Sharing Our Stories: Transported/Ronwatiia’takarénion

·3 min read

For grade 6, we used to get transported from Kahnawake to LaSalle. We got moved around a bit here and there. A lot of it was outside of the community.

That was our first introduction to non-Indigenous people and I remember a young boy, he was so pale and white that you could see the veins in his head where the blood was flowing. He sat behind me at school. I don’t know if it was my dark hair, because my hair was down to my waist, he would always bother my hair for some reason. He was always trying to put his fingers through my hair, and he used to annoy me. So, I’d turn around and sometimes I’d punch him in the arm. That was my reaction.

I’d say, “I wish you’d leave me alone.”

And he’d just smile at me in that stupid grin. You know, when guys like girls they do all kinds of stupid things. I just wanted to go to school and that’s it.

Monday morning came, and he was absent. So I wondered, “How come he’s not in school today?”

The teacher was standing in front of the class, and she said, “I regret to inform you but one of our students was riding his bike on the weekend and he got hit by a car.”

And guess who it was? It was the boy that was sitting behind me. And that’s the last thing I remember doing to him, I punched him in the arm.

I started to cry. When the teacher was walking around the room and she realized I was crying, she said I could put my head down on the desk and cry if I wanted to. She allowed me to do that.

I felt so guilty because of what I did. I was so sorry. I don’t know how long it took me before I stopped saying I’m sorry for what I did to him.

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Ià:ia’k tsi kahiá:ton, ionkhiia’takarénie’s shes ne Kahnawà:ke tsi niió:re Tsi tkahná:wate. Ákte nonwéhshon saiakwaterì:waienste’. Iotkà:te iah kaná:takon tekénhne’.

Né: tontié:renhte’ tsi wa’akhiientéhrha’ne’ ne iah tehonnonkwehón:we tánon’ riiè:iahre’ kí:ken raksà:’a, tsi niió:re tsi tehotskenné:nonte enwá:ton’ enhsatkáhtho’ ratsinonhiahtà:ke tsi nón: niwatenekwenhsahténtie’s. Akhnà:ken ranitskótha’ tsi ionterihwaienstáhkhwa’. Iah tewakaterièn:tare’ tóka’ ken tsi tewakenonhkwiserà:kara’s, tóka’ ni’ ken khsia’karà:ke niió:re niwakenonhkwíseres, tiótkon thé:nen’k tiorì:wa enhakawatsté:riste’ nakenónhkwis. Tiótkon rate’niéntha’ rahtsa’nà:ke tahakenonhkwiserón:kohte’, tánon’ tenhakwaterien’takáriahte’ shes.

Né: ká:ti’ sewatié:rens tenkatkahrhaté:ni’ tánon’ enhinentsháia’ke’.

Tho ní:tsi wa’tkerihwa’será:ko’.

Enkì:ron’, “Kahská:neks ne tóhsa aonsahskwatsté:riste’.” Tánon’ nek enthakwatewéhkwen’, thia’tehonoserí:kon tsi roiéshon. Saterièn:tare wáhi, nó:nen ratiksa’okòn:’a shakotinòn:we’s kontiksa’okòn:’a nia’té:kon rontenonhwarorístha’. Kwah nek wà:kehre’ akaterihwaienstà:na’ tánon’ tho’k ní:kon.

Tsi wahentén:ta’ne’ ohrhon’kè:ne, iah káneka té:re’skwe’. Sok ki’ onkerihwaióha’ “Oh nontié:ren tsi iah ken’ té:re’s nòn:wa?”

Ohén:ton tié:tahkwe’ ne iakorihonnién:ni, tánon’ wa’ì:ron’, “Skataterihwáhstani akwahró:ri’ nek tsi shaià:ta raterihwaiénstha’ tsi iotahia’khsero’ktahkwèn:ke rohonwiseréhahkwe’ ne tékeni teiokahkwèn:tonte tánon’ kà:sere tahaó:ka’te’.”

Íhsehre’ ken ónhka? Thí:ken raksà:’a akhnà:ken rentskó:tahkwe’. Né: ohna’kénhkha kè:iahre’ tsi nahiié:ra’se’, wahinentsháia’ke’.

Takatáhsawen’ wa’tkahséntho’. Sha’teiakohkwatasehátiene’ tsi ionteweienstáhkhwa’ ne iakorihonnién:ni tánon’ wa’ónttoke’ tsi tekahsénthos, wa’ì:ron’ enwá:ton’ atekhwahráhne enkatenontsistà:ren’ takahséntho’ tóka’ í:kehre’. Wa’onkeríhon’ tho nà:tiere’.

Iah skén:nen tekanonhtonniónhahkwe’ tsi niwatié:ren. Tsi na’kehnhá:ten’. Iah tewakaterièn:tare tó: nikarì:wes tsi’k wa’tékta’ne’ tsi né: ká:ton tsi sewakatathrewáhton tsi nihiierà:se.

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