His older cousin reminded him of the story that was told to them when they were very young by the old woman who had the gift of seeing things. very few people had that same gift but many laid claimed to it.
When Toshkoshi disappears the world will really change and we will all be sad that we didn’t do anything to help them.
This story stayed close to his heart when he was asked to take part in action.
They were speakers of change. Young community women and men who wanted action to take place because the world was changing too fast. People were not taking care of the land the way that they should.
They learned the language and spoke the words that made people get excited about making change. People nodded their heads in agreement. Actions plans, strategies, UN declarations, Consultation, and the lack of it, were common words being thrown around and used. Shifting economical and political landscapes was on the menu for consumption for all that attended.
They spoke with passion about what they were wanting. All young and eager. The same way they were taught how to think when they went to university. Using academics and critical thinking as their medicine to protect them.
“Our people have been left out of any plans once again for saving the earth.”
It was the same thing that happened to the saving of animals. Policy that was going to be good for you.
Nicely dressed they could fit into any corporate office. They would make this their choice in how they wanted to live in the world they shaped. That was good.
“My Grandmother was a strong woman” The young mother said. “She was firm and spoke out when things were not right. She was mean and I am going to be mean like her to get what we need.”
Her grandmother spent years in a residential school and became mean and mad at the world there. The Nuns and supervisors laughed at her when she first arrived at the school.
“What a scruffy little girl you are.”
They tore her away from her mothers arms and took her away screaming while her mother wailed at the door being forced out by the priests. Back to the buckboard wagon and driving away never to look back at the building that swallowed her daughter. I hope I see her next year was all she mourned for the next 11 years.
The nuns took the shaking little girl to a room when they took off all her clothes. They took scissors and cut her long braids off. There they laid, on the floor, as she stared down at them. Horrified to what just happened but there was no one to give her comfort and these French nuns just smiled their false face smiles because they knew they took her spirit. She was only 6 years old.
For 11 years she learned to be angry and mad.
Her daughters and grand daughters learned that this was an acceptable way to live life. Be firm and use anger to make the point.
Toshkoshi was feeling the changing weather and it hurt its skin.
“I think the humans have forgotten about us,” they said when they had council.”They made Nisk’aagulaga’s warmth hurt our skin now and these sores will not heal anymore. My children are not being born in the normal way. They are sick and I don’t think we have much time to live. Perhaps we should go back to the spirit world and live there forever.” Most of them agreed with that.
“They will be sad if we do this though,” one of the others spoke up. “Some of them are trying to change their brothers and sisters. They don’t want us to leave.”
“But they are angry with themselves. They only want to be mad at their older people and the visitors from the other side of the world. All they know is how to blame them for everything that happened to them. Even if they want to change things they are not being human. They forgot to sing our songs to stay and the songs of their clans. The swimmers are sick as well.”
“Well the Humans are still asking what to do.”
They agreed that they will stay for awhile yet and wait for the songs to be sung once again.
Toshkoshi was kind and understanding but time is short.
This is what he thought as he listened to the people carry on the meeting.
(Jan. 27, 2016)