back at my history.
Where did I grow up? Well, there's five different states of growing up: Wisconsin, Illinois, Detroit, Michigan, Minnesota and Iowa, Muscatine, because my dad was an iron worker. I've seen a lot of racism for being Indian. We ended up in a lot of different communities. Mostly it was white communities. There was a lot of racism there where we got teased for being Indian. The kids would get on the buses and they do the little, "Wu, lu, lu, lu. Where's your TVs and spick and span?" They called me and my sister and just did mean things to us with the lockers at school.
Davis: Is this in Wisconsin?
Lana: No. One was in Duluth, Minnesota and then down in Iowa, Muscatine. There was another girl. She was black. The one we were walking to the park but we're just ... We like everybody but they treated us different. Then, she took our lunches and smashed them on the ground and I had to fight. I don't know if I should talk about that.
Davis: Well, that's your life. Let's talk about it, anything and everything.
Lana: There was a lot of violence in my life for me from grade school and growing up and just trying to fit in because every time we get to school, it was like, we won't finish the school year because my dad would come in and we'd have to drag up. That's what he called it because he was iron working.
"Time to drag up." Then, we moved to the next city, the next state. My dad would have to go there first and then we would meet him. It was all over the place. I met a lot of people and I don't have ... Like some kids, people talk about their friend from, "Oh, we grew up together. When I was a kid, we went to head start or whatever." I don't have any of those. I just have from high school. I think the last year.
That was growing up. All over the place, lots of lots of different racist. We're in a Chinese community, we're in the Mexican communities, we're in the Asian communities. That was really different, but my dad got us a place wherever he could find us a home. Then, mom made it home.
Next one. My experience as a child was, I don't if I shouldn't talk about like alcoholism was a great and when I grew up, my mom did drink a lot.
Davis: Yes. Talk about your whole experience whether when you grew up, where these things took place. Where were you? I think that matters, too.
Lana: Okay. When I was growing up then, that goes back to one of the one times I do remember mostly was in Milwaukee when I was probably maybe 6 or 7. I could remember, my dad was talking about something when we were home last month. My mom would drink and my dad was working all the time but she was an active alcoholic.
She was really mean to me. She did stuff like tied me up and put me in closet and it was always me getting beat up with the stick. Then, she'd pull my ear until I would past out. Then, there was a time, that's when my dad was talking about last month was, he remembered the time because we were coming from Milwaukee and we're going up to the reservation for Easter. My Uncle Biddy was following behind us and then we got behind. We pulled over at the road because ...
Lana: Okay. Growing up, I think the one thing I do remember was, like I said, that I was 5 or 6, I don't know, in Milwaukee, and then we were going up north for Easter. My mom had pulled my ear. I don't know what I was doing in the car, but anyways, I came too when I was on the back of the car. Hold on to the car and my dad and my uncle were standing over me. I remember my dad asking my mom, "What happened?", and she wouldn't tell him. Then, I had to look at her and she gave me a look like, "Don't tell.", because my dad didn't hit us at all. Not that he didn't want to discipline us but he just didn't do the disciplining like my mom.
Anyways, I remember those times, how my mom would be and then taping me up in the closet and leaving me there. It was just terrible. I remember, we moved to another time. This was when I was a little older. We moved to Iowa, Muscatine. I was down there and there was some stuff going on. I know my mom was still drinking but my dad was sober then. There was some stuff going on and it was just weird with my mom. She was hitting me. The room had this big mirrors and there whatever. I don't know. She just wouldn't stop hitting me and just kept hitting me and hitting me and hitting me. Nobody else was home. I just remember her being the evil and mad.
My dad came home from work or whatever and I was a little sore whatever, but I couldn't tell him nothing like what had happened, what she did to me. That went unlooked. Even my sister and brother sometime didn't know what was happening to me because I didn't want to tell them. I was scared because I always wanted my mom to love me. When I think about things like I just wanted her to love me. Maybe that was her way of telling me she love me, but it wasn't a good way.
