Lee Staples Gaa-Anishinaabemod Obizaan Melissa Boyd Baabiitawigiizhigookwe Gaa-anishinaabewibii’ang
Eni-gichi-aya’aawiyaan nimikwendaan i’iw akeyaa gaa-izhi-bimaadizid miinawaa gaa-inaadizid mewinzha a’aw Anishinaabe. Ishke dash noongom niwaabandaan bakaan ezhi-bimiwidood a’aw Anishinaabe obimaadiziwin. Nebowaa ayaamagad waakobinigod a’aw Anishinaabe eni-gikinawaabamaad inow wayaabishkiiwen ezhi-bimaadizinid.
As I am getting older, I am remembering how the Anishinaabe lived their lives long ago. Now, I am seeing how the Anishinaabe have changed their way of living. There is a lot that pulls our Anishinaabe to copy and live their lives like the white man.
Eshkam moozhag nibi-ganoonigoo da-maajaa’iweyaan, mii imaa wiindamaagooyaan wii-chaagizond a’aw gaa-ishkwaa-ayaad. Mii dash imaa wiindamaageyaan wii-maajaa’aasiwag a’aw waa-chaagizond. Gaawiin wiikaa nibi-waabanjigesiin ge-doodawind a’aw Anishinaabe i’iw akeyaa.
Recently I have been called more and more to do funerals; I am being told that there will be a cremation involved. That’s when I have to tell the relatives that I cannot perform the funeral. I have not seen this in the past where our people cremated one another.
Ishke gaye ezhichiged aanind a’aw Anishinaabe, mii imaa nakodang azhigwa gaa-ishkwaa-ayaad, da-giishkizhigaazod da-mamigaadenig idash omaa owiiyawing da-miigiweng ge-ni-aabajitood i’iw geyaabi a’aw eni-bimaadizid. Booch da-wii-kindidawaziimagadinig owiiyaw a’aw Anishinaabe azhigwa na’inigaazod. Ishke i’iw abinoojiinsiwid i’iw bekwajisemagak imaa odisiinsing, mii imaa mamigaadenig echigaadeg imaa mashkimodensing eni-aabaji-ganawendang a’aw Anishinaabe. I’iwapii dash ishkwaa-ayaad, mii imaa achigaadenig i’iw odisiins biinjina jiibayi-makakong. Ishke mii imaa ge-gikinoo’amawind a’aw Anishinaabe da-wawiinge-gindidawaziimagadinig i’iw owiiyaw azhigwa na’inigaazod. Ishke mii imaa maazhi-doodaadizod a’aw Anishinaabe ani-gikinawaabamaad eni-izhichigenid inow wayaabishkiiwen.
What else is happening to our Anishinaabe is that they are agreeing to organ donation. Our teaching is that our body is meant to be whole and intact with all of the body parts at the time of our burial. When we are babies, a piece of our belly-button falls off, and that is the part that is put in a small bag and saved throughout the lifespan of the individual. When a person passes away, that is when that bag is put in the casket with the deceased. It is from that teaching that we know that the body must be completely whole and intact at the time of burial. This is just another example of Anishinaabe doing wrong to themselves by copying what the white man does.
Ishke gaye a’aw Anishinaabe mamigaadenig, maagizhaa gaye i’iw okaad, maagizhaa gaye oninjiin megwaa bimaadizid, mii imaa da-anoonaapan awiiya da-na’inigaadenig gaa-mamawind. Mii dash gaye i’iw akeyaa ge-izhi-gindidawiziimagadinig owiiyaw azhigwa na’inigaazod. Mii iw nebowaa a’aw Anishinaabe ayaa gekendanzig i’iw akeyaa da-ni-izhichiged.
When Anishinaabe goes through an amputation of a limb, he should have someone bury that body part. That way, when he passes on, the end result is that his body will be complete and intact upon burial. A lot of our Anishinaabe do not know about this teaching.
**Mii gaye waa-tazhindamaan nebowaa ayaa a’aw chi-mookomaan wenda-onzaamaanagidoon. Ingoding ani-biindigeyan imaa wiisiniiwigamigong, ani-mikwendan da-bizindawadwaa ingiw chi-mookomaanag imaa eyaajig, mii-go dibishkoo asiginaakwag enitaagoziwaad. Ishke dash wiin a’aw Anishinaabe endazhi-wiisinid bangan igo. Ishke wiinawaa odamendaanaawaa wiinawaa odapiitendaanaawaa maajiwaad.
