It’s going to be difficult to write about indigenous people in the North American continent without accompanying guilt and shame. First People are those who found a way to survive on a piece of land or a region for millenia, living and surviving as part of the ecosystems, taking what they needed and no more. Ownership of the Earth Mother was not a concept or a religion to those who worked in symbiosis with her.
Those who came here from across oceans found paradise, but few saw it as paradise as much as a commodity to exploit. The readings and drawings from those from across oceans depicted the First People as savage, primitive, and conveniences at best; inconveniences that needed to be neutralized at worst.
What the invaders did as soon as they were able was to “set a tone” that exerted dominance over the ways of the First People. There were methodical, relentless, and maniacal ways that extinguished the First People as much as possible. These ways continue to subdue remaining members of First People Nations, as well as effects a parasitic enslavement of our Earth Mother.
First People autumn
Pow-Wows revere Earth Mother
White devils dance while
First People and Mother Earth
Struggle – last winter.
The Odawa (also Ottawa or Odaawaa /oʊˈdɑːwə/), said to mean “traders”, are an Indigenous American ethnic group who primarily inhabit land in the northern United States and southern Canada. They have long had territory that crosses the current border between the two countries, and they are federally recognized as Native American tribes in the United States and have numerous recognized First Nations bands in Canada. They are one of the Anishinaabeg, related to but distinct from the Ojibwe and Potawatomi peoples.
After migrating from the East Coast in ancient times, they settled on Manitoulin Island, near the northern shores of Lake Huron, and the Bruce Peninsula in the present-day province of Ontario, Canada. They considered this their original homeland. After the 17th century, they also settled along the Ottawa River, and in the states of Michigan and Wisconsin, as well as through the Midwest south of the Great Lakes in the latter country. In the 21st century, there are approximately 15,000 Odawa living in Ontario, and Michigan and Oklahoma (former Indian Territory, United States).
The Ottawa dialect is part of the Algonquian language family. This large family has numerous smaller tribal groups or “bands,” commonly called “Tribe” in the United States and “First Nation” in Canada. Their language is considered a divergent dialect of Ojibwe, characterized by frequent syncope.
Frank J. Tassone is today’s host of dVerse. Frank says:
What does Indigenous mean to you? Is it your culture? Is there a time and place that speaks to you about the Indigenous? Or is there an experience of time and place that marks it as your own indigenous moment?
Use this as your jumping-off point and write a haibun that alludes to it. For those new to haibun, the form consists of one to a few paragraphs of prose—usually written in the present tense—that evoke an experience and are often non-fictional/autobiographical. They may be preceded or followed by one or more haiku—nature-based, using a seasonal image—that complement without directly repeating what the prose stated.
Learn more about Martin Panamick (1956-1977) here.