Saturday, June 15, 2024

Ogimaawab Sutherland: Ojibwe Teachings - Stories

The epoch of Wenabozho in "oral history", aadizookaanan (sacred stories). Traveled Turtle Island gives names to everything on it. On his journey, hungry, mischievous, & tricking/helping many beings on the way by shaping and molding them, Wenabozho played a major role in the evolution of creation.


"Gaagige-minawaanigoziwining" means the "Land of Everlasting Happiness." The Milky Way is known by many names in the Anishinaabeg language, including Jiibay Mikana, Mashkiki Miikana, Jiibay Ziibi, and Mashkiki Ziibi. The clusters of stars and many constellations represent the Anishinaabeg clans, or "gidoodeminaanig." In the night sky, our clans shine brightly in the Milky Way, forever telling our stories and those of our ancestors. Our ancestors gather and shine down onto the Earth, connecting us to the loved ones who have gone home. As I put out the spirit plate they put out stuff out for us too. Has we sleep in the night they come and visit us and offer us gifts. We call them into our ceremony. Everyday we have an opportunity to share with each other our stories.


Anishinaabeg ikidowin(an) noongom
Anishinaabeg word(s) today
Traditional Ecological Knowledge(s)
Anishinaabe-gikendaasowin(an) - Anishinaabe knowledge(s)
Gete-gikendaasowin(an) - traditional knowledge(s).
binaanoondan - acquire knowledge.
biziskenindam - have knowledge
"Niigaan Miikana: Path of the Future"
The Anishinaabeg teaching emphasizes that we must always prepare for the future, considering the well-being of others. We think about our children and the environment, which includes the spirits of the trees, water, and wind. When we contemplate the future, we include these elements because they are a part of us. Our actions reflect in the outcomes we experience. For example, yelling at a child can instill resentment, hurt, fear, or low self-esteem. Such actions affect not only the individual but also the community, as a traumatized child can impact the well-being of everyone. Similarly, destroying our environment makes it toxic, affecting our health and the health of the animals and other beings we share the world with.
More can be said... I ask myself should I share my whole insight. But it remains on a thought that was in another and shared with me long ago ..
"Gookomisinaan, Our Grandmother" the namer... Dibiki-giizis the moon...
Gookomisinaan, our beloved grandmother, was the first to bestow names upon us. As Wenabozho grew older, she passed this sacred gift to him. In our tradition, it is the role of our grandparents to give names. When Wenabozho and his siblings were born, gookomisinaan our grandmother, gimishoomisinaan our grandfather, was the one who named them.
One night, Gookomisinaan fell asleep and, in her dreams, she traveled to visit her daughter, Wenabozho's mother Wiininowaa. In the dream, she saw her daughter holding the newborn Wenabozho. As she watched, an amazing rabbit appeared, playing in the woods and naming everything it saw. Inspired by this vision, Gookomisinaan knew the perfect name for her grandchild.
She called upon the trees, inviting them to be niiyawen'enyag, which means "partaking in becoming family." Among them was the birch tree, known as wiigwaasaatig. This tree became Wenabozho's namesake, niiyawen'enh, symbolizing "partaking in becoming family." Wenabozho, in turn, called the birch tree Wen’enh.
Each tree offered part of it self, medicine, “giniginige a mixture of medicine” today instructed to use this medicine as an offering to all of life. Our "tobacco asemaa".
The bond between Wenabozho and the birch tree grew strong over time. When Wenabozho was a boy, the birch tree protected him from the Thunder Beings, offering him shelter from their fierce storms. Later, when Wenabozho needed to find his lost brother, the birch tree helped once more by offering its skin to make the first canoe, allowing Wenabozho to journey across the waters. Wenabozho wrote instructions for gete-Anishinaabeg on the birch bark, and the birch tree forever telling the story on the inside of its bark.
Despite their deep connection, Wenabozho and the birch tree had their disagreements. One day, during a particularly heated argument, Wenabozho, in a fit of anger, threw the scabs from his butt at his Wen’enh, the birch tree. These scabs clung to the tree, and today, we see them and know them as “chaga Shkitaagan.”
This story of Gookomisinaan, Wenabozho, and the birch tree teaches us about the importance of family, the tradition of naming, and the bonds that connect us, even in times of conflict. And whenever you see the chaga on the birch, you'll remember how it came to be and the deep relationship between Wenabozho and the birch tree.
“Umbilical cord odis” “odis s/he umbilical cord” in the Anishinaabe language. A sacred connection of the umbilical cord at birth. The cord is considered a direct link to the spirit world, as the womb is a sacred place for growth where the spirit connects to the body. It is believed that the spirit/baby chooses its parents. Anishinaabe tradition is to protect the womb, ensuring no negativity is brought near. The community celebrates the womb as the spirit and body develop, establishing sacred bonds. People speak to the womb not as a child but as an adult. Songs are sung, and words of wisdom are shared. Before the influence of Western ideology, the Anishinaabe understood that the heart and spirit first developed a connection, with the heart serving as the house for the spirit. The placenta is seen as the universe and a tree; it is perceived as a tree connected to the universe. An old Anishinaabe story tells how the first people climbed down a tree into this world, a symbol that continues today within the mother's womb.
At birth, the umbilical cord is cut, and it is saved along with some pieces of the umbilical cord and placenta. Family members would go out into the woods before 4 days and bury the placenta at the roots of a tree. The piece of umbilical cord connected to the child eventually falls off and is saved in a pouch alongside medicines such as cedar and other medicines. As the child grows older, they are given sacred bundles, and within these bundles, the piece of umbilical cord is placed among other sacred items such as a rattle, drum, moccasins, or ceremonial items. The child grows into an adult and wears this bundle in a medicine bag around their neck.