Here, we moved to Shawano, Wisconsin because they finished the job down there in Iowa so my dad got another job up in Tomahawk, Wisconsin. We moved back home and then that's when things got pretty bad where my mom left my dad. They divorced. My dad left us with my mom and that was at the age of 12. I remember that. I was 12 years old and we're all in the front room and my dad was crying. Everything was going on until my dad was taking my brother. Me and my brother were really, really close. We did everything together. He left with my brother then us girls stayed there.
Well, I was hanging out with this one girl and we went to the store. My mom was drinking a lot and the guy she met came, moved in and he was a drinker, too. I just didn't like him or whatever. Anyways, I was with the girl and we're at the Super Value, stole a candy bar, and we got caught so I went to the jail. They took us to the police department and my mom had to come and get me and then came home. She made me take off all my clothes and then she found a big board and then she start beating me like the last time, but it was worse because she had this board and then she broke my arm. There was this big whelp all over my body. I know she was drinking.
The next day, I had to go to school and I had Phy Ed that day and he had to bring a note in. I went in to ask her for a note. I just remember her saying, "You ain't getting no damn note. Just tell them what the hell you did." I went to school and then I went to gym class. The teacher wanted to know why I couldn't participate in physical education. I said, "I hurt my arm." She was like, "Well, let me look at your arm." Then, I lifted my arm, my shirt up and there was the board marks and my arm was broke. Next thing you know, all the social workers and the police came and stuff like. I got took away from my mom and then my dad had to come get us.
I felt bad because I didn't want to leave my mom. I loved her. Here, they were taking me away. Then, I was scared again because I didn't want her to hurt me again. She told me to tell them, and I said, "Well, I got in trouble. I stole candy bar and my mom ...", because when start questioning me. Anyways, I got myself off, fix stuff, and then they sent us to a foster care because my dad had to drive from Duluth, Minnesota. That's where my dad went for the next job. He came down, got us. We were up there and I was really messed up from that.
Well, I was waiting for my mom. I ran away from the ... We're waiting for my dad. I ran away from the foster home. I got to a phone and tried to call my mom. When I did get a hold of her, she told me some bad things. I can't remember but not to call her ever again. Something like that. I hang up the phone and I went back to the foster home. It was on a farm somewhere. I waited for my dad and I felt really alone then because my mom didn't want me no more.
My dad came, finally. He picked us up. We went up to Duluth, Minnesota. He was sober. He's going to AA meetings, had us involved in Alletine and we were trying to get through our life sober. We did fairly well but there was a lot issues so he got us in the counseling but it still didn't help, I don't think. At that time, he found Flandreau, the boarding school. Somebody recommended it to him. We all got sent to Flandreau in 1984-85 school year for a freshman.
I went out there, had fun, met a lot of people and then got kicked out. I got kicked out with two Menominee girls that were going back to Keshena, Wisconsin where my mom was at. Again, I wanted to go by my mom so I switched my ticket and ended up in Wisconsin instead of going to Duluth when they ship you out.
I got back to Wisconsin and showed up at my mom's door. She was looking at me like, "What the fuck are you doin' here?" I was like, "Well, I got kicked out of school." Then, she's like, "Well, you might as well come in." I remember that. It was snowing so I went in the house. Anyways, I was staying there and lot of drinking and partying she was doing. Her and Paul, that was his name. They would go out a lot and she'd come home and he'd beat her up and stuff. I was always trying to help and keep her safe.
One night, they came home and they were drinking. He turned on the radio and the speakers were really loud so I unplugged them from up because he put some speakers upstairs. I unplugged the speakers and then he come charging up there. He was swearing at me and saying things. I grabbed my table and then I just swung it, flung it at him. Then, he grabbed and jumped on top of me and start pounding me and beating me up and then dragged me out of my room down the stairs. My mom got involved. He was beating her up and me up and then I ran on the door because he had her.
I ran out of the door. All of a sudden, I heard a gun go off. It was when I fell to the ground way down on the road. I looked over and I thought I was dead. It was cold. It was like getting morning light, day light. I just looked up. When I've seen him standing on the porch with the big shot gun. He was shooting at me. I was all beat up and I didn't know if I was dead or not. I got up because I was laying in this ... The paddle had ice over or whatever. I broke the ice on it. I'm laying there and that's when I looked up and seen him. I got up and ran to Carol Lynch's house. I got there and then I called my Uncle Isa. I called the police.
