Sharing Our Stories: The fourth child/Kaieríhaton tsi iakonakerá:ton

Growing up, I always had dolls to play with, and I used to have dreams about having my own children. Bringing them around the kitchen table and making sure the table was always full.

When we had our five children, I was a stay-at-home mom.

The fourth child. It was in the wintertime, and it was a nice snowfall. She wanted to play outside with the rest of the kids. All of a sudden, they came in and they said she was missing. They had made a snow tunnel, and we couldn’t find her.

By the time we found her, it was too late. When we went to the hospital, I was holding her, and it brought me right back to my brother and the feeling that I had when I was holding him.

She was gone, but her body was not cold or stiff. They said that they would have to do an autopsy.

I’m sorry to say, but I lost it. I started screaming, “Nobody’s gonna cut her up like my brother.” I said, “I can’t do this.”

We were lucky that Joe was friends with the priest at our local church. Joe was Catholic but I was Longhouse.

The priest went to them and told them, “I know this family. I’ve known them for a long time. Can you please not do that? We know it was an accident. We know that they’re good people, they wouldn’t do anything to harm their children.”

We were able to not have an autopsy done on her.

We survived it. It’s surprising how we survived it. She was three and a half.

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Shontonkwatehiahróntie’, tiótkon shes kaia’tonni’shòn:’a watién:tahkwe’ akatkà:rihte’, tánon’ kahská:neks shes aonkewiraién:take’. Akheia’ténhawe’ tsi iekhonnià:tha’ atekhwahrahtsheraktóntie’ nok orihwí:io akón:ni’ tsi tió:konte tetkakhwáhere atekhwahráhne.

Tsi ó:nen wísk nihá:ti onkewiraién:ta’ne’, ki’terón:tahkwe’ akheiehià:ron’.

Né: kaieríhaton tsi iakonakerá:ton. Akohserà:ke shikahá:wi, tánon’ ion’wé:sen tsi io’kerèn:’en. Wà:’enhre’ átste iahontkahri’tsherón:ni’ ne ronátia’ke ratiksa’okòn:’a. Thontaiawénhstsi’, tahonteweià:stsi’ tánon’ wahonnì:ron’ tsi iakotia’tahtòn:’on. Oniehtó:kon roti’wharonnì:’on, tánon’ wa’akhiia’taióha’.

Tsi’k wa’akhiia’tatshén:ri’, ó:nen se’ io’niskò:’on. Tsi tehshakotitsèn:tha’ shia’ákwe’, kheiatenhá:wahkwe’, sonkwehiahráhkwen’ ri’ken’kénha nok tsi nikonhnho’ténhne’ shihiia’tenhá:wahkwe’.

Tsakohténtion, nek tsi iah teiakoieron’tanóhston tóka’ ni’ iah teiota’tíhon. Wahonnì:ron’ tsi ó:nen’k tsi enhóntken’se’ ne akoieròn:ta’.

Skataterihwáhstani akì:ron’ tsi ia’onkwáhton’se’. Wa’tewakkén:rehte’, “Iah ónhka thaiontatia’táthrene’ tsi ní:ioht ne ri’ken’kénha.” Wa’kì:ron’, “Iah thakkwé:ni’ kí:ken.”

Ionkwatera’swiióhne’ tsi Só:se iatén:ro ne ratsihénhstatsi’ kaná:takon Ononhsatokenhtì:ke. Tehaiahsónthahkwe’ Só:se nek tsi wakenónhses nen’ nì:’i.

Wahshakoterahtà:na’ ne ratsihénhstatsi’ tánon’ wahshakohró:ri’, “Kheienté:ri kí:ken kahwá:tsire. Karì:wes ó:nen shikheienté:ri. Ahsathón:tate’ ken ne tóhsa tho náhsiere’? Ionkwaterièn:tare tsi tha’ka’niohskèn:’en. Ionkwaterièn:tare tsi ronnonkwehserí:ios, iah thé:nen thahní:iere’ ahshakotikaré:wahte’ ne shakotiien’okòn:’a.”

Ionkwakwénion ne tóhsa ahóntken’se’ akoieròn:ta’.

Wa’tiakwatóhetste’ ki’. Ionehrákwa tsi ní:ioht tsi wa’tiakwatóhetste’. Áhsen sha’tewahsén:nen nitiakoién:tahkwe’.

Storyteller: Amelia McGregor, Writer: Simona Rosenfield, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Translator: Sahawisó:ko' Arquette, The Eastern Door