Friday, May 3, 2024

I Hate The Poor

When you hear of Winnipeg's Main Street, images of poverty, homeless and the pitiful. There are Winnipeggers who drive around the area just to take photos of people at their most vulnerable and desperate. You can see their efforts proudly displayed on social media sites. One of those sites is People of Winnipeg on Zuckerberg's (also referred to as the world's worst human) Meta platform. This page is filled with the ugliness of being poor, being on the streets, being vulnerable, and it is a page made to show how we can make fun of the poor, how much we hate them and how we ridicule them. 

We don't like to encounter the poor do we? We see them in their ragged clothes, their unclean look, the stench of rotting flesh, festering opening wounds, dripping puss, dried blood, and the indignity of not washing. We are repulsed. We don't want the stench to get on us. We don't want to touch their hands as they reach out for a "hand-out." If we do give them coin-change, we make sure to drop it in their hand or even drop it on the ground, because we fear the chance of getting the poverty touch us. We want them out of our space as quickly as possible. If we had our way, we would never see them. 

We are not afraid to voice our visceral disgust of the poor. We know the majority of people share the same sentiments. The poor are to be despised, to be ridiculed, to be removed from our neighborhoods, our communities and our society. To us, the poor, the homeless, are maggots just living off the carcasses of dead streets. They are just festering scabs on the concrete which we hold dear. We do not want the reminder of how unfair the world is, and the poor remind us of the inequities of society. 

The other day I was driving on Main Street, right in the heart of the poor. There was a gathering of people outside one of the shelters. As I drove by I saw ambassadors of goodwill working on a person. The person was laid out not moving, while the good will ambassadors were trying to revive the person. The ambulance and police were just arriving as I got the intersection greenlight. It is the reminder of what happens to the poor. Either they just go on with existing or they die, we don't know or do we care. 

"Not In My Neighborhood" is a good clean mantra to use. The poor can exist but not around me, around us. "Out of sight, out of mind." We have so many cute idioms to keep us clean from the ugliness that we are. It is not the poor that we hate, it us we hate. We are the cruel, the ugly, the true maggots of society. The poor are the measuring sticks we use to feel we are doing well in society. We look at the rich and long to be them.  We put the rich of pedestals, we worship, we watch their every move, we try to dress as they do, we carry our little Chihuahua's in bags because the rich do that. We watch tv shows and collect magazines of the "lives of the rich and famous" and it is our bible. We are the decrepit, the ugly, the morally repugnant. We look at the rich, we see we are not in their universe of decadence. We say to ourselves, at least we are not poor

I fucking hate the rich. 