My Uncle Isa came. He went over there and pounded him up and stuff. The police came. I don't know. It just turned into a big thingy. Again, my mom was mad and didn't want me there. My stuff all out and just chose him or whatever. They flew off to California. He avoided the charges or whatever. She left me, abandoned me. I had to go find the aunt to stay with her. I stayed with the aunt and lived there for a long time because my mom never came back. She stayed out in California with him.
I managed to live with my aunties and uncles, going to school on and off. My sister came to the reservation. She got pregnant and got involved with somebody. I moved in with her and stayed there to 10th, 11th grade. Then, I met my boyfriend and fell in love, dot, dot, and got pregnant. Here, I ended up ... Wait, no. My mom was still there. She had to stay from the court. Paul took off after the beating. Paul took off and then she was still there. We were at the house and then I met a boy and I got pregnant. She must have knew I was pregnant and I didn't know because I ain't know nothing about sex or nothing. She never talked about it or nobody did.
She called my aunt and they took me to the clinic. The next thing, I was driving to Milwaukee with my aunt, my grandma, and my mom. I went to this big gray building. That’s all I remember, just feeling my whole life like it was just awful feeling that just ripped out of me. Something died that day. Anyway, I had an abortion. We got back to the reservation. It was the next day, I went to school, trying to understand everything that happened. I came home, then everything was gone in the house. That whole day, she must have let people just take whatever and left me a bag of clothes but everything was gone. The house was completely empty. She flew off to California by him.
My aunt pulled in. That's how that happened and she said, "Well, I'm supposed to take care of you." I went with my Auntie Tinker and went lived there for a little while but her son was mean because he had a girlfriend. I don't know. She said something so we all, we're arguing and fighting. I packed my bags and walked down the road. My Uncle Biddy live down the road from where my Auntie Tinker lived. I went moved in there, stayed there. Then my sister got her life, started making baby. I moved in with her and then went to school. That's when I met my boyfriend who I got pregnant by. He was abusive but I stayed with him and had a baby.
We tried to live together with my sister and stuff but there was a lot of drinking and drugs involved in there. No, before him, I think my mom ... I'm trying to think when she came back. She came back for a while. Anyways, some part in there, it's a little blurry but she did come back and we were there. I was hurt about a boy. She was saying things. All I remember was she pulled out a bottle of Seagrum 7 and 7-Up and set it under the table and then handed me a big bottle of pills and told me I make sure I took all of them. I sat on the other end of the table and she sat on the other one.
I was taking these pills and next thing you know, I woke up. Apparently, I was in the ICU for a week. Nobody heard from her, nothing. They didn't know where she went or anything. She never came and seen me. I almost died, I guess. I don't know all the details but my sister her said she ... When I was in the hospital, she came to me and it was like she took my hand and it put it on her belly and said, I couldn't go nowhere because I needed to help her take care of the baby. I guess after that, I must came back to world or whatever.
I didn't die. Then, I got released and my aunt came picked me up, I think. I don't even remember. It was sad because my mom never came, never came. Then, she was gone again out of my life. I didn't hear from her, talked to her again. I met my boyfriend and then got pregnant. That was abusive, just a lot of abuse, like seven years we were together. Drinking and I didn't really get into pot but I would smoke it because he did. I didn't want my baby to not have a dad so I stayed with him and then his parents will live with them. They drink too but not in the house and stuff. Me and Brian got to leave a lot because they would take care of the baby. Today, when they will get it enabled us but they took care of the baby. It just was that whole circle of abuse. I didn't know how to get out of it because I thought that was what I ... He loved me and we had a baby together.
Then, I got pregnant again and then, I was in the same circle. It was fight, fight, break up. We had Donovan and that was when I finally ... The last beating was, I found him at the bar with some other girl. I didn't say anything to him but he see me walking and then I just decided then I'm done. I was leaving. I didn't say nothing to him. He came out, grabbed me and started with me around like I did something and yeah, beat me up. That's where I got that scar in my head because he slammed my head into the gas tank and then just left me laying there.
