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Flying Bird Image


When Everybody Called Me Gabe-bines,
"Forever-Flying-Bird":

Paul Peter Buffalo

Timothy G. Roufs (Ed.)
University of Minnesota Duluth

a note on tenses
  a note on style

 
orignal tapes information

Table of Contents

"This project has been financed in part with funds provided by the State of Minnesota from the Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund through the Minnesota Historical Society."

"This publication was made  possible in  part by the  people of  Minnesota  through  a grant funded by an appropriation  to  the  Minnesota  Historical Society  from the  Minnesota  Arts and Cultural  Heritage  Fund. Any views,  findings,  opinions,  conclusions  or recommendations expressed in this publication  are those  of  the authors  and  do not necessarily represent those of the State of  Minnesota, the  Minnesota  Historical Society, or the  Minnesota  Historic Resources Advisory Committee."

Canvas


Buffalo Image

50

"Dying"


Grave of Bez Hike -- Chief of the Chippewas, Madeline Island.

Grave of Bez Hike -- Chief of the Chippewas, Madeline Island.

Pezeke

b. ca. 1759 - d. September 2, 1855

Photographer: Monroe P. Killy

Photograph Collection 9/25/1970
  Collections Online
Minnesota Historical Society
Location no. Collection I.69.284

Grave of Bez Hike - Chief of the Chippewas, Madeline Island.

Chief Buffalo's Grave, La Pointe, Madeline Island, Wisconsin.

xxx please remove this image
from Ch. 5 and from here

Pezeke

b. ca. 1759 - d. September 2, 1855

Source: "Kechewaishke" -- Wikimedia

 

When you die you go to a different earth . . . a different playground . . . a different place that in Indian sounds like "planet" -- gií-ĝii‑gó.

That's heaven. 

Heaven. . . .

. . . You might as well say that you go to a different planet.

That's the word there . . . gií-ĝii‑gó. That's the light -- the light up above . . . in the sky. When you get there, you made 'er. It's just a road that you go on -- that you’re spirit goes on.  When you get to that road your spirit goes down it.

But sometimes your spirit carries you back to earth. If you're in the ground -- if you’re body’s in the ground -- you still have a spirit that goes.  The life of your spirit never dies.  When your spirit goes it leaves the body behind. Your body will deteriorate sooner or later but your spirit lives on.

And most often it returns. . . . but just for a short while.

A while back, about 1910 -- somewhere in there -- they had a wake up on Leech River. My grandfather and grandfolks used to have a plantation up there. They called it “John Smith's place.”(1) Quite a few of us Nasons and Lyons -- Old John Lyons' folks -- were still living up there at that time. There was an old lady up there that died. It was Old John's -- John S. Smith's -- mother. Oh, she was about ninety when she died.

She died, and we had a wake. We had a wake and there were a lot of them who came way out there, about twenty miles from no town. They had to come over about twenty‑five miles of bad road. It was pretty hard to get in there. It was a long way to get in there with a team of horses.

Indian funeral at White Earth or Cass Lake, ca. 1929-1929.

Indian funeral at White Earth or Cass Lake, ca. 1929-1929.

Photograph Collection ca. 1920-1929
Location no. E97.36 r62
Minnesota Historical Society
Negative no. 98561

During the wake they'd be singing those Indian Catholic Church songs.(2) This was a church society that was meeting for the wake and it was nice to hear them singing. They had pretty good singers when they had a wake. After a while it was a break time . . . time to get up and be excused. A lot of them wanted to have a drink of coffee, so they took a break. Some of them went for coffee; some of them went in to the kitchen area for a sandwich.

Before they all started off for coffee or a sandwich, a few of the lady folks were going towards the front door to go outside. They were going out for a nature call. Nobody lived across the river for fifteen or twenty miles, because it's all bog across it. Anyway, right at the door these women stopped sudden. Everybody was listening and looking up toward the eastern part of the sky. They could hear some women singing. I didn't believe there were any radios them days, you know; that was quite a while ago. When I got to the door I got a kind of funny feeling. "Well,” I said, "maybe I should stay in."

When they heard those women singing those lady folks that were heading out all came back in the room looking at one another very surprisingly. They couldn't figure out what this singing would be. The head man of the St. Joseph's society which was meeting said, "That's a blessing that we're getting. Those are angels about, singing with us."

So the door shut, and we all had to say a prayer for that. The next time they went out they didn't hear anything more.

I re‑collected that in my mind very well today when we went to church and I heard that minister -- that priest -- saying that each and every one has a spirit and that each and every one should believe in that spirit and a spirit of life. A spirit of life works with you because you believe in it. You're empowered with your spirit and the spirit of life when you believe in it. The great God -- the Manidoo -- with the spirit of His life, is yours too.

I was thinking about that today, but I didn't say anything about this in church when we were invited to say something about the spiritual life and who is the Lord and how we believe in Him.

You have a spirit too, a good spirit, but your spirit can have bad spots. You can use your power(3) one way or the other, but if you're working more on the bad spots of the spirit your power will drift away from you. The good spirit will always get close to you, and if there's any hard feelings he'll always cheer you up. He’ll appear and cheer you up when you’ve lost someone; sure.

There are some people that believe pretty strong in these things for some reasons -- because they've seen something unusual before them . . . like what they heard up at Old John Smith's place.(4) I think what they called "angels" up there at Old John’s mother’s wake were what the Great Spirit sent down to help us. They were spirits, spirits that had a great advisory post. xxxftnt And the spirits from the graveyard up there joined them. See? They were spirits. They came back to go to their graves, but they didn't get to the graves. The spirits of the people that lived there before came back to the old plantation. Those are the ones I thought would answer the songs of the women singing.

See, there are spirits around all the time, but you never seen them. The Great says you'll not see the spiritual world in this world. He says, "You'll never see Me until the last day." And that means one for all. That don't mean only one, that means all of us. "You'll never see Me 'till the last day." See?

But when the last day comes you'll see the Great Master. The Great Manidoo calls you when your time is up. He calls your soul. See your body has gone to the ground and eventually your body is nothing but a pile of dirt. After you're dead and buried your body goes back to earth but your soul, your spirit, shall not be under the ground. It shall be on earth -- one way or the other -- and, it might stay on this earth for a while, but just for a short time; and when the spirit of God takes your spirit out of this life then you can see the Manidoo and you can see the other spirits too. And from there on the spirit of yours is your god.

Your own spirit is jichaag. That's your spirit -- your very own spirit of God. Your jichaag is a mind of your own. And when you're "dead and gone" he leaves your body.

At first he goes to . . . he goes for the judgment for you. You carried him. You obeyed him. And he'll tell you he has done all he can to save you. Right after you die your jichaag goes to a judgment.

How does he get there?

xxxxxxzzzzzzxxxBegin River and judge/judgement

There’s a river across to the next world and when you go across the river your jichaag goes with you. When you're done here on this earth then you're going to cross the river. And that's why they sing, "There's One Wide River to Cross." You know that song in English. I remember that song. You might have to go across a bridge, and if the bridge sinks when you go across you're not going to make it. If it sinks you're not fit to cross there. But when a bridge holds up you get across and then you're sure of yourself; you're sure that you could be on that side with them. Nothing happens to the bridge after you go across; if it sinks a little it just comes right back up. The bridge is made of wood, so naturally it comes back up, like a waterlogged deadhead. When anything that's wood sinks it's bound to come to the surface.

The village that you are going to is called gii‑ĝii‑gõ$ng. It’s up in the sky, in the heaven. Gii‑ĝii‑gõ$ng, that's where the good souls go. Gii‑ĝii‑gõng is heaven. That gii‑ĝii‑gõ’$ng is everlasting peace and everlasting life. Gii‑ĝii‑gõ’ng, that's the last work you have to do and where you live in peace forever. Your spirit is there. You made your good life that you promised. That promise was just like a treaty that was put before you, and you signed it saying that you're going to live a good life. And that treaty read are you going to live to believe in God? Are you going to live to do what's right? Are you going to live as a Christian -- if that's the path you're walking down?

But the devil is always saying the same thing to the Judge: "I'm gonna get more people than you will." The devil says that. See, they're contest‑ing just like living persons.

And God says, "I don't think you will."

When you see a bad person, he's often well-dressed and his clothes are nothing but silk, nothing but silk. They're sateen and he has a nice hat. He's clean cut. "My friend," he'll say, "and you wear common clothes."

"What do you want to hear?" you might ask him.

"Let's you and I go and have a wild party, where there's a lot of women." And this person says, "I'm looking for a woman."

"I'm looking for internal happiness for my last days," you tell him . . . if you're staying on the good‑life path.

"Well, I can't talk to you then?"

"No."

"I might as well go away."