Tuesday, February 20, 2024

Knowledge Keeper and Knowledge Giver

There are many beautiful things in the world. Of those beautiful things are youth. How beautiful everything and everyone is when they are young. Children should not be made to suffer. It is so refreshing to hear the laugh of a child. We don't hear laughter like that in adults (except for Indian Women at Bingo). Adults do laugh and some laugh with abandon and it is great to hear and see. But Children, there is something magical in their happiness. A child has so much to offer with their knowledge. They see the world in all its greatness. They can understand the wonder of it all. There is a Teaching of the Spirit, "we are Spirits before we become beings and we go back to Spirits." Children when they are born still remember and see they are Spirits. So they are connected until they age up and this is to the point where the kids forget their Spirit. Don't believe me? I guess. Why do small kids see people we cannot see? Imaginary? It could be the make it up, but it could be they are still connected to the Spirits. Of course there will be older children who have imaginary friends, but those children have grown past the age of remembering their Spirit. 

It is fascinating how anyone can provide knowledge to others. Little kids sharing with others, and nurturing their peers, or teaching, even to adults. When I was a younger husband and father, I was not the best, actually I was a jerk. I was ranting around the house, being angry at my wife, when my three year old took my wife by the hand and took her to the bedroom, as she is walking with her mom,, the three year old says to her mom, "I'm going to tell my Daddy to shut up." Thank the Heavens for small children. They are special gifts lent to the world. I have seen the kindness in children and have often thought, it is inside them and they show us. My youngest grand-daughter always wants to go to the playground at the school by our house. I take her and when the smaller grades are out there, the girls are always first to go play with my grand daughter-Noozhis. They hover, they hold, they hug, they encourage and they smile. What a world it is to be a young child. All that goodness and they are willing to share it. They share it with everyone. 

For whatever reason we tend to lose those Teachings the Children have shared, when we get older. Even the old wisest geezer doesn't carry the Teachings of the Children. We bestow our old people with titles of Elder, Wise, Teachers, Experienced, and Knowledge Keepers. We hold in high regards the Old people. Which of course they (well some of them) deserve. Living a long life has to come with some benefits. After all they must have done some positive things in their lives. Maybe with acts of collecting knowledge, skills and passing on those gifts to others. It is not always the case, the Old ones, will hoard their knowledge, they will expect all sorts of rewards, benefits, financial gain for their knowledge. They abandon any semblance of a Child's generosity of Teaching and nurturing to all. The thing is, there are situations when the Knowledge Keepers should be compensated: seminars, academic arena, lectures and other public information events. Knowledge Keepers, Teachers, should be given respect for their accumulated experience. Giving knowledge to other is the work of the generous. Can you imagine a situation where an Individual keeps his knowledge to their-self? It is the Elder, the Wise, the Experienced, the Knowledge Holder who refuses to share and they should walk with shame. It is like the person who knows how to get the copier machine to make clean copies but doesn't want to show anyone how to do it. Why be like that? It is not the children's way. The Children are Knowledge Givers and old people are Knowledge Keepers. 

The Awesome thing about people, young and old, there are Knowledge Keepers who are also Knowledge Givers. I am glad to know and have know many, have heard some of the Knowledge Keepers. You have knowledge so less hoarding and more sharing. Be like the Children, share with no expectation of rejection, reward, condemnation, commendation. Be a Knowledge Keeper who is a Knowledge Giver. 

