this nehiyâw br (ownskin)

never quite fits

in the môniyaw/Shaganash world

where môniyaw/Shaganash maskikinapêw/Mashkikinini




condescending noses

at the pain of colonialism



my beautiful nêhiyaw Lodge

built with a strong foundation

of kôhkomak and môsomak love

but over the years worn down

smoked filled alcohol stained

punched-in scratched yelled at

neglected ignored starved

the centre fire dimming

covered with the pus of

old pain and wounds

the Anishinaabeg found me

kneeling sobbing on askiy/Aki

they stood beside me gently

lifting standing me up

to recreate my Lodge

Waynaboozhoo style

they line me with Giizhigandak


protection from all harm

they strengthen me with Miskwaabik

so my back can withstand

the stabs and strikes

those Anishinaabeg,

they introduce me to Odemin

show me how She opens the doorways

to our Centre Fire

they pour zhiiwaagamizigan

sweetness runing through my veins

cleaning and remembering me to

the love of Our Mother

Nibi is the One who does the

final cleanse rushing through me

a river enveloping me an ocean

stilling me a clear lake

quenching me a small stream

bringing me to tears with Hers

reminding me we have everything

we need to heal reminding me

we have Her She is the One

we are borne out of She is the

connector Spirit to Lodge

She is Us and like Her

our very existence is Sacred.

Once we remember

who we are

who we come from

who we are becoming

we step


môniyaw constructed

false walls



we come back  to our Original Being

nehiyaw Anishinaabeg Haudensonaunee Dene

back to our Ancestors back to the Land and Waters

all our Relations

we come back into Creation

picking up and carrying our Bundles

for the Grandchildren to come

Tasha Beeds ©August 2017

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