Saturday, September 28, 2013


Man or Spirit
Drawing by Nish Nung , an Ojibwe Artist

It was still dark out.  I thought I heard something outside my tent and awoke with a start.  What was that I wondered?  Then I heard a crackling of a fire and saw light on the side of my tent.  The crackling was close.  That is my fire!  I had put it out last night so how could it have started up with no wood.  I heard someone pick up a piece of kindling and put it into the fire.  It couldn’t be the kids?! 

“This is my camp!” I said, in as strong and firm a voice as I could muster.  “Can I help you?”  I tensely waited for a response.

A quiet, yet also strong, male voice came back.  “Are you looking for someone to tell you about the Iroquois people?” 

“Yes I am.”  I answered. 

“Why don’t you come out and we can talk?”  Said the voice from outside my tent. 

I quickly put on my pants and shirt, thinking to myself, this can’t really be happening.  Who is this guy and what have I gotten myself into this time? 

As I came out of my tent I looked up at the man standing on the other side of the fire.  He was tall, about 6’2” and had a strong solid looking build.  His hair was black with gray streaks and hung loosely over his shoulders and down his back.  Even with the gray in his hair he didn’t look much older than his mid forties.   His jeans were weathered and he wore an old sweatshirt with a faded picture of whales on it.  The features of his face were unmistakably Indian and he had a proud and contented look about him.  He looked to have a quiet and gentle demeanor and to be very much at peace with himself.

“I knew you were coming.” he said.  “I had a dream two weeks ago that you and your children would be here and would camp in this place.” 

He looked up at me and straight into my eyes, yet somehow deeper.  “Why do you ask about us?”  He said. 

I thought to myself; well that is cutting to the quick of it. 

I answered; “I want my children to know the truth about Native American people.” 

He didn’t say anything for a moment and looked back at the fire.  Then he slowly looked up, looking me straight in the eyes again, and asked more slowly; “Why do you ask about us?”

Excerpt from: White Mocs on the Red Road / Walking Spirit in a Native Way

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