How long it takes your spirit to reach its destination all depends on what life you had. If you had a good life, you go quick. If you had a bad life, you had have a long trail and it'd take time, maybe. It all depends on how big of a sinner you are. xxx If you're not purified -- if you're a sinner -- it may take quite a while. xxx It depends on how long you lived and continued this sin. It depends on whether you committed venial sin, or you committed a mortal sin. xxxftnt It takes less time with a venial sin. There are venial sins and mortal sins. A mortal sin is one that you committed pretty heavy continually and intentionally. xxx So If you intentionally continue on mortal sin, you don't care for the last day of your’s on earth. xxx But if you're not intentionally having to do this, that's a venial sin. So If you intentionally continue on mortal sin, you don't care for the last day of your’s on earth. Venial sin can be overlooked by confessing. Confess to God that you didn't mean it. Tell Him that you didn't mean to make a mistake, which is a venial sin. And then you go before a minister that has the power to pray for you to clarify the venial sin.

There's a judgment in every lay of life, dead or alive. We have judge‑ments on earth too. There's a judgment from the Great Spirit here on earth that we don't see. The Judge will decide whether you're fit to continue this way. He'll decide whether you're fit to continue [that] way. And eventually He'll decide whether you're fit to continue to the [next] world to live in with other people.

If you weren't so good on this earth I suppose you'd run into the many jams. You'd run into many troubles. You wouldn't live a happy life on earth. You wouldn't live a happy life because you'd live in guilt. But if you’ve lived a good life, or tried to live a good life, you're healthy. If you can't live a good life, you give up all hopes and you don't believe in anything. Naturally, if you don't believe in anything, you don't ever get well. If you don't believe in anything how do you know you've lived? How do you know to live for what you receive from day to day? If you don't believe in anything you don't figure ahead. If you don't figure ahead on earth, you don't figure ahead after you're gone.

That's the way they used to tell us.

If you're a good person, you just go right straight. [But even then, after you die it would still take you] oh, three days to reach your destination anyhow. Everything is three. Thirty; three. It takes at least three days, but it's up to the power of your judgment. Your Judge will decide that. The Judge is the one that can put you there quick, or later on. The longer it takes, the worse you've been. If it takes a long time you're not fit. The way you live, and the way you left this earth, will determine how long it takes. If you had problems, say you did something wrong which was a great thing, He'll exercise you and make you take side roads until you're cleared up to be judged.

God -- The Great Judge . . . the Great Manidoo . . . Gitchi Manidoo . . . the Great God . . . the Great Spirit -- is right there close on the other side of the floating bridge. God doesn't have to travel. He's standing right there on that different earth where your spirit goes. See, He's up in the air. That Great Spirit is right there where your spirit’s jichaag's going.

When you get up there your jichaag'll magnetize you, and he'll tell you what to do. Ya. Your jichaag meets lots of other jichaags up in there. Each individual who dies has a soul that leaves the body. And each one of their souls is jichaag also. The place where the jichaags are that's the re‑judgment place of jichaags. The place where they live -- that whole bunch of them -- is called maa‑mo‑wáy manidoo‑gaa‑mÍg in Indian. Ya. maamawiway -- altogether. It’s God's home, you might as well say it's the village of the Manidoo.

And when that big judgment day comes then we say gi‑wii‑áah‑ku‑náh . . . well, that's "home judgment," back to heaven where you belong, gi‑wii‑aáh‑ku‑nah. That's another pronounce‑i‑ation of what He's trying to put out. . . . Gi‑wii‑aáh‑ku‑nah is i‑tu‑báa‑kwa‑nah, and there's wi‑tu‑báa‑kwa‑nah. There are three words. So when you're passed away then you're going before the Judge.

There the Great Manidoo classifies you. xxx Don't try to hide, because He knows what you've done in the past. Tell the truth. xxx You're classified good or bad. That's the judgment. Then, if it needs to be, you're purified. You suffer before you go on to that final place!; yes; and that counts in the judgement.

And day‑báa‑ku‑nah, you went through the judgment and the judgment finds you not guilty. Then you're released. And when St. Peter or some other messenger OKs it, then you leave for the village of the Manido. When you get up there to that final place it's nothing but flowers.

But if you're not ready, you might be purified by fire. Fire is a purification to your body and soul. Your soul is purified by heat. By the heat of the judgment He'll question you, "Did you do that? Did you do this?"

If you're going to purgatory, all right, that's wiping off your bad spots, burning them off. Gi‑báas‑gaás‑sii‑yá kay‑da‑wÍn that's wiping off your soul. Purgatory [in Indian is] gaá‑sii‑a‑kíi‑zo‑wÍn. That's "wipe‑off‑the‑sin -- wipe-off-sickness." And when you're burned off, scaled off, that purifies you. When If He calls you to go to purgatory you stay in there the number of years decided, to burn the sin out. It's the same way with other religions. You suffer on earth, you do penance, for your internal happiness.

The older children get purified too because they were old enough to understand, but they've neglected the Great. They didn't believe that there was God. xxx You can't blame [the young children] but [the older ones] could help themselves. They understand that and so they might have to stay in purgatory so long too. They may stay there a number of years maybe. It's a flame; it's a heat that burns away your sins.

Newly-born babies are excused [up until] at a certain point, but starting from seven to eight they should understand. If they start working when they're young it's easier for them to know who the Creator is. By seven or eight they should understand and they should practice their belief. They should take interest in life. You can blame them when they're seven, eight, nine, but not when they're young. [Maybe] they knew enough to understand the mother and father,] but the mother and father didn't help these kids. OK. So do what's right to [teach them. Ask them, ]. “What are [you] living for? Are you living for just a good time on earth? You're going to be worn out with [just] a good time!”

You can't forget children. You have to bring them up with the knowledge of what is good in the near future and the future to come. That's your duty. "I give you blood, I give you an increase in this country, in the true way." xxxzzzzzz Until they're twenty-one -- or until they leave to go out on their own -- you share their faults. After that they can handle their own. xxx [A parent] still [has to share] a fault of these children until they're twenty‑one and they're on their own. Xxxfrom add chillog xxx[74‑26]xxx They pick their own way to live after that. [By then] they could understand the word of God, the Creator of heaven and earth. They understand how the world is made. They understand why it's made for them. They know it's made for all of us to live in. [They know that] if you use your life right you'll get the truth; you'll get heaven.

You can find that in the Catholic book or in the book of any church.

When you get old it's much easier for you. You can't commit any sin when you're old enough. When you're over sixty‑five or seventy you're not committing a sin. You're pure. You're thinking about God. You're ready for Him. You're ready for internal happiness.

And if you're an old man you may have lost part of your mind. You're not full‑strength of body and blood. You're weakening [in your mind] and the older you get the more weakened you become. Then God, the Creator, blesses you and you are purified in that way.

 

xxxzzzxxxzzzxxxzzz



The white man says it isn't easy to see the Divine. That's the same way it is with the Indian when we're on this earth, and that's why we have messenger spirits to help us out. We have spirits of birds and animals to help us. Those birds and animals go by spirit relations, some kind of spiritual relation for them which we call dodaim and all that.(5)

Well, dodaim is a relative‑ly degree. Dodaim is our relative‑ly animal. The spirits of the dodaims tell these folks, "You be good on earth, and you'll be well placed in the next world." Dodaims help us on our way to the next world. And when you go to the next world, the people here will say, "He's up there in the next world, his spirit is up there in the next world."

If you weren't so good on this earth I suppose you'd run into the many jams. You'd run into many troubles. You wouldn't live a happy life on earth. You wouldn't live a happy life because you'd live in guilt. But if you’ve lived a good life, or tried to live a good life, you're healthy. If you can't live a good life, you give up all hopes and you don't believe in anything. Naturally, if you don't believe in anything, you don't ever get well. If you don't believe in anything how do you know you've lived? How do you know to live for what you receive from day to day? If you don't believe in anything you don't figure ahead. If you don't figure ahead on earth, you don't figure ahead after you're gone.

That's the way they used to tell us.

That’s why there is this jichaag -- that's your spirit, spirit of individual -- that's in your head and mind and body. It works together with your head and mind and body. That's your jichaag, the great master that you follow. And that's just what you believe in then. You believe in your own spirit, that spirit, jichaag, and then you follow that. You think that jichaag is a living person, and he is. You cannot see him, but he's there. That jichaag means(6) to guide your brain to guide your personal way. That's the jichaag.

 

 

In the old Indian way when they had a wake -- in our way -- they used to sit and give the Great Spirit an offering. They believe a pretty strong belief in the Spirit. We all do! My people all believe there's a Spirit. We believe we all work for the one principle, the Great.

Chippewa Mourners, 1923.

Chippewa Mourners, 1923.

Painter: Cameron Booth (1892-1980)

Art Collection, Oil 1923
  Collections Online
Minnesota Historical Society
Location no. AV1988.45.393 Negative no. 15369

An Indian funeral is something great. The Indian burial minister describes about death. Mah-Yah-i-way is guy that sends 'em up -- the guy that sends him off . . . the one that lets the spirit go from earth. He sends him off. He'll preach a sermon that asks that the deceased may live forever, in spirit. The spirits cannot be seen by those remaining here on earth, and they rest with god up there in the village of the Manidoo. The Indian minister tells about life and death and it sounds very, very, wonderful. It makes you wonder. It's wonder‑ous. They hold a good service.

