#10 Sacred Instructions

The wind whips angrily as branches release yellow leaves into the raging current. They rush across the sky before falling to the ground, a yellow blanket to cover Mother Earth. A coal oil lamp, its glass lantern black with soot, casts an orange light. A fresh pot of coffee percolates on the wood stove filling […]

#9 They Want you Over There

  Sunshine warms his sweat glazed skin. The air is punctuated by the bang of axe on wood. Thump, creak. Thump, creak. The firewood falls free to join a large pile beside the tree stump, its top chewed rough by the axe blade. Shirtless, Wanbdi expertly swings the axe placing it dead center in the […]

#8 In the Army Now

An open shoe box with its lid tossed aside and contents scattered over the kitchen table waits. “What’s all this?” I ask. “It’s my army stuff. Come and see it.” Wanbdi encourages. A Princess Patricia Canadian Light Infantry soft badge; a red, white and blue ribbon attached to a silver medal on a steel pin […]

# 7 What’s in a Name?

“Where is he?” The smell of morning coffee answers me as I crawl out of bed. Wanbdi sits in his favorite chair reading his newspaper as usual, a large cup beside him. “Good morning. It looks like you’ve been up for a while.” I say. “Why so early?” “Good morning Masoni.”  He answers all smiles.“Come […]

# 6 Just Let Go!

They say six months in army boot camp, if you can hack it, will turn a boy into a man. This was true for Wanbdi. Years as a farm hand followed by rigorous army training had changed him from the hurt boy who walked away from his childhood home into a grown man – strong, […]

# 5 I’m Not Going Back

It should have been the happiest day – but it wasn’t. It was a defining day, the kind that changes the course of one’s life and embeds a memory of hurt, piercing deeply. It was the day Wanbdi ran away from Indian Residential School for the last time. The screen door slammed loudly followed by […]

#4 It was Indian Residential School, a National Tragedy

I sit quietly making prayers while I wait. For years, my husband had waited for a chance to tell his story. Finally, the Canadian government was taking responsibility for the abuse that happened in the Indian Residential Schools. A process was created whereby students who were abused in the schools had the right to sue […]

# 3 The Storm

The wind whips and howls, raging in the night. Even the darkness sneaks in between window frame and blind searching for refuge. Snow drifts grow into snow mountains, hearty and wet. I am afraid. I’ve been through storms before. They can rattle me inside chasing peace out in a flurry. All I can do is wait. The […]

#2 He Knows

  White hair explodes outward in all directions. Black rimmed glasses frame eyes deep and knowing. Dakota features sport a handsome face, sturdy and dignified. Meet Wanbdi Wakita on a Saturday morning. He is a man who makes prayers for people. Yet to me, he is my best friend, my confidant and playmate – a funny […]

#1 Why I Write …

The room is dark with only a faint sliver of light sneaking its way under the door. I smell sage burning on the altar in front of me and feel the presence of my relatives sitting on the floor, like me, backs resting against the walls of the small room. To my left sits my husband making […]