I don’t have a daughter, but it is my hope to one day have her, a beautiful little Anishinaabe girl and it often sounds crazy to think out loud of how she might look or act, but think I do and to see her is often. Envisioned is a girl who speaks the Anishinaabe language, carrying with her a source of pride instilled from years of great parenthood, one of love and respect for herself and those around her.
Education will be at the forefront of her being, a direction led by an intuition to attain something that pushes her to her limits, not to grasp or reach for the stars but to grab them and create some more. A daddy’s girl who will know the teachings of the land, taught to her by her brothers, who learned from me the lessons written in the scriptures of our family traditions. Her smile will blossom each day into something more than it was yesterday, like a flower of new seasons she will learn to grow, adapt and then bring change and beauty to her world. Every father, mother and parent thinks like this of their little girl I am sure, my feelings will be no different.
So I thought of the little girl today as I read about another one of my young sisters murdered who was found floating in a body bag, my prayers go out to her parents, friends and family. I am sure she brought the world a lot of laughs, smiles and a sense of warmth; the kind that should open the hearts of those with the power to investigate a death similar to many before her and the many more that will follow should an issue in need of being one continues to be shelved. I didn’t know this young girl, except that she was from Sagkeeng and that she walked a world difficult for her people and her gender, a combination of both, even more difficult.
Unfortunately, she found out the hard way how difficult as she became another statistic, added to a long list of missing and murdered Aboriginal women, one that grows as positive action by a Government with a mandate to protect its people doesn’t. Tonight I laid down some tobacco for her and all I know from the news is that she was an Anishinaabe child and I imagine she was a young girl with dreams, ones found in the stars as I looked up at them tonight, offering her a prayer. It is my hope that her passing brings notice and a sense of urgency to those with the power to investigate and brings this issue from the back shelf to the front table, and starts an inquiry to dig deeper. Then maybe, the root causes to what it clearly becoming an epidemic will be discovered.