The Indian [minister] says [to the spirit of the dead person, “Go! Don’t look back. Look ahead.] We give the last offer to you, [as] you have done work in this world for all. Now you have gone to rest. Your body turns to dirt, but your spirit is taking you to be with the Great. [We ask of you . . . when you get with the Great to] help us too. Don't leave us entirely. We know you'll be there. Or you're there already. But your body has been the hull of your spirit, and your body has come back into dirt. Into the air the spirit leaves, the spirit of you. Each and everyone's got a spirit. That spirit cannot be seen."

That's the way we talk on earth. If you have a spirit in your life, and you know you have a spirit in your life, then you're proud! You take of that spirit, and your spirit works with you. It works on your mind.

That's the way they're talking at the wake . . . to the spirit, not the body. That's the same thing I [do] here. The last offer is made as an offer [so] that [the people that’s here can] look forward [to] their [deceased’s spirit] coming back to us [and working] through their spirit for our spirit. We feel good that we have made the last offer [and asked] the last question to him.

In [those] days, you know, they had some of [the] wakes just overnight, because we didn't have any way of embalming. If it was cold weather, well, we kept [the body] maybe two days, a couple days [at the most]. [In the winter] we had snow to work with up north here, and we had ice. I've seen ice used in burying to keep the bodies cool, but we never had [anybody] embalmed like we do nowdays. [Bodies] keep a little better nowadays, but [in those days] we knew that we couldn't take that blood out. We'd never try to take that blood out because we figured we'd [let] the spirit leave [the body] just the way it'd go natural, by itself. See? And we always believed by nature [the body’ll] be destroyed fast enough and the body is going to go back where it belongs. And then the spirit leaves [natural‑ly]. It's better, [and] it looks better that way. You feel better about it. Natural‑ly everything seems better.

You know in those days we didn't go to funerals much. When somebody [died], they put him away the next day. We didn't know who died [in those] days. They just buried them right in along‑the‑lakeshore graveyards. Ya. People were buried all along the river. I've seen dead people sticking out of the banks of the river. The logs floating down the rivers during the spring logging drives caught the banks of the river and caved them in. The big pine logs caved it in, caved it in, caved it in day after day.(7) Pretty soon this dead person was hanging down out of the grave. I remember one where her hair was hanging down and there was a little baby under her arm. That was right above the Leech and Mississippi forks.(8) We used to point at that as we'd go by. Sometimes we'd [just] sit there and watch it.

Indian burial place on Deer Creek, 1868.

Indian burial place on Deer Creek, near Fort Laramie, WY, 1868.

Photographer: Alexander Gardner

[near Fort Laramie, WY].
Photograph Collection 1868
Location no. Collection IV.3.28
Minnesota Historical Society
Negative no. 14470

One time when we were on our way to the sugarbush -- not too far from where that woman and baby were sticking out of the bank -- my mother and I went to visit a place where somebody had been buried up in a tree. There was nothing unusual about that, them days, that's just the way it was -- they buried the people up in the trees in them days. It was so warm that this new dead who was just put up there before we came there had snakes crawling all over him. A snake can crawl up a tree you know. My mother stopped and looked. She watched that snake crawl under a bark. There was a body wrapped up in the bark, and when she looked at that bark, there it was, a snake. She said, "Come on. Let's go."

From that time on she was a speaker of that in the councils. "We don't like to see any more of that. Bury them out of sight." So that's when they started burying the people out of sight. I wouldn't know the name of the one up in the tree. I was pretty small, see.

My mother is not living or she would know about that. She would know I've seen it. Oh I didn't see, really see, many people buried in the trees, but I knew they did that. I've only seen just a few in the trees. But they used to do that lots. Oh, I suppose it happened to quite a few of them; I don't know. I couldn’t say. I don't know why. The last time I saw that was, about 1926 or '28. Once in a while you'd still see people in trees in 1928. [They buried them up there because] they thought the Spirit would come at night and take the spirit of their life away. The next morning [the body] was still there, but the spirit of that body might have gone. So they were satisfied with that.

You know, we could ask a lot of things [to others around here], but you'd have the same answer as I have [given]. You'd have the same answer. You would know the facts of the history. You would know what the people tried to do to preserve the dead body. We tried every way. The wooden box is the best. We should use a wooden box instead of a cast‑stone casket. Some people pay five hundred dollars for a stone casket. That's out of range. This spirit is gone! The spirit is off in the field. When you're dead your spirit doesn't care about how your body is buried or where he is. The spirit is well taken care of already. We believe in that.

Years ago we would make a food offering to the spirit of the dead about once or twice a year, in the spring and summer. [We’d] give food. Xxxadd51Dying That's the last sacrament of their life too. We’d make a movement to offer food and everything to the dead, and [the spirits] they'd always eat it.

"Chippewa Burial Ground," Leech Lake Indian Reservation, 1936.

Chippewa Burial Ground, Leech Lake, 1936.

Cameron Booth (1892-1980)


Exhibition: The Color of Winter, James J. Hill House.
Art Collection, Oil, 1936
  Collections Online
 Minnesota Historical Society
Location No. AV1988.45.346 Negative No. 15367

I'll tell you something about that. One time some Indian women were leaving the sugarbush on Sugar Point of Leech Lake. It rained hard that day. There was a lumberjack, Doc Tibbetts, who crawled under one of those wooden boxes that they used to put over the graves. He didn't want to get wet. And there he fell asleep. It was dry under that box. They're water preserved, so the sand inside is dry. Those Indian women came there and when the lumberjack woke up he heard somebody talking. The women looked at that peek‑hole, on the platform there -- a hole and platform like a birdhouse -- and began to put their food out. There was an old lady who left cake‑sugar, taffy, maple sugar, and wild rice. She said, "We leave you this for your lunch for the summer. We'll be back to give you some more. There's wild rice you could eat with your maple cakes."

Those Indians had everything.

Just as she was saying that Tibbetts reached his hand out and said, "Miigwech." And that old lady turned right around, raised her dress, and ran down the road. She wasn't [shy] no more. [She took right off] and all [the women] moved out of there [with her].

Here there was a lumberjack under there!

That's true.

That was Doc Tibbetts. That's Ben Tibbetts' brother. Oh he was full of heck. He'd do anything.

"Spirit House" at Townsite, Ball Club, MN, 1965.

"Spirit House" at Townsite, Ball Club, MN, Leech Lake, 1965.

Photographer: Timothy G. Roufs

You know what [else] they done? We had a funeral, a wake, one time. He came along, opened that rough‑box, and he got in there. Frank Michaud was along with him too. I think it was Frank . . . it was a Michaud anyway. He got in there too. It was dark outside. They laid in there, and when somebody came out with a light to go to the can or something, they started to kick that box.

"Huh!"

Everybody ran!

They opened that box and found these guys in the rough‑box. And they laughed.

That's how crazy they were years ago.

Nobody would do that now.

Well they didn't care then, but they didn't last long [either]. That's why you have to be careful about what you do, what you say, what you practice on. They left. They were about thirty‑two when they died. [And] they were husky guys.

When I finally lay me down to sleep my body goes back to earth. See? It's natural. The vegetation builds up tier by tier every year. Vegetation builds up like that and that's the same thing with a body. The body's just the same as vegetation, the leaves and everything. They lay down, tier by tier, every year, and build up. And people do the same. There's no way out of it.

Our belief, our Indian belief -- the belief of our Indians -- is that [by the time you get old] you have worked on this earth. When you work decent you have had hard work to keep together as you've gone along. Maybe you have a family. Maybe you have friends. They all respect you. They're all looking at you.

[Sooner or later] you get tired out of age, and you know that you're done. Then you're going on a journey, a real journey, after you're [done] living [and working]. Indians [generally] believe they've lived [a life] when [they see] the younger generation coming [behind].

If [the old age] want to [work with] their spirit, they'll feel good. Everybody's got a spirit. xxxzzz [And] that's the one that tells you, "Do not. Don't. You're going to go wrong. You'll suffer. If you do right, you'll feel good." Xxx That's why [they’re] there. xxxzzz In spirit [it] cannot be seen; the spirit cannot be seen. But it's there.

If you have any ailment as you go along, and if you say, "You're with me. I'm broke down. My body's broke down. Will you come? Come, close to me. I need you," you'll get better. It'll straighten out. He'll give you another chance, but don't ask too much of that. It'll never go if you ask for too much. He'll give you a chance; He'll give you a tryout. And you remember that way, if you give her 'er a tryout, [and pretty soon] you're up on your feet as you go. See, that's life. That's the way we believe.

Then, when you pass [away], you're gone; you're done. Your body's going to the sand.(9) You've done your work. You're not afraid. You're at rest. When you're at rest, there's a bigger light, a brighter one than is on earth. And it's a different picture. The spirit of your life -- , your spirit of your body, the spirit of your body -- has seen a bigger light. And that light draws for the good, if you were good. But if you were bad, you don't see any light. You still want to go where there's light, but you're not going to get there. But If you've been bad you'll never see light after you're gone! You'll be in the dark. Your spirit will be in the dark. It can never see light. Forever.