Anyways, that was it. I never went back to him. I stayed away from him. I went on with my little life. I was in the city that I moved to Green Bay. I moved off the reservation because I was on the reservation with Brian. I got to the city. Things just got more increased and violent. I met a football player for Green Bay Packers. I got involved in that lifestyle. It was kind of fast-phased. The glamorous life and doing fancy things and stuff. I managed to find another abusive. He was abusive and controlling and hitting. I'm scared to leave. Then, I felt I couldn't leave because it was so fancy and fun and all the money and the nice car. Me, being pretty, it was like, "Ah, you know, I'm cool or whatever."
We did a lot of drinking. He did drinking, too and out in the clubs. Then, I got away from him. I was dating somebody else but he got through the apartment. I was a locked complex but he got through. There was somebody at the door with flowers. I thought it was my new boyfriend. I opened up the door and it was him. He dropped the flowers down and just start beating me. I ended up in the hospital. We were going out that night but he also hit my son. We're all down in the hospital. They took me to the golden house that was called in Green Bay. I went there and my face was all puffed up with a shoe print on. The left side of my face, if somebody looks at me, I can feel it. It looks different now. The doctor said I was never going to see again out of my eye but I can see really good.
My life was, I don't look to rough but anyways, it's there. There was the violent again in my life. Through all this chaos, I ended up pregnant with my middle child, Derese. There was a lot of things going on. The violent was high, intense, and my partner who was really bad, burned my apartment down. He was looking for me. That's when my dad got concerned and intervened because it was around Thanksgiving. I was on the res partying but they couldn't find anybody. The apartment was burned down by the fire department and everything contacted up north and people were looking for me. I didn't even know why. Anyways, I ended up, my dad found out. When I got there, everybody was all, "Oh my God.", and hugging me and like, "Where were you? You know, your place is all burned up. We didn't know if you were in there." This and that. I don't know. I just didn't think how serious.
Anyways, a week later, I went back to apartment with my dad. I had to clean all my apartment, figure my life out and hide from him. My dad signed me in. I was really mad. Then, I found out I was pregnant. It wasn't from that guy. That was from another guy. I have that little chaos in my life where I was like, "Oh, who the…”
Davis: How old were you up at this time?
Lana: Twenty two.
Davis: Twenty two.
Lana: Twenty two years old. Derese was born in 1994. Well, I was 23 probably because Donovan was born in '92. In between that 2 years, there was a lot of stuff that went on, from living the reservation and going into the city. Derese was born in '94, August 18th, 1994. Good year and a half, it was just crazy; drugs, drinking, clubbing, partying, men, just out there and getting beat up and thinking that was all love. Then, I went through and my dad signed me in and then found out I was pregnant. The racial thing came because I knew it was a black man. I was pregnant by a black man. Everybody was like, "We don't know how we're gonna accept the bi-racial child." There's really heavy racism in the Fish family. It just wasn't heard of. My grandma had 17 kids. It was like, "How do I bring this little girl into this world?"
I almost had an abortion but then I didn't. Something told me not to. I was just like, "I'm gonna do it. I'm gonna keep this baby and take care of it if it's just me and her or him." I didn't know at that time. That's how I told my dad. "I'm gonna do it. I'm gonna have it. If you don't wanna be a part of our life ..." I could remember sitting in that family group meeting.
Anyways, I had Derese. She came out. She didn't look like she was black at all. She looked like a little native baby. She still does. People can't tell but yeah, her dad is African-American from Atlanta. She had cute little curly hair but what a blessing she was. Then, I raised her by myself for a whole year and then I met another, an Indian guy. We got together. That was in '96, because Derese was 2 years old. Me and Mike got together. Everything was all good and I was sober, he was sober, but I also attracted something not good again because he was abusive silently.
There was some stuff that was going on but I ended up getting pregnant. I moved in with him and we had [Opdiguizic ]in 1997. I was 27 years old. He came out of prison and he had taken his brother's life when they were drinking. In 1990, he stabbed his brother. One hit and he nailed him right in the heart. They were fighting over some food or something. Anyways, him and Arlene and John and them were all down in Milwaukee drinking.
