I was up this morning before the sun, and before Fuzz and Whirlwind. It was quiet and I was able to sit back, watch the sunrise and reflect on all that I am grateful for. I also decided that I would write this post today, not with serious tones but in hopes to induce some memories and laughter. Laughter is what Native people do best – we laugh when we are happy; we laugh when we are sad; we laugh when we are nervous; we laugh when we really just want to punch someone in the face. In fact, laughter saved me from a particularly bad day today. After a frustrating morning at work, I decided that I wanted french fries for lunch. Can you say emotional eater?! I drove over to Wendy’s and ordered medium french fries. The disembodied voice replies “with a coke?” While having a coke would be heaven as there is nothing that I miss more this pregnancy, I chose the non-caffeinated Fresca. The voice says “Sorry?” I say “Fresca”. “Sorry?” I say “Fresca” again. “Sorry?” I say “Fresca”. “Sorry?” (seriously!!!) and I had to fight the urge to yell “F@c$ing Fresca”. Finally the voice says “Oh yeah, Fresca” and I had to laugh at the ridiculousness of the situation. I was already feeling better by the time I reached the second window to see the owner of the voice – an overly cheerful Asian woman. She was so sweet that I was glad I didn’t swear at her.
So with that said, welcome to my very first post celebrating how great it is to be Anishinaabe. Happy Aboriginal Day, friends!
Julie Andrews can sing about her favourite things; Oprah can give away her favourite things. Why can’t I? Although, my song would be sung with a slight rez accent accompanied by an out of tune guitar and I probably couldn’t even give away half of the things on the list below!
– Fried bologna on bannock, Indian Tacos, and scone dogs
– Hitting the poor sucker sitting beside you when you are laughing really hard
– Poking the eyeballs of the animals that Papa brought in from the trap line
– When Fuzz tries to speak Anishinaabe: Aniinaa becomes aniimaa; Hooowaah becomes Howa (phonetic spelling); Shkaawaa shigdigoo and Miigoo Mungegoo becomes something totally unintelligible
– Jam on fried bannock for dessert
– Pointing with your lips and saying “owedi”
– Saying “me” at the end of every sentence in which you refer to yourself – example: I’m going to bingo tonight, me.
– Macaroni and salt pork
– Shooting guns into the air to celebrate the turn of midnight on New Years Eve
– Petting the rez dogs that run up to you when you are out for a walk
– Fried pickerel
– Braving the mosquitoes to finally get to dance the 49er
– Sliding down the snow hill on an old car hood
– Klik with butter sandwiches
– Sneaking out of a tents in the middle of the night to meet your cousins to share that one can of Wild Cat beer you have…and then having your Mom yell from the window to “get the f@c# back in that tent”
– Moose meat and porridge
– Playing Sasquatch and Oka with all the other kids on the rez
– Having random rez friends come knock on your bedroom window in the middle of the night to talk
– Smoked smelts (minus the heads – that will NEVER be one of my favourite things!)
– Never fully filling your ice cream pail with blueberries because you eat half of what you pick
– Hangover soup, rabbit stew and kweshkinaaboo
– Spooky ghost stories that involve najiminidoo
– Going to the dump to watch the black bears and asking them to “namadabin”
– Opening the fish stomach to see what they ate (but as Papa used to say, don’t open the shit sac)
– Exotic pets: crayfish, spiders and raccoons (I never had a raccoon but I know someone who has, and no not Pocahontas either!)
– Whistling at the northern lights to see who gets scared first and runs in the house
– Being told not to be scared of the local spooky legend “The Fonz” because he was just your Grandfather
What are a few of your favourite First Nation, Metis, or Inuit things? We celebrate them everyday but today is the day to share and be proud.