Ishke gaye ezhiwebizid a’aw wayaabishkiiwed, gaawiin ominwedanziinaawaa banganinig, mii dash imaa nandawaabandamowaad waa-ni-ikidowaad anooj imaa ani-waawiyegamowaad. Nimikwenimaag ingiw gaa-nitawigi’ijig azhigwa gaa-pi-mawadisigowaad awiya, nigii-pizindawaag ko imaa ani-ganoonaawaad gaa-pi-dagoshininijin. Gaawiin-igo ginwenzh gii-kaagiigidosiiwag, mii gomaapii gaa-izhi-bangang. Aabiding dash gaa-izhi-gagwejimagwaa, “Aaniin wenji-bangitooyeg omaa bi-mawadisigooyeg?” Mii dash gaa-izhi-nakwetawiwaad, “Gaawiin memwech imaa gidaa-aabidaanagidoosiimin.” Mii dash imaa wenjikaamagak wenda-mayagenimag a’aw Anishinaabe wenda-aabidaanagidoon, mii imaa gikiniwaabamaad inow wayaabishkiiwen eni-izhichigenid. A’aw Anishinaabe mewinzha gaa-ayaad gii-pabekaadizi.**
I also want to talk about how some white men seem to talk a lot. Sometime when you go into a restaurant, remember to listen to the white men that are there. They seem to sound like a bunch of black birds chattering. When it comes to Anishinaabe, eating is quiet. Their attention is on their food, and they value what they’re eating. White people are notoriously uncomfortable with silence. They look for a chance to talk, and end up saying meaningless things. I remember when the old people that raised me were being visited. I would listen in to the conversation. The talking was not always lengthy, and after a while it would be quiet with no conversation. One time I asked them, “Why did the conversation end while you were being visited?” They answered, “It’s not necessary for us to continuously talk.” It is from there that I find it strange when I run into Anishinaabe that talk a lot. I see it as something they picked up from white people. Our Anishinaabe of the past were quiet.
Mii ko gaye ani-gizhebaawagak ishkwaaj-anokiigiizhigak, gaawiin iko niminwendanziin ganwaabandamaan i’iw mazinaatesijigan. Mii iw wenjida i’iwapii mazinaateseg waabanda’iweng anooj mezinaakizond a’aw wayaabishkiiwed anooj doodawaad inow awesiinyan, odaminwaanaad inow awesiinyan. Ishke dash anishinaabewiyang, gaawiin anooj gidaa-doodawaasiwaanaanig ingiw awesiinyag. Manidoowaadiziwag ingiw. Dibishkoo a’aw wayaabishkiiwed, gaawiin wiikaa oboonitoosiin gegoo bemaadiziimagak. Mii-go dibishkoo enendamowaad gii-miinigoowiziwaad awesiinyan da-odaminwaanaawaad.
On Saturday mornings, I dislike watching the T.V. set. It’s usually at that time when there are programs that come on showing white people interacting or playing with wild animals. As Anishinaabe, I have been taught to be respectful to the animals. They are considered sacred. It seems like the white man wants to mess around with anything that is living. It’s almost as if they think they’ve been given the animals for their own personal enjoyment.
Ishke gaye giiwosaanaawaad inow waawaashkeshiwan, mii eta-go genawaabandamowaad awenen nawaj memaangadeshkanaanid ge-biinaajin, gagwe-aada’odiwaad. Ishke dash wiin a’aw wawiinge-anishinaabewid, mii i’iw bezhig akeyaa gaa-miinigowaad inow Manidoon da-inanjigewaad. Ishke dash a’aw owenda-apiitenimaawaan inow waawaashkeshiwan a’aw Anishinaabe. Mii-go maa gakina imaa eyaamagadinig owiiyawing a’aw waawaashkeshi Anishinaabe ezhi-aabajitood. Odamizi wiin a’aw wayaabishkiiwed wii-waabanda’iwed inow waawaashkeshiwan gaa-nisaajin agoodood i’iw waawaashkeshi oshtigwaan biinji-waaka’iganing. Mii imaa gagwe-aada’odiwaad awenen nawaj ge-mamaangadeshkanenijin ge-agoonaawaad.
When they do their deer hunting, the white man is more concerned with who got a bigger rack and if they beat out their fellow hunters. True traditional Anishinaabe know that this is one of the animals given to us by the Manidoog to eat. As a result, the Anishinaabe hold the deer in high regard. Anishinaabe uses all parts of the deer. The white man is more focused on showing off the deer heads that they hang in their houses as a display of their masculinity. This is their way of showing who killed the deer with the biggest rack.
Mii-go gaye eni-doodawaawaad inow ogiigooyan. Mii eta-go genawaabandamowaad awenen nawaj ge-gozigwaninid inow ogiigoonyan ge-biinaajin. Ishke dash nebowaa a’aw Anishinaabe ogikendaan mii a’aw gaa-miinigod inow Manidoon da-inanjiged. Weweni dash odoodawaan inow ogiigoonyan. Mii iw wiin a’aw chi-mookomaan ezhichiged agoonaad inow ogiigoonyan imaa biinji-waaka’iganing wii-waabanda’iwed gaa-izhi-mindidonid inow ogiigoonyan gaa-tebinaajin. Mii a’aw Anishinaabe oga-gidamwaan inow giigoonyan dabwaa-agoonaad!
This is what they also do to the fish. This is also where they try to outdo one another on who caught the biggest fish, but a lot of our Anishinaabe know that they too have been given to us by the Manidoog to eat. As a result, most of our Anishinaabe treat our fish respectfully. What the white man does is display that fish in their homes to show the size of the fish they caught. With Anishinaabe people, they eat the fish before they even had the chance to hang it on the wall!