dVerse — haibun — indigenous — First People

Fish

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
Drumming elegy

White devils dance while
First People and Mother Earth
Struggle – last winter.

from wikiwand:
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.

image:“Fish”, by Martin Panamick

Learn more about Martin Panamick (1956-1977) here.

39 Comments Add yours

  1. Glenn A. Buttkus says:

    I had a feeling you would be knowledgeable about indigenous history, and you certainly did not disappoint. Our poems kind of run in tandem though I threw in some personal experience too.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      I don’t know as much as I’d like to. I look forward to reading your poem, Glenn.

      Like

  2. A sad chronicle, indeed, Jade! The least we can do is remember.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. In college I took a history course that studied the North American Indians.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      What do you remember most about what you learned?

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Rob Kistner says:

    Powerful stuff here Lisa! I am a mongrel bastard so I haveno sense of ancestry. Loved your share about the Odawa, thank you for posting that. I have always found it disgustingly ironic and hypocritical, that an invading European horde, that committed the most brutal, calculated, prolonged campaign of genocide in history, in the name of greed and religion — would have the audacity to label anyone else as savage… utterly unbelievable.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      I couldn’t have said that any better, Rob. Exactly!

      Like

  5. It is indeed a wicked history, so often misrepresented. There is, as you say, guilt and shame. Reparations would be better.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      I hate to suggest that gambling casinos are a monetary reparation, but they are in a way. True reparation would be to restore the original territories the bands/tribes inhabited.

      Like

  6. sgeoil says:

    Well done, particularly liked the second haiku. It is a long winter on the road to reconciliation.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Loved the work here. There should be guilt and shame and wishes to repair, to rehabilitate.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Thank you, Petru.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. kanzensakura says:

    Why shame? Were you responsible to the abuses shown to our people? I think sometimes we suffer from white guilt.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      I suffer from white female rage from what my ancestors did. They did their best to extinguish all First Nations/First People culture in North America.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. rivrvlogr says:

    I’ve always thought that the Canadian designation of “First Nation” is most appropriate. Well written, Lisa.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Thanks, Ken. One of my professors used the designation First People and she was a sharp cookie, so I use it.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. memadtwo says:

    Written with depth and perspective. (K)

    Liked by 1 person

  11. rothpoetry says:

    Yes, it seems like we have a lot to feel guilty about from the actions of our forefathers! Are we doing any better??

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      I don’t see any evidence of it, Dwight. I did hear on NPR on my ride home tonight that our governor, Whitmer, wants MI to replace Columbus Day with Indigenous Peoples Day. It’s a start I guess…

      Liked by 1 person

      1. rothpoetry says:

        Whether it will acturally happen remains to be seen.

        Liked by 1 person

  12. Sadje says:

    A brutal history of bloodshed and oppression.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. lifelessons says:

    The history of the world, over and over, consists of a bigger and more modern power taking over the indigenous one. Are we next?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      It would be poetic justice. If so, by what?

      Like

  14. calmkate says:

    Very well written Lisa, we have treated our traditional landowners shamefully after every invasion!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Thank you, Kate.

      Liked by 1 person

  15. My term paper which was on the watercraft structures of the Indians and how canoes were so awesome.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      There’s a lot of skill that goes into a good canoe, I would imagine.

      Liked by 1 person

  16. Lael-Heart says:

    Oooh, I have shivers. Beautifully done.
    My dad was aboriginal. I am a first inter generational survivor of residential school abuse.
    Thank you for the respect, compassion and empathy you’ve shown.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Lael, thank you very much for sharing part of yourself. It hurts my heart to know you were harmed. You are very welcome.

      Liked by 1 person

  17. The Indians were master craftsmen able to strip the bark off of birch trees and make a canoe in hours to take them up or down stream and then they could discard it and make another.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      That’s freegin impressive.

      Liked by 1 person

  18. This is a sad story that has been repeated over and over… though the way it has been done in the Americas is one of the most recent ones.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. twinravens says:

    I enjoyed your post! And of course love Martin’s work.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Thank you very much, and I am happy to highlight Martin’s work.

      Like

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