Nobody can put you to heaven. You put yourself in heaven. Nobody can put you in the next world, for the better world. You put yourself there with your own ears, eyes, and the life [you lead]. That's what the way it is. You feel good when you do that. You earned your way. Nobody can give you the earning of a money when your hands are able, when your body's able. Um uh. You earned that. You took care of that. When you take care of your future, in life, you're going to see a better light than this world. How wonderful it is.

It'll prove someday, when you're gone, when your body has left you but your spirit is in the next world. That's a big world. That's bigger yet than this [world]. [And] then, it's everlasting. And in the everlasting, when you get up there, if you want to see this and that, you can. If you were good enough on earth you're good enough to get to the everlasting and you can have your way. You're done on earth.



What happens from here on? Where am I going from here, at my age?

Well, our teaching is there that when you're leaving, your spirit is still here if your breath is active and your body is still warm. When your body's cool, cooled off, and your heart is stopped, then your spirit is getting ready to go. When you're just getting cooled off, with your heart stopped, your spirit is ready to go, then you continue to get cooled off because the circulation isn't there and your heart isn't functioning. When you're cooled off completely you're really gone.

xxxzzzxxxccc But when your spirit knows you're good enough, your spirit hates to leave you. Maybe it can be, it could be, pumped out. But when he sees that you lived a bad life he'll say, "Let's go." Suppose you had a friend and he said you did enough on this earth. He'll say, "You've been bad enough, let's go." If you don't [try to do good] he's gone. The spirit is gone. Your body is laid down to earth.

[When you lose someone] you can't eat; you get lonely. But if you're occupied then you're not lonely. It is true. We bring that up in [wakes too]. We have folks that lose their relatives, maybe a son, a daughter or something. When we have a wake we give a lecture to this party that's lonely. After the burial service everybody bids one another goodbye. "Take care. Hold firm. Be solid. Be brave," they say. "That's one of these things we see as the earth goes around and around.”

“Thank you."

And then we say, the leavers say, "My friend, everyone has to go through this. Remember, and wait." In talking to the lonely -- they're the ones that lost that [friend or relative] -- we say, "This here is a hard feeling, but we all have to go through the same thing. And some have humbled themself too far down and then they got sick from it. But never do that. When you feel bad and you miss the party you lost -- [a] big loss, you know -- don't start to wonder. Don't start! Get up. Go grab a rake and start raking, or sweep the floor. Be occupied. That's better for you! You feel good then. See? So you occupy your mind with something else. If you're just going to humble yourself and think about this loss and don't do a thing, it's going to get you sick! Your heart is aching. And when your heart is aching you don't have the functions to your body [that you need to keep healthy].”

“But when you move and are exercising and doing the work that should be done, you're satisfied and your heart functions right and your whole system improves and you're satisfied. You have done wonderful for your body by acting with your mind.”

That's a big thing.

That loneliness and humbling that's a worse thing than an ailment to your body. When you start to get lonely that body goes and that will take you quick. When you start worrying, start feeling lonely, it's acting on your heart that's ticking like a clock. You have to keep that active. Don't worry. Get that exercise for your body. You're starving for the regulation from your heart. Your whole body's starving from the regulation of your heart, if you quit working. When you exercise you move a little bit, then your body's satisfied and your whole mind is satisfied. That's life. Your whole mind is satisfied for what little exercise you do. When you have a little exercise to do for your body then your whole heart pumps and your mind works good. Maybe you can eat a little meal. Then you're satisfied. Then you have done something for yourself. But just quitting altogether [doesn’t] do anything, and then your body's starving, your mind is starving, your stomach's starving, the whole work's starving. You're gonna die.

xxxBegin wake lectures – map / road

Truth of life in Indian [is] bay‑buu‑wan, bay‑buu‑wáy‑g^‑gii‑kwáy‑wÍn. Xxx [That’s] the “truth‑preaching‑to‑all.” Xxx [The Indian burial minister talks about the road of truth of life. And sometimes he’ll draw out that road of life.] Xxxzzzz [That] whole map [he draws is] called in Indian miikana, just “road” -- miikana -- but everyone knows what it means]. Xxx [That’s] a road! It's a road of truth of life. If you complete that road then you made it to heaven, and truthful internal happiness should be there.

 

 

[I’ve heard them talk about the “homeward road of the souls."] The nearest I could tell you is that there are two words to that. There's one, [dibaakonan -- “judging”], and there's another one, wi‑tu‑báa‑kwa‑nah, see, "he's going to the judgment."

xxxzzzxxxccc Suppose you had a friend and he said you did enough on this earth. He'll say, "You've been bad enough, let's go." If you don't [try to do good] he's gone. The spirit is gone. Your body is laid down to earth. Then when he goes, between there [the earth and heaven], never look back when you're on this road. There's a road you're following, a straight road. Some of them that's past [on] couldn't make that road. See, so when you go on this straight road that means you lived a straight life. You have to be perfect to get on that straight road. But there's some road's that's got a "Y" in them. Some of them couldn't get up there [to heaven] because they took a wrong turn at the "Y". xxx [Some of them have a] place that looks kind‑a like a "U". xxxzzz So they have to stay there on that road so long. If they lived there for so long and thought about this spirit they realize it is going to have a heck of a time to go [on the straight road to heaven]. And if you did something serious, you're done! That left‑hand road [is a wrong turn in your life]. The right‑hand road means a straight life, and if you're on it then your friend says, "You were good enough to go straight, to go right straight through. Hi. Hi." It's just the same as if, the ones who had to wait up, were saying, "Hi, help us."

When you get up where the betterment is in the next world, you’ll turn back. As far as you could see you'll see these on the right‑hand side [-- the right side looking back --] that had to wait. See, they had to wait. You passed, but they have to wait. Maybe you can help them from up there. You can help them from up there. But with those that went left, you have no chance of helping. They're done. This road is direct for you. When you get up there [to some point] you may have to go in a "Y", but only for so long do you stay there on the "Y". Finally, maybe there's a cut-off there that'll get you back on the straight road again. I don't know how many years it will take you to get there. But when you do, then you'll look back at those you left. It's a big thing.

xxxBegin River and judge/judgement

And then when you go across the river -- [there’s a river] across to the next world -- [your jichaag goes with you]. When you're done here on this earth then you're going to cross the river. And that's why they sing, "There's One Wide River to Cross." You know that song in English. I remember that song. [You might have to go across a bridge.] If the bridge sinks when you go across, you're not going to make it. You're not fit to cross there. But when a bridge holds up you get across and then you're sure of yourself, you're sure that you could be on that side with them. Nothing happens to the bridge [after you go across], it just comes right back up. The bridge is made of wood, so naturally it comes back up. When anything that's wood sinks it's bound to come to the surface.

[How long it takes to get to that village of the Manidoo, to that gathering xxx in the next world,] all depends on how big of a sinner you are. It depends on how long you lived and continue this sin. It depends on whether you committed venial sin, or you committed a mortal sin. If you're a good person, you just go right straight. [But even then it still would take you] oh, three days anyhow. Everything is three. Thirty; three. It takes at least three days, but it's up to the power of your judgment. Your judge will do it. The longer it takes, the worse you've been. If it takes a long time you're not fit. The judge is the one that can put you there. See?

The village is gii‑zii‑gõ$ng. [It’s up in the sky, in the heaven.] xxx[55‑18] gii‑zii‑gõ’$ng, that's where the good souls go. That gii‑zii‑gõ’$ng is everlasting peace and everlasting life. gii‑zii‑gõng is heaven. gii‑zii‑gõ’ng, that's the last work you have to do and where you live in peace forever. Your spirit is there. You made your good life that you promised. You made it through your life. That was just like a treaty that was put before you, and you signed it saying that you're going to live a good life. Are you going to live as a Christian? Are you going to live to believe in God? Are you going to live to do what's right?

But the devil is always saying the same thing to the judge: "I'm gonna get more people than you will." The devil said that. See, they're just like a living person. And God says, "I don't think you will."

When you see a bad person, he's well-dressed and his clothes are nothing but silk, nothing but silk. They're sateen and he has a nice hat. He's clean cut. "My friend," he'll say, "and you wear common clothes."

"What do you want to hear?"

"Let's you and I go and have a wild party, where there's a lot of women." And this person says, "I'm looking for a woman."

"I'm looking for internal happiness for my last days."

"Well, I can't talk to you then."

"No."

"I might as well go away."

xxxEnd River Begin Never look back

We don't worry about the next life, but still we want to get there. We can never find out how to master this world. Our time is limited that's all. We have to go through a life. We're not through here on earth until we go through that life, then we'll see what's the next world. In Indian, they know that. They never look back [until they’re with the Great Spirit]. When they send off the dead in their burial, a medicine man(10) says, "Don't look back." [He] tells [the] spirit, "GO! Look ahead, don't look back. Don't look sideways, just go." I heard that lots.

