Lee Staples Gaa-Anishinaabemod Obizaan Melissa Boyd Baabiitawigiizhigookwe Gaa-anishinaabewibii’ang
Megwaa Miigwanens inow ogookoomisan eni-dazhimaanid ezhi-inigaazinid inow Anishinaaben imaa ishkoniganing eyaanijin, mii go gaa-izhi-baashkademod a’aw mindimooyenh. Mii dash a’aw Miigwanens gaa-izhi-gaagwiinowanendang waa-izhichiged. Mii dash gaa-izhi-giishkijiinaad inow ogookoomisan, mii dash o’ow gaa-inaad, “Hey, Nookom. Gego mawiken. Gaawiin niminwendanziin waabaminaan ezhi-maanendaman. Gizaagi’in geget Nookom. Gaawiin ina omaa ayaamagasinoon ge-izhichigeyaambaan da-naadamoonaan? Aaniin ge-izhichigeyaambaan da-minawaanagwendamamban?”
While Miigwanens’ grandmother (Bines) was talking about how pitiful the Anishinaabe were that lived on their reservation, she burst out crying. Miigwanens did not know what to do as he listened to his grandmother cry. He then gave her a hug and said, “Nookom. Please do not cry. I don’t like to see you so sad like this. I love you, Nookom. Is there something I can do to help you? What could I possibly do to cheer you up?”
Mii dash i’iw gomaapi gaa-izhi-gashkitoonid inow ogookoomisan gii-ani-gaagiigidonid, mii dash gaa-igod a’aw Miigwanens, “Hey, Noozis. Geget gichi-naadamaw zhawenimiyan omaa weweni eni-bizindawiyan miinawaa weweni ani-noondaman omaa dezhindamaan. Gaawiin gigii-inendanziin da-gii-kagiibaadenimiyan mindimooyenyiwiyaan miinawaa da-gii-inenimiyan giiwanaaji-gikaayaan mindimooyenyiwiyaan.” Nishwanaaji-gaagiigido a’aw mindimooyenh da-gii-izhi-iyamban. Weweni go gigii-niibaw imaa bizindawiyan eni-wiindamaageyaan awegonen wenishkwe’igoyaan. Gimiigwechiwi’in dash Noozis i’iw akeyaa ezhi-mino-doodawiyan.
After a time, Miigwanens’ grandmother was able to talk more and she said, “Hey, my grandson. You have done a lot to help me just by listening to me so respectfully and hearing what I had to say. You didn’t think of me as a foolish old lady and you did not think of me as getting crazy in my old age, neither did you feel that I wasn’t making any sense. You stood by me respectfully as I told you what was bothering me. For that I want to thank you, my grandson, for being so good to me.
Megwaa dash a’aw Bines eni-minikwed odaniibiishim, mii dash gaa-inaad inow Miigwanensan, “Ayaamagad igo ge-ani-izhichigeyangiban da-ani-nanaa’isijigaadegiban eni-izhiwebak omaa ishkoniganing. Gaawiin igo wewiib da-ani-waabanjigaadesinoon i’iw akeyaa waa-izhi-naadamaageyang. Maajitaayang igo, mii go da-ni-minochigeyangiban naa gaye gomaapi da-ni-inaagwad i’iw akeyaa ge-izhi-wiidookaageyang.
While Bines was drinking her tea, she went on to say to Miigwanens, “There is something that we could do to bring about a positive change to what’s happening here on our reservation. What we plan to accomplish will not be visible to others right away. If we just start, we will be doing good, and in time, we will see the positive results of our efforts to help.
Mii dash ge-izhichigeyangiban, gidaa-ni-gikinoo’amoon ingiw Manidoog gaa-izhi-miinaawaad odanishininaabemiwaan da-ni-bimiwidoowaad obimaadiziwiniwaa. Waasa iwidi ishkweyaang ojikaamagad waa-izhi-gikinoo’amoonaan. Mii ingiw nigitiziimag miinawaa ingiw nigookoomisibaneg miinawaa nimishoomisibaneg i’iw akeyaa gaa-izhi-waawiindamawiwaad.
This is what we will do. I can teach you what those Manidoog gave to our people to guide them along in their lives. What I am going to teach you comes from way back and has been passed down from generation to generation. It was my parents, my grandmothers, and my grandfathers who had shared these teachings with me.
Ginwenzh gida-ni-dazhitaa da-ni-bizindaman miinawaa da-ni-gikendaman waa-izhi-gikinoo’amoonaan Noozis. Mii go wewiib miinawaa ani-gichi-aya’aawiyan aazhita da-ni-gikinoo’amawad giwiiji-anishinaabeminaan. Ingoding-go Noozis gidaa-ni-niigaaniz da-ogimaawiyan, mii dash wenjida weweni da-ani-bizindaagooyan. Mii dash owapii da-wenda-wawiingeziyan aazhita da-gikinoo’amawad gidanishinaabeminaan i’iw akeyaa gaa-izhi-miinigoowizid.
It’s going to take a long time and a lot of your time to listen and learn what I will be teaching you, my grandson. As you grow older and even immediately after we start, you will be passing this knowledge to other Anishinaabe in our community. Some day you may be a leader, my grandson, and it is at that time the people will be listening even more carefully. You will be able to do a thorough job in teaching our Anishinaabe what we were given by the Manidoog.
Mii go omaa da-ni-maajitaayangiban, mii iw ge-wenda-naadamaagoyang gikendamang i’iw waa-gikinoo’amaageyang, mii iw wenjida ge-wiidookaagod a’aw gidanishinaabeminaan ani-maajiikamigaag i’iw aki. Mii gaye i’iw Noozis ge-naadamaagoyaan mindimooyenyiwiyaan da-ni-ayaamaan ge-ni-biminizha’amaan niniigaaniiming. Ayaang awiya wenda-minwendang beminizha’ang mii iw eni-naadamaagod ani-bimaadizid miinawaa imaa ani-giiki’oonwewizid minik daso-biboon eni-izhi-bimaadizid.”
We can start this process, and what is going to really help us is knowing that the teachings that we are about to share is what will really help our people in the future. Also, my grandson, this is what will help me as an Elder; this will give me something to pursue in my future. When someone has a focus and purpose in their life, it provides a meaningful way of life for that individual; it is from there that they attain longevity in their life.”
Mii dash a’aw Miigwanens gaa-izhi-waabandang inow ogookoomisan gaawiin geyaabi ogii-maanendanziin. Mii go gaa-izhi-waabandang imaa oshkiinzhigong gaa-izhi-minawaanagwendang a’aw mindimooyenh.
Miigwanens began to see that his grandmother was beginning to feel much better. He could see the happiness that his grandmother now had in her eyes.