Sunday, September 11, 2016

Mishoom, We Don't Do That Anymore.

Mishoom, We don’t do that anymore.

“Noozhis, Indaashaan. Omaa bi-onabin.” (Grandchild Come and sit down)

Mishoom, (Grandpa) we don’t understand you.

“Noozhis  (GranChild) go out to the frozen river and bring me some cold water”. “Clear the snow off the ice and then chop a hole so you can put a bucket in the water. Lift it up and carry it over here into the house. We will have fresh water to ease our thirst. We will make tea for Kookum (Grandmother).”

But Mishoom, We don’t do that anymore. 

“Noozhis, go out and get the sleigh. Hook up the dogs. We are going to go out to the bush with Kookum and set some rabbit snares”. “You will set the snares where Waboos - rabbit has a path. You will go back tomorrow and get the rabbit that has been snared. You will bring the rabbit home. You will clean the rabbit by tearing of the fur and cutting out the insides. You will chop some fire wood. You will make a nice fire to cook the rabbit. We will have a nice meal, all of us”.

But Mishoom We don’t do that anymore.

“Noozhis, go out and get some fire wood. Chop it up so it can fit in the stove here in the house. Make sure to sharpen the axe.  Use the saw to cut the long logs into smaller logs so you can chop and split them to fit our stove. We can let the fire warm us and comfort Kookum and us”.

But Mishoom We don’t do that anymore.

“Noozhis go out get the snow shoes. We are going to go for a walk out in the bush with Kookum. We will watch the snow falling. We will let the Stars guide us on our path. We will look for the North Star, We can let the good air fill our lungs. We can let the walk strengthen our legs and the air clean our lungs”.

But Mishoom We don’t do that anymore.

“Noozhiz go and get the traps and snares. We will go with Kookum and set out traps for Beavers and Martins. We will put out bait for them. We will hide the trap with soft snow. We will cut holes in the ice for the snares for Beaver. We will go back the next day and check our traps.  We will take the Martin and the Beaver and will skin them for their fur. We will honour them with their gift of fur. We sell the fur and get some new clothes”.

But Mishoom We don’t do that anymore.

“Noozhis, come here and bring some string. We will sit by the warm stove while it storms cold outside. We will play a game and with our hands. You will learn how to make a cup and saucer with string between your fingers. You will visit with your Mishoom and your Kookum. Kookum will tell you stories. We will laugh.”

But Mishoom We don’t do that anymore.

"Noozhiz go and get those old clothes and rags which Kookum has saved. You will sit with her and make braided rag rugs as she visits with you and tells you stories."

But Mishoom We don't do that anymore.

“Noozhis The Spring has come go out get the fish net. You will tie the corks, the Lead weights and you will put the net in the box. You will lay it out in the river. You will go back in the morning and lift the net out of the water. You will take the fish out of the net. You will bring the fish to be cleaned. You and Kookum will cut off the insides and we will have fish for lunch. We will enjoy the gift of good food from the fish”.

But Mishoom We don’t do that anymore.

“Noozhis Go get the canoe.  We are going to hunt Geese. You will wait quietly for the whole morning. We will put out the decoys made from Tamarac. We will shoot the Geese. We will bring the Geese home and pluck off all their feathers. You will gather the feathers for stuffing in our blankets. Me you and Kookum will make a fire and cook the Geese over the fire. We will catch the grease that comes leaking off the Geese. We will use that Goose oil for our fires. We will be fed by the Geese.”

But Mishoom We don’t do that anymore.

“Noozhis Go get the canoe. We are going to pick Manomin – wild rice. You will cut two sticks to bang the rice. We will paddle into the wild rice and you will trash the rice into the canoe. We will fill the canoe. We will bring the rice home and let it dry. Me you and Kookum will trash it and sift the husks off the rice. We will have good food to eat. Good food for our good health.”

But Mishoom We don’t do that anymore.

“Noozhis  Go get the shovel and the hoe. We are going to plant vegetables in the garden. We will dig and plant potatoes corn carrots onions peas.  We will water the garden. We will dig out the weeds. We will watch our garden grow. Me you and Kookum will have fresh vegetables to eat. We will be happy the Earth has given us good food”.

But Mishoom We don’t do that anymore.

“Noozhis, Go get some baskets and pails we are going to pick berries. We will go walking in the bush all day and pick berries. We will sit and eat some lunch out in the woods. We will bring home all the berries. You will clean them and help Kookum make some jam and put some in bottles to store for winter. The Berries will be good to eat as a treat.”

But Mishoom we don’t do that anymore.

“Noozhis Go and get the Shaker and the Drum made from the hides or the animals. We will sing songs. We will sing to the Earth. We will sing for our good life. We will sing to share with our family. We will learn the songs of our Mishoom and our Kookum. We will be happy we have voice to sing. We will dance until our hearts are happy.”

But Mishoom We don’t do that anymore.

“Noozhis, got get our gun. We are going to go hunt for a Deer. We will walk early in the morning before the Sun comes out. We will look for the Deer. We will be quiet. We will walk a long ways in the bush. We will get a Deer. Me You and Kookum will take the insides out of the deer and we will skin it. We will bring it home for a Give-Away. We will share the meat with people.  We have a good Feast with good food. We will give it to the people. We will share and receive good feelings from the Give-Away”.

But Mishoom We don’t do that anymore.

“Noozhis  My Heart is sad. We don’t look at the Stars anymore. We don’t eat fresh food. We don’t walk in the bush and listen to the songs of the bush. We don’t enjoy the life of the good. We lived that way and we lived a good life. Our body enjoyed the good life. We ate foods good for our body. We did things that were good for our body. We don’t visit with our Kookum anymore. We don’t sing for the Earth anymore. We don’t walk anymore We don’t dance anymore. We don’t remember the good life.  We don’t do that anymore, Noozhis.

But Mishoom We can do that again.

Mishoom We can go for a walk with you in the bush. We can look at the Stars. We can look for the North Star. We can breathe in the good air. We can let the walks strengthen our legs. We can let the air grow our lungs. We can enjoy the good songs of the Bush.

Noozhis We can do that.

Mishoom We can plant a garden. We can plant potatoes. We can plant corn. We can plant onions. We can dig the ground. We can plant peas.  We can water the plants. We can dig out the weeds. We can watch our garden grow. We can let the good food grow our body. We can be healthy.

Noozhis We can do that.

Mishoom We can learn. We can take care of our body. We can eat good food. We can make our legs strong with exercise of work and play. We can make our lungs strong and good with the outside air. We can walk in the bush.  We can open our Hearts and ears to the songs of the bush. We can dance to the songs.

Noozhis We can do that.

Mishoom We can Drink the Water. We can give our body good water to refresh us. Good Water to make our body healthy. We can let go of the Pop drinks. We can feel the good life that Water brings to us.  We can make our body healthy.

Noozhis We can do that.

 Mishoom We can sit and hear you speak the Language. We can learn what it means. We can listen. We can sit with Kookum and hear her words. We can sing with you. We can learn the songs. We can play with you. We can visit with you. We can learn from Kookum and from you Mishoom.

Noozhis we can do that. 

Mishoom, We can gather and save things for a Give-Away. We can save some blankets, some food, some clothes, some cook wares. We can get good feelings from our community. We can get good feelings for us from our people. We can share with them.  We can take care of each other.


Noozhis we can do that. 

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