If you look back, why do you do it? Because you have done something back there that bothers you. You did something bad, you did something wrong. And [if] you didn't do anything wrong, you might do something wrong when you're looking back. You're wasting time [looking back]; look forward all time.

Oh, gee. Maybe we understand the meaning in Indian. Ya.

There's a judgment in every lay of life, dead or alive. There's a judgment from the Great Spirit that we don't see. So when that judgment day comes then we say gi‑wii‑áah‑ku‑náh. That's what he was trying to say. Gi‑wii‑aáh‑ku‑nah, well, that's "home judgment," back to heaven where you belong, gi‑wii‑aáh‑ku‑nah. That's another pronounce-i-ation of what he's trying to put out . . . Gi‑wii‑aáh‑ku‑nah is i‑tu‑báa‑kwa‑nah, and there's wi‑tu‑báa‑kwa‑nah. There are three words. So when you're passed away then you're going before the judge. We have it on earth too. The judge will decide whether you're fit to continue this way. He'll decide whether you're fit to continue [that] way. He'll decide whether you're fit to continue to the [next] world to live in with other people. And day‑báa‑ku‑nah, you went through the judgment and the judgment finds you not guilty. Then you're released. [But] then [if you're not ready, you might be purified by] fire. Fire is a purification to your body and soul.

Your soul is purified by heat. By the heat of the judgment He'll question you, "Did you do that? Did you do this?"

Don't try to hide, because He knows what you've done in the past. Tell the truth. If you're not purified, if you're a sinner, it may take quite a while [to go along on that road]. It takes less time with a venial sin. There are venial sins and mortal sins. A mortal sin is one that you committed pretty heavy continually and intentionally. But if you're not intentionally having to do this, that's a venial sin. [That’s] protection of your own body and people. So if you intentionally continue on mortal sin, you don't care for the last day of your’s on earth. Venial sin can be overlooked by confessing. Confess to God that you didn't mean it. Tell Him that you didn't mean to make a mistake, which is a venial sin. And then you go before a minister that has the power to pray for you to clarify the venial sin.

When He calls you, sooner or later, if you have to go to purgatory, you stay in there them number of years to burn the sin out. It's the same way with religion. You suffer on earth, you do penance, for your internal happiness.

Purgatory [in Indian is] gaá‑sii‑a‑kíi‑zo‑wÍn. That's "wipe‑off‑the‑sin, [wipe-off-sickness]." You can't blame [the young children]. But they [the older ones] could help themselves. They understand and they have to stay in purgatory so long. They may stay there a number of years maybe. It's a flame; it's a heat, that burns away your sins. You get purified [in purgatory] because they were old enough to understand, but they've neglected the Great. They didn't believe that there was God. So after while, when you get old, it's much easier for you. You can't commit any sin when you're old enough. When you're over sixty‑five or seventy you're not committing a sin. xxx[69‑7] You're pure. You're thinking about God. You're ready for Him. You're ready for internal happiness.

xxxBegin wake lectures – coming back

[You can't come back from gii‑zii‑gõng and talk to people on earth.] No. No. You're done. We let the Judge do that. The Judge lets you do the talking right here. And he collects that, if you believe in God, if you believe in the Creator. He didn't leave you without anything.

That's the last supper; that's the way we look at it. The way the Indian looks at it, the Creator put everything [up] there, but there's no way for anybody to come back and tell you how it is up there. They can't tell you how it is, no. You aren't supposed to know. But while you're on this earth you're supposed to do what you can, you're supposed to do the best you know how from your jichaag. xxxxQqq I heard that [some people died and went and came back] but I don't believe it. It's just a dream. That's a dream. [I heard that] about ten or fifteen years ago. But its a dream that he was talking about. In the dream he saw the Great Spirit come in before the cloud. And he dreamt somebody hollered, "The end of the world." And the Great Spirit came, and all He said was, "Do what's right." Right is right and left is left. You go to the right road when you do right. If you go to the left road, you have to be purified. Ok.

[Once you’re up there you can’t come back and talk to the people still on this earth.] No! You're dead.

[Your spirit can't come back and communicate with them either.] No! No.

You should build it [your own way to heaven] here. [On the map; xxxi.e., on earth.]

[You can’t come back even in a dream and remind your relatives that they should be praying for you and making the offerings.] No. No way! That's the truth of life and when you're done, you're completely done. You have no excuse at that point. You made 'er.

No!! [You can’t come back!] You can't!!

You can't come back.

xxxqqq[Rep.‑‑ Well, they might come back in their dreams, ya. In their dreams they might come, ya, same way as when God comes to me when I'm sleeping. He wanted to say something but He just showed me His hand.]

[69-12] xxx

I heard that [some of these guys, when they're [up toward the top of the road of life] they die for a night, and they go [to heaven] for one night and then come back.]

END WAKE LECTURES xxx

Friends, relatives, family, the medicine men, would come to a wake. They give lectures, just like a priest. They drew maps [showing] how [the spirit of] this body's going. And by the very word of the medicine man they direct this spirit, the spirit of this body, when he gives the last word to him. Well, it's the same thing as [they’re saying]: "I have worked. You have worked. You have left. You are leaving. You are now leaving this body when you're cooled off.” You are cooled off, your body, and the spirit leaves. And never -- the spirit shall never -- look back! “You shall look forward. You shall look forward until you reach your destination. Then you are able to look back. Then when you look back you're able to help us."

Hoo‑boy! They weren't slow.

How long [it took] that spirit to reach its destination xxx[14‑27] all depends on what life you had. If you had a good life, you went quick. If you had a bad life, you had a [long] trail. It'd take time, maybe. Oh, if he had problems in his life and he hates to go because of the family that he is used to, [he might want to take longer].

Oh, if he had problems in his life and he hates to go because of the family that he is used to, [he might want to take longer].

But this medicine man says, "You better go. You have left this [life]. Try and get there as quick as you can so that you may be able to help us all, and help your family. You'll feel better. So we would look forward to a quick journey, but we never know how long or how quick your Judge will take you. We leave it to your Judge. He may take you right now. You may be there looking at us now."

The way you live, and the way you left, will determine how long it takes. If you had problems, say you did something wrong which was a great thing, he'll exercise you and make you take side [roads] until you're cleared up to be judged.

[The medicine man will tell the ones gathered,] “Everybody that dies [and makes it on the long road] eventually reaches that destination. We're all made equals in Indian. We're all the same. We're here to work for the earth. We're here to [use up the nature-stored things of this earth ???xxx]. When the road [begins, you follow it.] And you follow that road when your spirit leaves. We all get to go there [some day]. [Until] you get to the Great Spirit [you’ll] never will know what He does. He's the manager. See? You'll get there to that destination, [and then] you'll know.”

Well, that's the way they preached.

The longest times for him to get there would be if he had committed a big crime. And that takes [fifteen years]. See, he has [thexxx] Great, [his] spirit, [the medicine man’s] words, [and his, dodaim, his animal] messenger, and all them [are pullin’ for him]. The messenger is great. They have things to think about.(11) [xxxqqqFt nt animal messenger]

xxx[14‑29] And then, after the messenger had worked hard pulling for him to go through, he may go to a certain place for a while. After a while there's a road from there to bring him home through there. He goes through penance, ya. Oh, it would take, sometimes it would take -- they say it would take -- fifteen or twenty years to get through[, if he committed a big crime]. A penance is a big penance to the Judge. And the Judge is not saying you'll get to heaven in fifteen minutes. No! You die in fifteen minutes!! You die in fifteen minutes on earth. [But] it's just like fifteen minutes on earth when you get there, when you get from when you were born to sixty‑five. Between forty and all that they go quick you know. A lot of them go quick. Well, it's just like fifteen minutes on earth. But look out -- it's many years up there when you're doing penance. Then you really do penance.

xxx14‑30] Then[, when you finally get there,] you see the big Judge. The Judge is the Big Spirit[, the Gitchi Manidoo] He's the big one.

He's just like a person. He is up [there], and He cannot be seen [until you get there]. He hears you when we do anything wrong. He's just like gold. He's just like flowers. He's just like the earth. There are many many [there with Him]. [And] you get there quick [if you have no serious drawbacks to answer for]. That's what it's like. It's beautiful! They should go back of the sun a bit, for many many miles.

You'll see a lot of things at an Indian wake. He could show you a lot of things. You shut your eyes and you'll just see [something that you have never seen???xxx] by pointing this road. If you can understand, it'll come clear. And when he's done you could understand clear, very clear. You couldn't say that he was as if he were wrong.

xxx[14‑31] Everything was right! It's got to be right! That's the good book. And we're all living for the good book. And we all live for the good life. We all live for the Great, Great, Great. The Great is [there] the day when we're done. That's the greatest thing of all.

xxxretyped_from_green_sheetxxx… His messengers are the spirit and ‘lectric in the air. That’s the messenger. His messengers could be thunder, signals, stars, birds -- you don’t know. It’s the same thing as a man [when], you don’t know that man. [A man can be a messenger; he] could be, sure, he’d do it. You’ll see. They see him around, in person. The old people see him big. They knew what they [the messengers] were there for. 14-zzzxxx

xxx5XMODYIN.92A START

I got to thinking, "It's in me." [The power's in me.] If you lie and don't want to, I offer words [to help you quit].

