(Re)concile the bones: Rosanna Deerchild

Rosanna Deerchild presented two powerful pieces today on Facebook, reflecting on the fresh horror of mass graves at Kamloops Residential School. The first is a brief, real-life conversation; the second, a reflection on the first. Solomon Ratt has rendered both in Woodlands Cree (th-dialect) which is the language of Rosanna’s “Momsy” (Edna), and the language of Rosanna’s stolen birthright. Sol also provided audio. We are grateful for permission to share them here, and proud to help amplify Rosanna’s voice.

[Photo: Rosanna and Momsy speaking together at the Winnipeg launch of Rosanna’s Calling Down the Sky November 2017.]

Conversation with Momsy

me: mama, they found 215 children in a grave at a residential school.
momsy: i know.
me: did you see on TV?
momsy: mwhatz. I sawn it in real life.
me and my sister, we sawn them. in the furnace. three small skulls. they didn’t get buried.

î-pîkiskwâtak Momsy

nîtha: mâmâ, kî-miskawîwak 215 awâsisa thikwahaskânihk nîtî ayamihâwi-kiskinwahamâtowikamikohk.
momsy: nikiskîthihtîn.
nîtha: î-kî-wâpahtaman cî cikâstîpathihcikanisihk?
momsy: mwâc, nikî-pî-wâpâhtîn kâ-pî-pimâtisiyân.
nîtha ikwa nîtisân, nikî-wâpamânânak. kihci-kotawânâpiskohk. nisto miscikwânikanisa. môtha kî-ohci-nahinâwak.

(Re)concile the bones

by Rosanna Deerchild

I don’t want to hear your sorry’s
my tears drown out your thoughts
your prayers are not louder than my screams
my grief goes deeper
than your lies
that fill me with good intentions
and educating the indian
until we are nothing but a myth
john a macdonald drank away
with the buffalo
but here is the truth
dug up
in 215 children
disappeared
kanada
your silence
is deafening

(mâh)-mâmawinihtâ oskana

by Rosanna Deerchild

môtha ninôhtî-pîhtîn kikitimâkîthihtamowin
nitohcikawâpoya ka-nistâpâwatam kimâmitonîthihtamowina
kitayamihâwiniwâwa môtha nawac kisîwîwa ithikohk nitîpwîwina
nipîkiskâtisiwin awasimî atâmihk ispathin
ithikohk wîtha kikithâskîwina
kâ-sâkaskinahikoyân kâ-wî-mitho-tôtaman
ikwa ta-kiskinwahamowat ithiniw
isko nîthanân î-kîthâskî-wâcimomikawiyâhk
john a macdonald kâ-kî-minihkwâtahk î-kî-kitâpathihtât
asici paskwâwi-mostoswa
mâka ômîta tâpwîwin
î-mônihikâtîk
ôta 215 awâsisak
kâ-kî-namatîpathicik

kânata
kikipihtowîwiniwâw
kakîpihtîwiskâkwan

#215children

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4 Responses

  1. VOICES IGNORED FOR 150+ YEARS. ALL OVER NOT WANTING TO ASK PERMISSION TO DEFILE OUR WATERS AND TAKE OUR HUNTING GROUNDS! . ENOUGH…

  2. Questioning why in disbelief, come to think about it is not enough….

    Eye for an eye I heard in their Bible I havens er read all the way through….all this for land grabbing and money. Let’s teach their kids something as detestable as hating their Ancestors who they are as people and let’s kill a three year d too leave particularly incinwratd bones in a furnace too. See how freaking fast I would end up incarcerated or institutionalized
    . John A. McDonald was just a alcoholic mess when he was calling Riel a rebel.phucken men lefties in charge too long. Time for the Women to heal their mess again. IF MY spirit could unchained I’d Fly to our creator my spirit wants to fly away from this Ugliness. Missionaries selling real estate in Heaven and he’ll, here they’ve swiped my Native Land!!

  3. I can not imagine the horror these little children endured. For any human being or religious entity to think that they are better than another has always been beyond my understanding. I’ve heard and read that they needed to beat the savage out of them……..who is the savage here? What is christian about what happened to these children and their families and their culture. Some who call themselves that are disgusting.

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