I ended up trying to help heal him while we were together because he would have issues. There would be things that were happening. Honestly, I felt like I was counseling him and trying to keep him into that good. Then, I ended up pregnant. We were together and he didn't want his baby to be without his dad either, but there was the silent ... He didn't hit me. He never hit me. He might never put his hand on me, but it was just the silent abuse and verbal like he would say things, because I was white. I had white man in me and then the whole thing went to my daughter who was black. He was mean about it. He will just be like, "You and that nigger child," and stuff like that.
Anyways, God revealed what was really going on after two kids. Caleb was born and he was one years old, I left on April 19th in 2000. April 19th in 2000, I left Mike. I went in there and Derese wanted a hug and I always used to give her a hug and kiss goodnight because they were all my AA babies. I was 30 years old. I went in there, she was like, "Mommy, I need my hug." I was going to go give her a hug and Mike said, "No, I got it." He went down there and something told me to go in there. I got up and I was going down the hall and Mike stopped me and he was like, "What are you doing?" I was like, "I'm just gonna go give her a hug." He said, "I did already." He stood back in my way and I was like, "Get out of the way."
I go in there. Derese was there with the blankets curled up, clenching on her fist and over her face. You could just see her eyes all red. I was like, "What's wrong?" She was sitting there and I picked her up. I said, "What's the matter? Why are you crying?" She was looking at him. I just, "Don't you fucking look at him. You look at me. I'm here for you. What happened?" Then, she just dropped the blanket and she was like, "He choked me." I just turned around and told him to get out. I was just swearing and crying. I had to take care of her. He left and then the next day, I packed up my kids. I knew I couldn't stay. From everything I went through, what my mom did, picking Paul over me, I just seen it repeat itself. I got to go and I left him.
We moved and it was just us, kids. Then, I went through the big custody thing with Mike. He had a lot of money, a lot of money, because they were getting all their per cap. Anyways, I came back late while the judge awarded ... I have the papers that show I got custody. The attorneys that did the review and they interviewed people on his side. The guardium et lidum, they called them.
Anyways, they awarded me full custody and said the dad still needed some further developing and stuff like that. They gave me full custody. I had my panel of people that were there to support of me, out of his tribe that were there to support me. His mom worked for the judge for 25 years. They didn't even hear any evidence or nothing. We went in there and Judge Kennedy's like, "I reviewed this case and I'm overturning the whole decision giving the father full custody of these two children because he's financially stable and secure." My whole life changed. Everything I felt like I died. I went into like a white out. Everything was gone.
I walked out there and he got my two babies. I went drunk. I went got a 12 Coolers Light and just drunk and cried and just felt, I was mad at God. I was really mad. I was so hurt. I stayed sober, I had all these back up, why did He do this? On one of the visits, my daughter, we had to go drop them off. I was late, 8:01, and Mike came out and he ripped the babies out of the window and was swearing around like, "You can't be late. Shit, I’ll go to the court and make sure you never see him." They were just babies and he's walking away. My babies are over his shoulders screaming with their arms extended like they wanted to be with me. All I could do was cry.
I pulled out the yard and Derese was sitting in the front seat. I was driving and just that whole thing was reflecting back in my mind. Derese is like 4 or 5 and I'm 30. I was 30 years old and driving down the road. I knew where that turn was, I knew where that tree was, and I was coming on it and I was just like, "I don't wanna do this. I don't wanna live here no more. I don't wanna do this to my babies. They were very young enough to not know me and they don't have to suffer." I was going to drive into that tree and I had my hand on the middle of the truck and I was going fast. I don't know what that little girl. When I think today, it was God. All of a sudden, she just put her hand on my hand and she said, "I'm glad I don't have anybody to take me away from you."
Then, I just pulled over, stopped. It was like God told me I have one more. I have somebody to take care of. Take care of her. Then, I just grabbed her and hugged her up and told her I was sorry. I don't think she knew what I was going to do. Maybe she did. I don't know. Then, we survived that night. It was like not even a couple of nights later, something else happened with them kids and Mike. I go upstairs and I tell Derese and she'll tell it too. She will never forget that when I came up there, "Derese, you wanna go some place special with me?" She said, "Yeah." I had made these ropes downstairs and I was going to go hang us. Do her first and then me.