We take everything to the [Indian doctor or] priest. After it's dead we even take the body to him. You know that prayer that you say to the Great Spirit, the Great God, that helps. The Old Testament reads, "It's not very easy to get to heaven,” or to the next world. The Indian says, "to the next world." All you can do, with all your power, all anyone can do, is to make the last offer for him [xxx the deceased? Or god?]. He's the Judge. If the offer is good, if this area is good where we live and where he [the dead] left, that's great power. If they go there and make an offer just to put on a big show, that's no good. But, if they go there and make an offer, the last offer for him, and it's from very good people, the Judge will say, "Yes, I'll take it." There must be something to that. You can't go there only then just to make an offer for him. You can't. He'll tell you, "Why didn't you offer when you were well? Why didn't you remember me before something happened?"

It's the same way with the Indian. The Indian doctor tells that spirit [of the dead one], "Don't look sideways. Don't look back. Go forwards. You have left us. There's nothing you could do here any more. You're done. Look forward, you have plenty to do well up above. You have done your share of life. You have done good, and maybe you have done wrong, but go look forward there. You got another judgment up there. That's the last opportunity. Don't look sideways. Don't stop. Keep a‑going."

That's [_________xxx] their last service, their funeral service. It's interesting to hear them. That's the same method the priest uses. When you're living, you have to prepare.

[add transition? Xxx]

I'm glad to say my mother was eighty‑four years old. She talked to me. "You're the oldest and I leave the very words to you, son. Tell your brothers and sisters if they're wrong."

I was setting right there, just setting on the bed. Gee, she looked good, just like nothing was wrong.

"You're the oldest, and tell the rest of your brothers and sisters where to xxx get on there."

"OK."

"When they do wrong, I mean."

"Yes."

"When your brothers and sisters do wrong, help 'em! Tell ‘em."

"If they’ll listen, mother. But I think they will. I'll do it."

One time, before my mother's death, I went over to her house and they had a big gathering there over at my mother's house -- a big picnic. Zzzxxx They had a big party that day, a feast. They had a big feast, but I happened to not be there. But the rest of my brothers and sisters were at the feast. [My mother] had a lot of children. I have a lot of brothers and sisters[, and they were all there]. Still, [some of them] were the wrong brand! But not me. I'm not bragging.

I came down in the evening.

My mother told me, "I had a good time today. We had a big dinner, a nice feast. I enjoyed the gathering. All of my children [were] there except you, Paul."

[We were talking Indian.]

"I couldn't get down here. I had a trip to make. I'm glad, Mother, you had a good time."

"Oh, I had a lovely time, Paul."

"Ma," I said, "all right."

"I had a very good time. I had a very, very, good time, son. Xxx Yes, I did," she said. "I had a wonderful time. zzzxxx It was a nice gathering. We had a big picnic, and boy did I ever eat! I ate a good meal.” zzzxxx

“Son," she said, "I'm telling you, you're the oldest. Whenever you see [those] brothers and sisters of yours, will you talk to them and tell them what's right?"

"All right, mother, I'll do that."

"And you too, watch!” Xxx She said. "Your brothers and sisters get along good, you too. Make the best of it. zzzxxx Remember the way I brought you up, taught you. I told you about things all my life. Any chance I got I told you what was the best in your life."

"Ok, mother."

I said to her, "You feel all right, Ma? The way you talk, it seems like you're not feeling so good."

She talked to me; she said, "You're next. You're next."

"What do you mean, ‘next’?"

"Talk to your brothers and sisters. You're the oldest son." xxx???Mary???

"You take over," she said, "I may be done talking to them." Zzz zzzxxx

See how she announced?

I said, "How do you feel Ma? Do you feel all right?"

"Oh, I feel good. I feel all right. I'm fine." zzzxxx

She wasn't sick. She said, "I had a lovely time. I lived a good life, so I don't care now. I'm ready. I think I lived a life. I worked hard. My old man left me. xxxftnt died I'm all alone here. So what else can I do? I have nothing else to do."

I looked up at her, "Mother!"

Xxx39c "I leave you everything, Paul. I'm done."

I looked at her. She was sitting right there, on the bed.

"I'm done, Paul."

"What happened Mother?"

"Nothing!" zzzxxx

Xxx41i "I'm afraid, Ma," I said. zzzxxx

She looked at me.

"Are you all right Mother? Do you feel all right? Do you feel good? You don't have any ailment? Do you feel good, Mother?"

Xxx40g "No, I feel fine! I'm just ready to go, that's all."zzzxxx

xxx "Are you sick? Feel any ailments?"zzzxxx

"Yes! I feel all right. Nothing is wrong with me. I feel well! I had a good time today. We all gathered. I don't know why we all gathered, but we had a big feast.” She said, "I enjoyed to watch them eat. I feel good." She said, "We had a nice visit."

Xxx40c[13‑110] But towards the end she said, "I was happy. I had nine children. I was happy. I enjoyed that. I liked my children, and I was glad to teach my children. My . . . this is a life," she said. "I [did] my share in this earth, by my mouth and words and hard work. So you're the oldest son, continue that."

I [said], "Mother, you feel all right?"

I feel good." That night she said, "It's peaceable."

"OK, Mother. I'll take what you say, [and] I'll see you in the morning."

"OK. Good bye son."

Xxx41j "Well, Ma," I said, "I'm glad for all this visit you got. I will go to bed. We'll see you tomorrow." Zzzxxx

I walked out that door. I looked back, "Good night, Ma."

"Good night, son. I'll get ready and go to bed."

Gee, mother sat there like a perfect woman.

xxx[12‑63] I closed the door. I walked home. Xxx41kxxx I lived about a block up from my mother's house, on the hill. Zzzxxx I was living on the top of the hill then, behind Joe Barnes', and my brother was staying with my mother. Zzzxxx

I remembered that word she said to me, and I was thinking to myself. "Why? She talked so nice. She looked so good. I know my mother might go along another few years. Why does she talk to me like this?"

I had a feeling about that talk.

At four o'clock that morning, [or] five or six o'clock in the morning, or around that -- early anyhow -- I heard somebody crying. I said, "Now what happened?"

I'd listen again, and heard, "Paul!!"

It was my brother, Joe Nason. Xxx I heard my youngest brother crying, crying just like a kid, at four [or five] o'clock in the morning. Zzzxxx And every time he'd bawl, he'd holler, "Paul!!!," my name.

My brother hollered, "Paul!! Paul!!!"

Xxx I jumped up out-a bed and put on my slippers. I got up and opened the door and looked down the road. I ran outside. There was my brother who was staying with my mother. Zzzxxx

"What's the matter, Joe?"

My youngest brother was crying.

"What's the matter, Joe?"

"Mother is dead!"

[It hit me.]

Xxx He said, "Paul!! Mother is dead!!!!"

Xxx "What?" I said, "What?? I just talked to her. She felt good‑like."Zzzxxx

"Yes!!" he said, "she's dead in bed."Zzzxxx

"Mother is dead, gone," he said. "Mother is gone!"

"What do you mean, 'gone'?"

"I think she's dead."

Well, I went down and some of my [other] brothers were standing there. Xxx By that time [they] already called [all of the] family [members]. Zzzxxx Two or three of them younger‑est boys [were already] there. Zzzxxx

What's the matter?"

“She passed. Never woke up out of that bed."

"Ya. . . . [Ya. . . .] She told me [she was tired]. She talked to me last night. That's what she was getting ready for. xxx[12‑64] I will keep those words and I'll be brave."

She said to be brave, and I feel it. I think I never harmed my mother, but she lectured to me [anyway], “Be brave son.”

'Course [my brothers] said to me, "What are you gonna do about it?"

"What are you doing about it?" xxx I said, "You called the [undertaker]?"

Ya, they called him."Zzzxxx

[One of my other brothers] said, "The undertaker's coming. We called him already. We want the coroner to come."

[By the time] I got down there they [already] called [the undertaker].

Xxx The other brothers came and [they called] the coroner. Zzzxxx Somebody ran over to [the neighbor’s to] call him. Xxx The [undertaker] came; the [coroner] was coming. Zzzxxx

"Yup, she passed."

Xxx [Pause]



My other brother, Fred Nason, pronounced, "It was her heart."

Fred was crying. Joe, my youngest brother, was crying. Oh, he couldn't get over it because they were together all the time.

I said I felt pretty bad, and I went in and looked at her.

xxx[39‑19] "Yea, it's just like she's asleep."

“Her heart stopped.”

“So, well, that's it.”

The ambulance came and they took her on the stretcher. Zzzxxx

I think her heart just quit, you know. She was old. Before she died it was just like nothing happened to her. She had no ailment. The night before I said, "Are you feeling good? You feel all right, Ma?"