A DECLARATION OF SPIRIT Gathering of Indigenous Wisdom Keepers Sending A Message to the World May 24-27, 2012 Sagkeeng First Nation Territory, Manitoba, Canada "Out of the lodges of our Peoples we are being told we have entered a time of great change and opportunity. The cougar, moose and eagles recently came into the community in the Sagkeeng Territory where the Gathering was to take place, and asked us to speak on their behalf about what is happening to the land. Supported by the Grandfather Drum, the Gathering of Indigenous Wisdom Keepers sends this urgent and prayerful message to the world. We are the original free and independent Peoples of Turtle Island, extending back to the beginning of time in Spirit. In keeping with our Original Instructions given to us by the Creator we have a sacred responsibility to our ancestors and our future generations. We also have a ceremonial responsibility to the waters and to our traditional lands and territories, for the sake of Mother Earth and all living things. Everything has a Spirit. Spirit is the life force of every human being and lasts forever. When we rise in the morning we acknowledge the sun as a way of honoring and celebrating the Spirit of Life itself. Our spirituality is our life. Our traditions contain the knowledge and wisdom accumulated by our ancestors and contained in our languages. It is one of our teachings that the beauty of nature is the face of the Creator, and results in our deep and abiding love for the land and water. Water is Life. As humans, we are born through the water of our mother, and the women are responsible for the waters of Mother Earth. An acknowledgment of the sacred feminine is critical to the transformation needed at this time. It is one means of ending the epidemic of violence by men against women, and the neglect and abuse of children, which is destructive to our families, communities, and nations, and detrimental to our future generations. These symptoms are the result of a human spiritual disconnection from the land and from the healing comfort and beauty of Mother Earth. Now is the time to come to the understanding that we cannot respect the future without respecting what makes the future, and what makes the future possible, specifically, our women and children. Our healing wisdom and traditions continue to live on, carried and taught by our Elders, who are precious to us. Without the kindness and compassion of our Elders we would not be able to carry on our Spiritual Way of Life and our ceremonies, through which body, mind, spirit, and heart are more fully connected. Through our songs and ceremonies, sacred fires, our prayers and prayer bundles, and the Original Instructions of our Sacred Laws, we are continually reminded that all Life is interconnected, and that all the colors of the human family and all forms of life are relatives. As a result of the suppression of the cultures of our ancestors, the modern world has been prevented from understanding the wisdom to be gained from our ceremonial-based cultures and our Earth-centered traditions. Our children need to be returned to the center of our families, communities and nations. By mentoring our children, supporting rites of passage for young men and women, we affirm our sacred balance, health and well being. Because of the thousands of years of experience with Spirit, the First Nations and Peoples of Turtle Island have unique gifts to share with the world for healing what has been wounding the human spirit. The answer that every human being is looking for is within the Spirit in each and every one of us. We have always acknowledged that Spirit is a very significant element of our life. Spirit defines who we are. We are all bound by spiritual and natural laws. How can we collectively connect with Spirit? Acknowledge Spirit and show our gratitude. Join us on June 21, 2012 to fulfill our responsibility to honor all Spirit and Life. We invite people throughout the world to join us on that day by making an offering of water to Mother Earth with thoughts of love and thankfulness. This sacred act will invoke the Spirit to guide us to a good life, and will let Mother Earth know we have not abandoned her."

Elder Dave Courchene Jr.

Wednesday, January 17, 2024

Jedi Mind Tricks.

Some pretty amazing Jedi Mind Tricks being used right now. 100 days of bombardment over the Gaza strip in Palestine. The Israel government have been active in destroying everything and anyone in Palestine. Israel has its reasons. They have been actively telling the World their reasons for destroying Palestine. The actions of Israel are quite clear where the whole world can see. There is a problem, an issue with what the World is seeing and what the Rich Nations, the White Nations are saying. 

The whole World is seeing thousands of Children dying, their families being blown apart, buildings, a whole city being reduced to rubble, just concrete on top of bodies. Countries are saying "Hey, you are committing genocide." Israel, Britain, the United States, Canada, Germany are saying "Nope, you are not seeing what you seeing. We don't see a genocide." A great mind trick, and people are tricked. If you see what you are seeing, you are called a "retard, an anti-Semite, a supporter of terrorism against Israel." The Mind Tricks include the use of the Global Media. The big money ownerships of media has been manipulating the headlines, the reporting, the images of the Genocide to deny it is happening. Big Money, the corporations of the Arms industry are in on the mind tricks. Selling as much Guns, ammunitions as they can to make the Genocide a success. Interesting coincidence, many of the countries denying the genocide are where the munitions are coming from for Israel. If only the Jedi, Obi-wan could have a conversation with the arms dealers of the Globe. 

Dealer: You wanna buy some death sticks?

Obi-Wan: You don't want to sell me death sticks.

Dealer: I don't wanna sell you death sticks.

Obi-Wan: You want to go home and rethink your life.

Dealer: I wanna go home and rethink my life. [leaves] 

Despite the amount of bombs dropped, the number deaths, the amount of destruction, the statements of "kill them all, big and small, nits make lice," by the Death Dealers, also known as Israel, there are still Big Wealthy Countries saying "We see nothing, hear nothing, and say nothing," against the Genocide
CNN one of the "most trusted names in News," goes for approval from Israel on what can be reported. If you can't trust the most trusted name in News, well just who can you trust? 