Davis: Oh my God.
Lana: Yeah. She was ready to go. I had everything all fixed up downstairs. Anyways, I was going down there. I went got her and I said, "Okay. I'll be right back up." Then, the phone rang. It was late at night like 12:31 AM. "Who the heck is calling me at this time?" Here, it was the chairman, my friend Gus. He called and I was like, "Hey, what do you calling me for?" He goes, "I was just thinking about you. How you doin'?" He still don't remember that but it was a moment I think God was working in my life. Then, we were talking.
Anyways, I didn't end up hanging. To that point of hanging us, we survived. We lived again. That was the last attempt to suicide through all that losing my kids. I ended up moving to Green Bay after that and went down to the city and got more deeply involved in drugs and alcohol. I started to sell drugs, picked up the cocaine. I got involved in that. That was from 2002 until 2009. I was selling drugs and drinking and living that lifestyle. That was all fighting, guns, everything you could think of. I was involved in that whole 8 years of being in that lifestyle.
I was going to college but I quit because the lifestyle doesn't let you. I got into 2 or 3 abusive relationships through that. I didn't visit my kids as scheduled like I had both. It was just hard. I stuffed myself with all the drugs and alcohol. I just kept thinking I don't need to visit them. They're better off without me, but then I'd missed them. When I come off of my cope binges or whatever, I would like, I want to see them. I go get them on a scheduled visit. It was always a problem because Mike reminded. I was not consistent and I wasn't and I hated hearing that. It kept me away from home but then, I still stayed involved in their lives.
It was this crazy then I got arrested in 2009. I was sitting at a stoplight, praying because I was going to deliver some drugs. I was just really tired in my life like I can't do this. "God, I don't know how to get out of it." Two weeks later, on December 23rd, 2009, police pulled me over and I was loaded with all kinds of drugs. The drug dealer just came from my house the day before, left me 2 kilos of cocaine. Everything was in my house. The only thing they found in my house was a little 50 bag, small amount of cocaine. What my aunt told them that I had given her. They charged me with possession and delivery. Even though I didn't exchange no money, they still charged you for that.
I went to jail and then got the charges. They were still on but got out of jail. In jail though, I was praying they wouldn't find what was in my house. They didn't. The charges, because they initiated the church warrant to go to my house and find out what was in there. It been get revealed so I took out if you don't. I was waiting because they didn't give me my charges right away. I went in to the police department without big bag of stuff on me and then went to the bathroom and was able to get rid of it all.
Right under there, knows his, whatever. I just know God had something to do with how that all because my hand came out of the handcuff and everything just ... I would have went to prison for probably 10 maybe, 20 years, if they have found out what I had on me and what was in my house but it didn't work out that way. I think God wanted something good to happen. That's what I was praying like, "Don't let them find it. I'll change my ways." When I got out of jail, I made bail and I went home. Well, my dad was with me. Then, he's like, "Well, when are you going to come up to the house?” Because you get kicked out of the city, kicked out of the house. They don't let drug dealers stick around. I told my dad, "I got to go do some stuff and then I'll be up there."
That's when I went home and I pulled all the drugs out of the hiding spot we had. All of a sudden, there was big bang on the door. I thought it was the FBI or the police and hear it was my dad. I was like, "Who is it?" He's like, "Dad." I just start crying then because I felt ashamed because of who my dad is on the reservation. He was like thirty-some years, holding a meeting and well-known in the community and here I was, cocaine addict.
Anyways, he comes in and he looks and he's like, because I just dropped the stuff on the ground when he said, “Dad.” Oh my God, I was so happy it was him and not the DEA. Here he came in, he was like, "What the hell? What is going on? What is this?" That's what I told him. This is what really going on. I'm just trying to dump all this. We went in the bathroom and everybody, him and his girlfriend helped throw it, flush it down the toilet and down the sink. We're breaking it all up. There was a moment when I wanted to and I was holding it, "Dang, I could make $500 off this little bag really fast. I need money. I'm gonna be going to jail." My mind go to prison but then my dad was like, "What are you doing?" I snapped out of it and I put it down the sink. It was a good thing he came because otherwise, maybe I don't think I would have done what I was supposed to do.