"Oh, I feel good. Nothing's wrong with me. I feel awful good."Zzzxxx

xxx40a By gosh, the next morning they found her dead asleep. It was the sleep of the dead.

Just think, eh, how she left that place. Zzzxxx

That's my life. That's what I had to go through. Then we had a wake in her house.

It's just one of those things that happens when you get old like that. Her heart stopped. It stopped. But she [must have] felt it was coming. She [must have] been ready to go. See? She [must have] had her mind thinking, "I'm all ready."

Well, there's no fooling around. When you're ready, you're ready. That's the teaching of that. They give up. They want to go rest.

Why?

Because times and times again, before that day, she said, "The way things are going, I think I wouldn't like to see what is going to happen anymore."

[xxx 12‑65] It was going too fast, you know.

"Everything is all different. Even what you eat is different," [she’d say]

Xxx [And] there may be something in what you're overeating that affects you. [Just before my mother died] they had a good feast. Meat is heavy you know. My mom was taking medicine too. Probably she shouldn't have eaten too much. Zzzxxx

She liked wild game food, and boiled stuff.

"That food you buy in the store,” she’d tell us, “I don't think I feel very good to eat that. I like that wild game. But now you can't have it. xxxftnt It just breaks my heart. You have to compete with the law. We [don’t have] a chance to go out there and get it. I'm starving for some wild game. I was brought up with that, ya. I'll eat a woodchuck, a porcupine, or anything, just so it's wild game."

That's how she felt.

"Duck! That's what I need. I was brought up with that."

Hoo geeze, she was standard! xxxftnttypical and standard

I said, "I'll go get ham and nice lunch meat."

"I don't want that," she said, "that don't do any good. That canned stuff and that cured stuff," she said, "it [isn’t] good for you. That's what's taking the life of people. Too much of that dries up your system. I want boiled food, boiled, the old way. I'll cook it myself. Then, after it sets awhile, dish it out. It's good."

Gee, well, she was standard. Everybody liked her too. She had a lot of friends. She was a doctor. A lot of Indian people came and asked her to help them with their troubles. She talked to them. And that's why I told that stuff. xxftnt

xxx[12‑66] So I had good folks you know. That's why I feel good. They were wonderful folks. I'll never forget them. My neighbors and friends will never forget my mother and father. They were well known, and I'm proud to say it. And that's why I stand pat. They said, "Be brave! Do not be afraid to tell what's good."

That's a big word.

"Be brave! Don't be afraid to tell what's good." That's what she said, "Be brave, son."

xxx[12‑66] So [after my mother died] I get along good with my brothers and sisters. I have lots of sisters and I have a lot of brothers. They all wanted me to go stay with them. Xxx 40d [But] I took over the place I live in. [It’s my mother's house;] that's why [I got it.] zzz xxx 39a [13‑47] I'm still living here. She had power, and that's where I live. She said, "I don't want this place to be a drunkhouse! I like my house, and I took care of it."

Zzzxxx "No, I'm all right here," I said [when my brothers asked me to stay with them]. "I'll come and visit you."

I owe a lot of them a visit. I have a lot of nephews and aunts too. I'm proud of a good family, a good mother, a good dad.

My step‑dad was good, he was wonderful.(12) If there were any doings in church, and doings in the Christian life, they always did their share. They always did their share. They always did their share of what was for the good of the people. Ask anybody that!

xxx[12‑67] They went anywhere they could do good, ya. They went and helped people. They had a lot of friends. I think today that that's what the people look [to] me for. They look upon me because of my folks. Xxx Ask all over town what kind of mother I had! She was wonderful. Zzzxxx Every time I used to go anywhere when my folks were living, people would ask, "How's your mother?"

"Good."

"How's your dad?"

"Fine."

"What's Jack doing?"

"Oh, he's still gardening and cutting hay."

Everybody wants to know about them. "How's your mother?"

"Good."

I had a wonderful mother!

I don't think I'll forget, ever forget, my mother! The older I get, the more I think [about her]. The older you get the more you'll think. That's what you're going to go through. You're going to go through the hurt [of losing your folks].

Listen to their words. They mean it. Your folks expect you to carry yourself. Someday they won't be here. You have to be brave then. If you listen to them, if you don't hurt your father and mother, when they leave this earth, when they leave you, you won't cry. You'll tear; you'll have tears all right, but you won't take it hard.

Why?

Because you listened to them.

xxx[12‑68] They put you on foot and they told you to be brave. If they don't tell you by those words they just as well tell you by their actions. You're brave, if there's nothing you did to them, and if you took their good words. You have it in you. All you want is the good words that they left, and that memory will keep you up.

The memory of those words they left you will build you. That's why most of them said "Be brave. Go out." They left that here. My mother's words are in [my mind]. I take it all. My old man's words are in [my mind]. I saw [my dad and the men folks] talking long xxx, the same as my mother. I'd set there and not say a word. I'd just listen. When they got through talking we got up and went about. We got up and never said anything.

Then I started thinking, "Thank you, dad. Thank you, ma."

If I did something wrong I got it. I got it when I did what I shouldn’t do. They weren’t afraid to tell me neither. I wasn't a perfect kid. I wasn't a good kid all the time. My life was rough, you know.

xxxSTART Dream DYING.95A



[Now, at this time of my life] I'm getting ready [to be called]. That's what the old age [folks] are doing[, getting ready to be called]. [So] I'm getting ready for my day to be called. You wouldn't say you're going to get your cap or coat when [the Great Spirit] calls you. This Creator up [there] is the Master of all. That's the truth of life. That's why He wants everything clean up [there in heaven]. That's heaven.

xxx69‑8] You never can tell [what it’s going to be like up there]! It'll be daylight[,sure], but maybe He'll put you in a different world. When you die] your spirit, your jichaag, goes to some place [that sounds] like a different planet. [And] those planets have different lights of different stars.

And there's the light of the moon too. [The moon is] way off[, [but it’s not heaven]. That's where they tried to get to heaven [one time], the same as the tower they made.(13) Ya, but they couldn't make it [to heaven by going to the moon]. They tried hard to get up there, [to the moon, to get to heaven that way], but [when they finally got there] they didn't find anything but a crust [left over from the purifying of the air of this earth] zzzXxx[69‑10] There was nothing but crust up there, and light. The light of the moon -- and the sun beside it -- are [there] collecting all the germs [from the air of this earth we live on]. [The moon's crust is] supposed to be from the gravity [of that purification.(14) [xxxftnt footnote to PB14] It is. And that’s all they found when they made it up there.].(15)

[Heaven is different than that. I’ll tell you about heaven. I’ve been there. Twice now.]

xxx[74‑2] You have to have a little secret in your heart, that's religion. A little secret in your heart is the secret that's given to you to use. The secrets of your life and of the other people's life are for you to use. You don't know what their secret is. And furthermore, your secret of life is there that you may know what may help the others. But the secret will come out some way or another, sooner or later. Until then you can keep it, and when you feel like passing it out -- passing out what you know about secrets -- you may do that. But a secret is a thing that you aren't supposed to open until the fruit is ripe.

You can pass it out when you get old, when you get to old age. Until then you practice to be an expert to it. And when you're an expert to it you know that you have learned the way of life of the other creatures. A secret means you aren't supposed to say anything out until you do know and do see it. Then the secret is ready to come before you.

Pictographs, Spirit or Drum Island, Nett Lake, 1964.

Pictographs, Spirit or Drum Island, Nett Lake, 1964.

Photographer: Monroe P. Killy

Forms part of Monroe P. Killy slide collection, I.69
  Collections Online
Minnesota Historical Society
Location no. Collection Collection I.69.19
AV1988.49.19

[Now I’ll tell you my secret.]

xxx[74‑7] I dreamt about heaven. Xxx And my spirit went to that place [I dreamed of]. I would call it “up in heaven.” In Indian it's Ish‑pÍ‑mIng, ["upwards,"] mún‑i‑dú Manidoo, ["Creator"] Ish‑pI‑mÍng man‑i‑dó Manidoo wa‑wa‑móáa. Xxx Ísh‑pI‑mÍng means up above -- so high that no [living] others can get there.

zzzzzzzXxx45a To get there on that dream I fell asleep. And I was dreaming. My dream began[ -- xxx[ba‑wa‑zi‑g^‑n^s, baa‑wa‑gI‑ga‑n^g, dream. zzzxxx. When my dream began I thought, "I'm in a different place." I knew I was in a different place! "This is more beautiful than my country! My country is well put up, but this is better." zzzxxx I dream about God[, the Manidoo,] standing before me opening his hands.

I saw the Great Power of the Creator of this earth. He stands there [judging]. xxx[74-8] I saw Him two or three times, [standing there] judging good or bad. Xxx He said He would do that, in his Good Book: "When I come back to see you I shall judge the way you live." zzzxxx

The bad people, He just discards them. He tells them, "take the other road." We don't know where that other road goes, but it's not a very good road. It's a short road. People that go down the short road really pass away. They pass away because they [don’t] believe in the power of the great will of God. They disappear. Ya, they disappear. Xxx The guys on the bad road just disappear. You don't know where they go, in the next world. That’s the next world. I’d call it “the next world.” Xxx ] This is another world I'm talking about. Another world [which] will clear‑ify [the] memory of your dream.

