Contemplating Takwâkin ᑕᑳᐧᑭᐣ
(It is Autumn)
“I try to keep the promise. The breeze was warm; yet a reduced warmth from what we had known just a month ago. The breeze rushed past us; lifting some leaves which swirled around us.”
A young girl parts the trees. Several leaves fall.
Alssome-Sokanon (meaning ‘Independent Rain’)
This name is not in italics. It is not a foreign name. Alssome emerges from the trees and wades through the brown, red and yellow leaves which rustle in their dryness.
“nôsisim” (‘great- grandaughter’) – “come on.”
Alssome-Sokanon lifts some leaves from off the ground, enjoying their sounds and the colours.
She then stands up, turns, and asks “Was it always this way?”
Sorry nôsisim… what did you say”?
âniski-ohtâwîmâw (‘Great-Grandfather’) is aged and thus it is hard for him to hear; moreover, the wind is blowing.
“Moshom” (grandpa) , she asks her Mooshom.
“Was it always this way…?”
When I was younger you mean? he replies.
“Well yes, it was very different then.”
There have been many changes since the Old Dominion.
Well, I can remember my Nokhum telling me about the ‘removal’. Actually, there were … ‘several’ removals.
You mean the Res School time?
There was that yes. But there were more.
The ‘first’ removal happened “under the sign of a cross.” It was a misuse of that symbol of course. Yet that’s what they used when they came to take away our people.
We had to look within ourselves to understand who to trust.
We learned that their words did not match their actions.
And the “Second” mooshom?
The second removal happened – ‘without a cross’.
Yet both times they said they were ‘helping’ us.
(the wind picks up)
And what about the ‘WestCorp Removal’?
Ah yes. I did mention that refer to that once by the lake.
No. That one was different.
That removal took the mihkokwayawêw . Those people would not agree to the masinihcikewin ᒪᓯᓂᐦᒋᑫᐃᐧᐣ which began in the CondoCities.
This ‘taking’ took time. They used what were called LRTs. They used the big sport buildings to hold the “trouble makers”
Were they troublemakers?
Not really; they just wouldn’t go with the game.
The hearts of the CEOs – ‘were cold.’
The people were relocated into the big CondoCities.
Big towers where the people were watched all the time.
You mentioned on our walk last year a “peopletag”?
“What was that”?
Child. This is a painful memory. Mooshom winses; then there was a distant look in his eyes.
okimâskwêsis ( ᐅᑭᒫᐢᑫᐧᓯᐢ chief’s princess)… it was an implant which the people. No. The opamihiwew ᐅᐸᒥᐦᐃᐁᐧᐤ subjects) of WestCorp had to have inside them.
“For people to stay safe”?? “That’s what they told them, eh heh”
“It was to watch the people.”
They began to say to one another “He is “moyeyimaw ( ᒧᔦᔨᒪᐤ ).” (‘People are aware of him. He is under suspicion’)
“They turned on each other. They began to watch each other.”How long ago did I speak of this… what a mawinêhotowin ᒪᐃᐧᓀᐦᐅᑐᐃᐧᐣ challenge. The people were in kaskitipiskanohk (ᑲᐢᑭᑎᐱᐢᑲᓄᕁ in deep darkness)
Mainly the people in the south.
The ayisiyinowak and the otayamihâwak in the north said no to these ways.
The iyinisiw ᐃᔨᓂᓯᐤ (wise ones) knew that the simâkanis of the old Dominion had tried to do the same thing with the Inuit. I think it was in the 1930s up there…
(The sound of the browning leaves crunching beneath their feet)
I remember myself pondering Hmmm. Yes. How did it come to this…?”
How did this all come?
The southerners – were sleepwalking.
They traded their tipêyimisowin ᑎᐯᔨᒥᓱᐃᐧᐣ NI liberty, freedom; birthright – for a bowl of kîkisêpâ-mîciwin ᑮᑭᓭᐹ ᒦᒋᐃᐧᐣ (porridge).
So what did those Inuit do?
They said “no”.
“And the southerners”?
They did not understand.
Did not understand? Weren’t they all educated? I thought they all graduated from the unis? we learned.
They they went there.
“But they forgot who they were”
They did not remember where they had been.
They became “a people of no past and no future.’
‘In the Old Dominion’
Canada… It was a land of beautiful forests. Green; golden. Well, the forests are returning now.
The picture of the universe is already inside your heart. This picture is mirrored in those who have walked rightly. Observe them. Learn from them.
You must be spiritually discerning. “Don’t do ten times. Think ten times – but do once.”
Help them learn how to nisitohtamowin (ᓂᓯᑐᐦᑕᒧᐃᐧᐣ understand).
“I have kept the promise. ‘I have told the story.”