Freeze Flame Productions Inc

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Setbacks & Milestones: The Rizes and Falls

Part 3: Mini-Biography Vol.1

I thought I would make this my next entry in the series.  One of a few Mini-Bios that I have recently found to greatly help in this process.  It focuses on a significant aspect of my upbringing.  It doesn't reveal everything, but gives a decent explanation of how I, Red Brown, came to be...

A Short Biography of RED BROWN:
Self-Discovery & Embracing a Lost Identity

Conceived under the dancing skies of the Northwest Territory's Northern Lights, a young native girl gave birth to a baby boy she soon named Mason Dee Cretney, months later after returning to the City of Edmonton, Alberta Canada in September 1979. A ward of the province herself, this young native woman was convinced into putting the newborn up for adoption, as it may give him a chance for a better life within a family.

Days or Months later, depending whom tells the story, Mason was adopted by a couple transplanted from the Ontario capital of Toronto. The name Mason, was now changed whether by knowledge or not is unknown, to Randolph Ronald Freese and became part of a family.

Although, a loving family they lacked the knowledge that Randy was born a native and he was left uneducated of the culture and history of his people. It wasn't until years later they found that out. His parents had sat him down at an early age to reveal to him that he had been adopted and explained what that meant. Though young and possibly confused about this at the time, he kept it in the back of his mind and tried to make the best of what he had. Never a rich family, however, they made due with what they had, hard working people his parents were both self employed, and ran a business together.

When Randy was around 9 or 10, many older relatives starting passing away, but it wasn't until 1992, when a great support system of a grandmother passed away, that all the surrounding death began to affect Randy to some degree. Randy had an adventurous spirit and was an athlete at heart, active in both organized sports as well as other activities outside of those, he began to experiment with crime at an early age, mainly break and enters and with the many treasures he found, started making a little money here and there.

By the time he entered High School, he had become a seasoned criminal with only slight brushes with the law without consequence. This may have boosted his confidence to some degree as he became somewhat reckless or careless with his activities, which started to grow in progression, number as well as violence. Randy was always a fighter, but his outlet had mainly been sports to exhaust those tensions. Eventually, that element factored into his street life and his recent past began to catch up to him.

It wasn't until his inevitable incarceration in 1995, that his parents again looked into his adoption. They found out that he had a Native American bloodline, his birth mother had stated in some documents that she was of Cree ancestry. His parents, through visitor's glass over a telephone, were quick to blame his actions both on themselves for not knowing this earlier, but also on that fact. Considering possible stereotypes of the day. Throughout his period of incarceration, he did some reflection on his life at earlier ages only to realize many instances where he did feel like an outsider among his friends and family. Upon his release in 1997, he began to research all aspects that he could of both his family background as well as Native/Indigenous Cultures from Canada and around the world.

It wasn't until he asked for the documents from his parents that they suggested that he do a search to find his birth mother. He began that search first by requesting more information from the family services in Alberta that provided the original documents. He was surprised with what he had received, documents that contained his own birth name, as well as a family name.

In late 1998, after another shorter period of incarceration, Randy made a decision to do a further search.
After registering with the adoption services, in Alberta an Ontario, they told him that he would only be contacted if his birth mother also registered. That was obviously not good enough for a determined Randy. He took the family name provided and conducted an internet search of his own, discovering that the name had over 20 entries in both Ontario and BC, not his birth place, however, still valuable. He eventually decided to write letters, he chose the names from BC to see what would come of it. After minimal response, an anonymous letter arrived with a list of names in Alberta. He again wrote letters to those names, only to find out that about 7 of the 13 on the list were actual relatives. His first contact came in March 2000, when the phone rang repeatedly one night.

Randy had found a new Identity, he was a native, Cree and wanted to honour that in some way. He used his birth name's initials to create a modernized version a naming system he learned of, a way they once used to name the Inuit, with a Letter & Number. Randy Freese's birth name of Mason Dee Cretney became MDC187, he thought of it as his own death in a sense, the murder of another native identity. Later on, He also adopted the name RED BROWN, to represent both his own native/aboriginal heritage as well as Indigenous people as a whole. His own struggle may not have been nearly as bad, but after meeting his birth family and hearing their stories of the family's past. Randy(Red), found that he had made the right choice in embracing his Native ancestry.

After making contact in 2000, and met his Birth Mother later that summer as well as a bunch of other relatives in a partial family reunion. The Summer of 2000, became Red's journey of self-Discovery where he found out that there was much more to his family's history than just one native element.

He learned how some of Canada's aboriginal history factored into his own family, in both destructive and disappointing ways and already with a distrust of government and authority that had grown over the years through his own experiences. He learned that both his grandmother and Great-grandmother had happened to marry off reservation, at a time when this was very frowned upon. They both had their Native Indian Status stripped by the government at the time, only to be unaccepted into one community and ostracized by another. Both Red's mother and her mother had become provincial wards at an early age, taken out of their mother's care for the mere reasoning that the mothers were young and native. Two generations forced to grow up in foster care, and Red, the third generation separated from a family to grow up with a lack of knowledge of family history, and cultural education.

The name Cretney, in fact is not of Native origin, but is believed to be one of the oldest clan names of the Isle of Mann, a small country located amongst the British Isles, yet not officially part of the UK or subject to it's Monarchy. As the story was told to Red, four young men immigrated to Canada, all Cretney's, one of which happened to become Red's Grandfather, who's brother also passed away earlier this year at the tender age of 94. Red's Great-Grandfather was known to be Metis, with connection going back to the original Red River Metis Settlement, In modern day Winnipeg. The Metis ancestry has been learned to be a mix of Mohawk and Acadian French. The little bits and pieces, Red has been told about his own father state that he was living in Yellowknife, NWT where Red's Mother and he met and spent a short time together.

Red, although troubled by this news, found this new found knowledge to be a positive experience and enlightening in the sense that he was learning NOW. He had also cleared his mind of the thousands of questions that he had been asking himself over the course of his life and was able to gain focus on the next stage of his advancement and development. Over the course of his troubled adolescence, and periods of incarceration Red had come to the conclusion that is was music that had taken him from a careless street thug to a more educated and enlightened young man and wanted to share his experiences. A fire was lit to create an element of positivity & change for others with similar histories through music and entertainment. In 2003, RED BROWN ENTERTAINMENT was born and later incorporated into Freeze Flame Productions Inc. In 2006.

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