Sharing Our Stories: Savage/Ok Thisatenonhwarorì:tonte

Through the University of Montreal, I’m the resident elder now at the university.

When I look back in the past, if I even thought of something like that, I would get beaten up.

“How dare you think you can foresee yourself at the university?”

“It’s just a savage.”

“Don’t think about that.”

“Concentrate on your chores.”

I think we’re coming through. Especially when you consider that until 1951, nobody was allowed to leave the reservation without permission of the Indian agent. When I was a kid in Listuguj, that was the norm. The only way you could get around that was by serving in the army.

It’s still very recent.

I used to carry a stack of pictures pre-internet days, just to prove that what I was saying was true. People wouldn’t believe me.

“How could you do that? You’re just a savage.”

It was very frustrating.

Tsi nón:we ne University of Montreal ionterihwaienhstáhkhwa’, í: wakateríhonte akherihonnienníhake’ ken’ nithotiión:sas tsi nì:’i tewátien.

Nó:nen aonsakehià:ra’ne’ tsi niiawèn:seron, tóka’ nè:’e nahò:ten aonkwanonhtonniónheke’, University akaterihwaienhstà:na’. Aionkenonwen’serário’.

“Nisaià:tawen’s aiesanonhtonniónheke’ tsi University aontesaterihwaienhstónhake?”

“Ok tha’tesatenonhwarorì:tonte.”

“Tóhsa nè:’e sanonhtónnionhwh.”

“Kanónhskon tasaió’ten.”

Í:kehre’ ionkwakwenionhátie’. Aiesanonhtonniónhake’ tsi tsik niió:re 1951 shiiohserò:ten, iah tewathontá:ton nónhka niaionhtén:ti’ ne tsi kanonhstá:ton tóka’ kó:ra’ iah teiesarihwá:wi. Shitki’teròn:tahkwe ne Listuguj, nè:’e ionkwarenhnha’òn:ne. Nek ié:ken iotòn:’on aiesahténtion’ tóka sotà:r ahsá:ton’.

Shé: kwah ken’ nahè:’a nen’ nè:’e.

Watién:tahkwe karahstanion’shòn:’a ohén:ton tsi niió:re kaién:tahkwe ne “internet.” oh neniá:wen’ akerihwahní:rate’ tsi tó:kenske nahò:ten wakhtharáhkwen. Iah ónhka thaontaionkéhtahkwe’.

“Oh ní:ioht enwá:ton tho náhsiere’? Ok thisatenonhwarorì:tonte.”

Kwah í:ken tsi teioterien’takariahtòn:ne.

Storyteller: Nick Huard, Writer: Simona Rosenfield, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Translator: Katsenhaién:ton Lazare, The Eastern Door