"If You Strike Me Down, I Shall Become More Powerful Than You Can Possibly Imagine." Obi-Wan Kenobi.  

Intense Israeli army activity in Gaza seen from Kibbutz Be’eri as Israeli attacks continue in Be’eri, Israel, on Jan. 4, 2024.

Photo: Mostafa Alkharouf/Anadolu via Getty Images

Friday, December 22, 2023

I Know Not One Palestinian, but Yet I Hurt

I know not one single Palestinian but still I hurt. 

I don't know about you but I hurt. I hurt for those children, those beautiful children dying. Children being slaughtered, being maimed, being orphaned for the sins of others, can this be right? 

Listened to Linda Ronstadt's Long Long Time and hearing the words, Love will abide. Where the fuck is the love for all those children. 

I sit here and I hurt. I know not one Palestinian person, never mind a child. So what the heck is it any of my business. Who am I to shed a tear, to have a heavy heart, to feel angry, to feel helpless, to feel the need to act out. 

I don't know one single Palestinian. Yet, I look for the testimonies of the families. I look for their words. I look for the photographs. I look for the videos. When I hear their voices, see their videos, see their photographs and see their blown up little bodies, I cry. I hurt for them. 

I know not one Palestinian. Should it matter that I do not know any of the names. Should it matter the photograph of the little body that is all burnt up is a child I do not know. 

If I know one Palestinian would it make me care more. Would I cry more. Would I be more angry. Would I scream at the government for supporting the "war." The war which is actually a literal genocide. 

If I do not know one Palestinian should I bother to watch the videos. Should I bother to post on social media about the children. Should I just watch the news on celebrity entertainment. Should I wonder how Taylor Swift is touring and how her music sales are going. 

I sit here listening to Dropkick Murphys, "I wish you were here," and think I wish they were here. The Children of Palestine. The song says, "When I'm looking back on the time we shared. Oh, we know you were loved and that I always cared, I always cared." I didn't know them but yet I always cared. 

I know not one Palestinian, but yet I hurt. 

I can only offer my tears, my heart ache and my voice. If there is love out there, where is it for the Palestinians. 

I know not one Palestinian, but yet I hurt.

Tearful Honour 

Thursday, December 7, 2023

"They who shall not be Named"

 Been watching news a bit too much these days. Carnage is happening everywhere and everywhere day. A relatively young Indian guy murdered four people and injured another ( I should put allegedly somewhere in here because you never know if he will be proven guilty). So this is a localized carnage and it feels awful to hear about it.  In the wider world, we are seeing, hearing and reading about Children, Women, Elders, Men getting killed.  These daily killings are happening over in the Holy Land.  It is also awful to read, hear about, even though it is far beyond our Reserve border. The voices being heard, being shared are those of the powerful. As in many cases, the voices of the poor, the weak are not being heard. The voices of the powerful are being amplified, are being told with a sympathizing tone, are being told with a familiarity for their lives. People of the power are being introduced as to the suffering which has befallen on them, through no fault of their own. The language being used to describe events of the powerful is either sympathetic, favorable and in some cases neutral. The language used to describe events and actions of the poor, the weak is far from neutral. They are spoken, written about in unfavorable terms, as being a criminal terrorist, and the reason for the carnage.

It is a story of Old, of sacrifice, of vengeance, for rationalizing, brutality, killing and scorched Earth. It is one party doing something wrong to another party and that party answers in return. Not everyone accepts the dominant narrative of a David versus Goliath situation; where the Good and Just are defending themselves from inhuman beasts. The United States has promised full support in both thoughts, political influence, finances and weaponry. While the bombardments go on, the Global village is asking for a cease fire. However, the voices for cease fire are being attacked. The people who dare to "Say the Name of those who shall not be Named" are being silenced. Teachers are being fired for daring to say the Name. Politicians are being censored for daring to say the Name. Some politicians are being fired for daring to say the Name. Celebrities are being cancelled for daring to say the Name. Journalists who dare to say the Name are being fired. The Big Money Governments are against anyone daring to speak the Name. 