God set up another, lined me up with the right people at the right time. Then, I stayed sober. I got out of there and just met the right people kept falling into my place. I went to ... What do you call them things, they were having ... It's in the church. The Christian thing, 2 or 3 days. I forgot what she called it. We went to this church thing down in Milwaukee. I got saved. I went to the altar, rededicated my life to God. I did do it one time when I was 20. I was in Milwaukee when I was drinking and partying down there. Right after I had Donovan, I moved down to Milwaukee for 2 or 3 months and I was dating and his family was involved in the church.
That time I went to Milwaukee with my friend and got re-saved and just start living for God. Everything changed. It's been like that ever since. Everything in my life, I just keep going back to, I'm sober because of God and being saved. There's things I do different. I mean, I'm not saying I don't believe in the Bible but I still practice the native ways. I don't worship it like that but it's still a part of me when I'm combining it both. Both of them are in the same thing, God and the Creator. I mean, it's been that way for me. What I can see now a little bit, learning to this like all the abuse that I went through.
My mom right now, today, banned me out of her life again. I haven't talked to her for 9 months now. She told me to consider her dead to me. I've been just praying for that. I didn't feel like I did 20, maybe 15 years ago, because she was never there for me. It's always been like this with her. In and out of my life for a little bit and mean.
Davis: What tribes is your mom and dad enrolled in?
Lana: My mom is Menominee and Winnebago. My grandma Fish is Winnebago. I could go on a Winnebago roll but then my grandpa's Menominee. My dad side is Menominee and my grandma is a white lady. That's where the white comes in. I don't know if it's branch. A lot of these struggle was around drunk, being on drugs and alcohol. My mom and dad were alcoholics. Then my dad sobered up. I went in to my own drugs and alcohol and found the drugs more comforting for me. I also found out, too, I had ADHD. Whatever they want to call it. The cocaine, I guess, the reason. Through counseling, they said that I was probably so addicted to it was because it helped me calm. I wasn't in a daily like I didn't use cocaine to daily function. I did it every weekend or every couple of days. I'd be snoring and then I was damn high on my own supply when I need it. It was easy access. Drugs and alcohol were probably the basis of everything. I don't think I would have did stuff or went through where there was alcohol.
Davis: What was your turning point looking back?
Lana: When I went to jail. When everything was there saying I could go to prison. I didn't know if i was going to know what was going to happen. The way it all happened where I didn't get all the charges. I looked at that that God really put his hand on me. I don't know. Sometime, people think I'm weird. I don't know. Even my kids sometimes laugh at me when I say, God said. That's what I felt during that time. He said he was going to take care of me. There was just ... Even though I was scared, I knew that he was telling me something. I just couldn't hear him until I got later out of the jail and things that were happening. How did my hand come out of the cuff. How did they not find the drugs because it was so easy. There was a stool there. I just wish people could walk through my glass like know. How did they miss that?
There was some other things that were in the house that they missed. They tore up the whole refrigerator, the freezer, the bathroom cupboards. All, they dumped out cereal all over. This stuff was just really ... He just went out the stairs. That one room where there was no ... We were redoing it but the runners were there. There was a stool right there. You just have to step up on that and pull that little board, and there you would’ve found all the drugs. They had their canine units and everything in there. And it wasn’t found. That was when I know I had to do something and stay on this road. I have a friend over there, Tonya. Very strong, strong, evangelist? Is it called when they’re?
Davis: Yeah, sounds like it.
Lana: Yeah. She put her hands on me and just walked with me. Then it was every weekend we were driving two hours to Milwaukee from Shawano for “The church alive is worth the drive.” Little motto. She’d have little groups of girls going, us Indian women – all Indians going down to Milwaukee. Just getting into worship, and the spirit was there. I felt alive. That’s what saved me and Joyce Meyer. Listening to her, she really turned some things around. It started to pour out into my kids. All three of my kids have been incarcerated for drugs. The cycle is there. That’s all I’ve been doing now is praying for them. God is doing some work with them, but that's definitely where my help and how I overcame it was only by God. I can't give it to nobody else by Him.
Davis: Is that everything?