Thursday, July 11, 2013

To a Great Mentor !

About this book

This book is dedicated to my teacher, Nagaan we widong, [na-gaan-way-wi-dong / First to Speak, First Thunder, Lawrence Joe Matrious, A man who dedicated his life to the people. An Elder of the Ojibwe Nation of People that live around the great lakes in North America. His teachings, patience and example changed my life and that of many others who knew him. He was one of the last of the Old Ones of Lake Lena Reservation in Hinckley, Minnesota. I say here that he was one of the last, though in truth he is one of the old ones. Though he passed on August 9th, 2009, he is still with us in spirit and continues to affect my life on a daily basis.

A grandmother of the Ojibwe from Red Lake Reservation had been asked to oversee the ceremonies for Misho. Her name was Anna and she was a very short woman and needed a walker to move about together with a nurse for assistance. She would drag her feet as she moved around. Anna came to the fire just after sunrise and offered her prayers. She sat down and looked at me for a long time.

“You are the one they call Noodin,” Anna said. “You and others in the East have been given many teachings by Nagan We Widung. It is now up to you and those that have been taught to carry those teachings to others. These things were not given to you to keep to yourself. Do you understand?”

I answered her that I do understand.


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Jim Beard aka Noodin
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