It is a scary situation for anyone reacting to the carnage with a sad or broken heart for what happened to the weak and powerless. If you dare to say the name of "They who shall not be Named (the people) you could be hurt by the forces of the powerful. It is the facts of the day, dare to say their Name and you will not only be labeled, be centered out, but you will have to face the consequences. The Globe will live by the warning, "They shall not be Named." If you dare to say out loud the Name, you will be judged a supporter of terrorism.  You don't want the The People to have a home, a land, a country, a freedom, in fact you are part of the Antisemitism which is perpetuated all over the Globe. You may also be calling for the genocide of The People. There is no doubt The People, who are not Named, are being discriminated against by an ugly section of the globe. Of course they, The People need to combat hate which comes their way. Everyone should be able to voice against a needless hatred towards them. However, the folks, who are in fact saying their Name, are not (I suspect) part of those who hate The People, simply for being who they are. I think folks who are daring to voice the Name, are seeking a stop to brutality. They are seeking to have lives spared. They are not denying The People the right to live, the right to a homeland, the right to exist. They are voicing to say, "Hey! We see the lives being lost and it is time to stop." 

Say what you will about The People, they are a people who deserve to live in peace, deserve to have respect and be citizens of the Globe, just as everyone does. The thing here, when daring to say their Name, it is not to deny their rights for life. It is about a body of government sycophants, government greed, government tyrants inflicting harm, individuals corrupting the voices of "they who shall not be named." The corruption of the voice has resulted in pain, unmeasurable pain for many

Can we ever not name those who are causing harm. 

Monday, October 9, 2023

Let Me Introduce Myself, Again

 Aniin Neechie,

Steve here. It's been 12 years since the Ojibwe Confessions blog started. I never thought it would go this long. I stopped blogging a few months during my reign of terror. I often wonder what will be my swan song, the dying bird, the decaying flesh, carrion remains with only bones left to be picked over by the scavengers, the Ka-Ga-Gay. It is quite amazing the Blog has been active this long. It should have been killed off with a shot gun long ago. How many times can you tell the same story over and over again. So what should be the last post. 

Not sure if there is any point to continue with the Blog. There are many respectable voices out there already in the Indian sphere. There is Indian Country Today (ICT), Native Report, Aboriginal Peoples Television Network, Windspeaker, Native New Online, and a host of Native media outlets. So really what does this Blog have which could be read worthy. 

I think it's time. But I enjoy it. Even if it's not proper English grammar. There is some pride in doing it so long. I have been contacted by a few readers, not too many, but enough to boast my ego and gratitude. The audience is small as I can see by the number of views over the years. The remarks are seldom but I still appreciate them. Whenever I come to the site, I look at the comment section first. Then I look at the number of views. Today, I had exactly one view. Not a whole lot I admit but it was not zero. 

It's funny because the best topics come to me just when I am in the dark of the bedroom, my head is on the pillow (I have to lay on my left side with my arms over a couple of pillows because of the pain in my shoulders and the deviated septum in my left nostril) and I am just about to slip off into the quiet part of my brain before the snoring sounds. The bad thing is, I don't seem to remember those creative master pieces the next morning. Oh, can you imagine the great works of writing which are lost in the night air, the universe. All the story possibilities grabbed by the Stars and the Dancing Northern Lights-Aurora Borealis. Man, it sucks doesn't it. 

So is this the dying swan, the Crow Duck splashing, the Great White Pelican wasting away from Newcastle Disease Virus-NDV, or the dead skunk on the side of road being repeatedly run (rund is how it sounds) over by SUV's (in old days it would be a Station Wagon) going to the Beer Store, or country cabin. You never know. Me, I think I will try hold out a bit longer. 

I really shouldn't be disappointed at the audience or lack thereof, because not sure of what was expected to begin with. After a few years I did have hope some other Neechies would become interested, but it did not materialize. The Neechie audience has a host of reliable, respected places to listen to, to read and I'm just a regular Neechie. But still it has been fun, well most of the time. So if I continue to write it is mainly due to the one reader, the one who takes the time to respond, to forward and maybe they are entertained. 

Ogimaawab Sutherland: Ojibwe Teachings - Stories

The epoch of Wenabozho in "oral history", aadizookaanan (sacred stories). Traveled Turtle Island gives names to everything on it. ...