We don't know where they go [on that short road] ZZZzzzXxx But [we know] the long road is a good way of life. zzzZzzxxx After [the Great Manidoo] judges, a big gathering goes before [the ones standing on the long road] and puts them away. XXX

xxx[74‑15] [I saw] a Master there [judging], a leader, and that's the Great Spirit that I shall never see [again] until the end of my life [on this earth]. That's the Creator, the God, the Manidoo. He stands there, and He doesn't say anything. He just takes the one and indicates to him, "you take that road," [or] "you take this road" -- good or bad. xxx He casts them off [in] judgment. Some would go this way; some would go that way. [Some disappear on the short road; some go on down the long road with the big gathering.] Lots of them are [on] the good road; lots of them are [on] the bad road. So, He’s judging the end of the world. That was the end of the world [that I was watching]. That was the end of the world I was dreaming about, the judgment day. zzzxxx

And there was another purifier up there. zzzxxx Beforehand I dreamt about [a] guy who came [in] with the clouds[, a messenger].(16) The clouds were rolling around him and there were angels beside with their horns.(17) The [angels] stood on each side of the messenger. Xxx70a Just like [you see in pictures,] [they had] round [faces], and nice and curly [hair]. [It] was curly, and they had long hair. [Even their long hair was curly.] Very well! And they were dressed in pure white, pure, pure. xxx[45‑17] They look like women, with golden hair just shining. They wore gowns up to [their necks]. And they had bugles. They were calling the dead -- that's what I figure.

zzzxxx Well, the Great [arrived and] stopped over my head; that's the Manidoo [I’m talking about right now]. [xxx You could see Him coming from far away.]. xxx Some people were marching on one side of the Manidoo, and another bunch was marching on the other side. zzzxxx "I come to see you. I come to see you. The earth is coming to the end. The people are coming to the end.” Xxx55a He says, "You shall see something." [The Great wasn’t talking, but I knew just what he was saying anyway.] zzzxxx

And the earth was rocking this way.

If you're on the long road you're going the right way to get to the next world. When you're still going on the long road the more you go, and the further you go in a dream, the closer you'll get to seeing the beautiful flowers!!, and the beautiful place that we call heaven. In Indian we call that Is’h‑pI‑mÍng man‑i‑dú sh/\‑wáy‑nI‑míig. xxx[74‑10] sh/\‑wáy‑nI‑mÍg is good to you.

The end of that long road is beautiful heaven!! 12Axxx . [You can also put it] way‑kwá‑k /\‑n/\h. That means the end of the road. You're done! [You made it!] zzzxxx It's heaven above. It's full of flowers, full of life. Xxx52d It's a beautiful thing. And when you look aside there's nothing but flowers and vegetation that grows. It's a sweet smell. Xxx It [smells] like, well, like roses and different flowers. You [can] go to find any flowers and they're there. They're beautiful.

zzzxxx52e[74‑16] Anything that grows on earth is there. What grows on earth is there. Xxx 55a Everything that you could see here from the earth [went there], into another world and gathered there. zzzxxx It's the same [there] as here[, although XxxXxx I didn't notice any trees. Xxx [And] I never [noticed any a river either], but I know there was something [there like that] that they enjoy. zzzxxx All I noticed were the flowers and shrubs, in little bunches here and there. It's beautiful up there!! It's a beautiful world above. Xxx You don't have anything with you, anything. zzzxxx And you're just happy. zzzxxx

[All] the people in heaven are happy!, and they know you. They seem to know you, in my dream. Xxx I didn't see any people I knew. They were all dressed the same, ya. Xxx They're dressed in white. They're dressed in pure clothing and they're clean, clean with life. Xxx55b I could see people in the whole group dressed in silk, and I imagine it was crochet stuff. And it was beautiful. zzzxxxzzzxxx They knew me. Sure they knew me! But I didn't know them, [well,] I [knew] very few of them. They were happy to see me. There were over a thousand people anyhow! And they're all just standing, having a good time. [They’re] standing around a bunch and gathering; they were just having a jolly old time!! Ya. zzzxxx

xxx52a All those people are happy. And they're enjoying their life, [probably] enjoying it more than the enjoyment in this life. Xxx [But] they [aren’t] smoking; they're just pure. zzzxxx [But some are] dancing. Xxx[74‑12] [Some are] singing and dancing. Some were even waltzing. zzzxxx Maybe they’re gathering and having a little feast of food. zzzxxx

ZzzXxx They eat fruit [up there]. Xxx But with anything that's growing, it's up to you to pick your fruit. You have to pick it for life, to build your life. Use that and it becomes active before you. zzz They eat fruit, and bread. The bread is the body of what the Creator lived [in]. "This is my body," He said.

I couldn't say if they go hunting out at the [very] end of the road. I couldn't see that. I couldn’t see whether they go hunting or not. [What I saw was] a bunch, gathering, with a happy life. And they're happy because they're above. Xxx 55c They were just [standing there] having a good time, and they were talking to one another. They were jolly and cheerful. They were in the whole group, a gathering, a crowd. It was a gathering of people and of horses and of animals. zzzzzz.

I couldn't see anything on the other side of where this group was. There were so many people that as far as you could see there were people. I didn't go [any further than to see that]. But I remember one thing: I saw two or three horses. zzzxxx I didn't like the looks of those horses amongst the people. Horses are a good servant to the people. Horses work hard too. Xxx [But] those horses are just amongst the people. [And] they're black horses[, with one white horse]. Xxx And they were going back [on the road]. The horses were going back, it seemed like. And the white horse, he went too. And it seems as though they took the road I was intending to come back on. zzzxxx Xxx [44‑11] [I remembered that the Great said,] "You shall see something."] And [sure enough,] there were the black horses [amongst the people].] I was telling you about before.

That was a judgment day. [The Great] didn't say much. I think I'm going to see it [again] . . . [Whispers] . . . the end . . . of . . . the . . . world, the judgment day!! xxx[44‑12] I feel it coming. I may be dead too [when it happens]. I might even be first. You never can tell, but that's what I[’ve] seen in my dream . . . twice! zzzxxx

xxx QQQ1-3 AND 4 BEGIN

xxx QQQ222START

Xxx [I’ve seen it. My spirit was there.] zzzXxx I went to that place, way‑kwá‑k /\‑n/\h. Xxx My spirit went to that place. zzz[74‑13] I didn't say anything while I was there, but I just wondered how you get up there. Xxx . I turned around, and I said, "It's up to me now to get here." To myself, I thought that. zzzxxx I turned around, and then I began to go back. It seemed like I was going low, like it was down. It was like going down a slope. I woke up. Zzzxxx56d I woke [up] when I got to the gate. zzzxxx

QQQ111START I dreamt that a couple of times. Xxx51aXxx51a I was eighteen years old when I [saw] the first one. Then I [saw] the second one a year ago, two [four?] years ago. It was the same thing. That's the dream.

zzzxxx Why?

“Because,” I thought to myself, "I was thinking of that all the time.” And that's why I'm trying to live the best I could, so I could receive the blessing of the Creator. God is the Creator. Xxx "Oh!, it is true," I began to think, "there is a God that has a better place than we live in now! But we have to earn it by following the truth of life.”zzzxxx

It was just like real, it [wasn’t] a long dream. Xxx 57a It isn’t a long dream. It’s a short dream. A short dream is more to think about, and you could remember all the things that you dream about. If you get too big of a dream, a long dream, there’s [only] spots that you remember zzzxxx

And when I woke up I laid there. I thought about it.

"Thank you," [I said.]

xxx74‑17] [Later on] I told the people of my dream[, that] the horse was amongst the people. Xxx And it was a black horse, so I told a friend, "it was a black horse. It isn't good."zzzxxx

The black horse means that there is a warning before you. And that means that I have to change for a stronger will power to believe in the Great Spirit.

xxx[74‑18] I wanted to stay, but I was unfinished here. The great willpower of [my] spirit takes care of me to tell the message, to tell what I dream about, to tell how great it is above, in heaven. And that's why I [tell] this about my dreams. No one told me that I should come back and [tell this]. No, I turned around myself. But I knew when I turned around that I didn't finish my way of life. It came natural to me, just by the way I live on earth. It comes natural to me. Xxx 56a [I felt the people were telling me,] “He shall let you live in a good life. He shall let you see the whole length of your life. He shall let you live a good life until you get old.” [They didn’t talk like that but I felt that’s what they were telling me.] zzzxxx And it seems as though the Great Power [Himself] was saying, "You know you are to go back." He didn't say that, but I knew I wasn't done. xxx [And He] didn't say much. zzzxxx That was about [two] years ago.

I have to do a lot of things. I have to preach to others the good will of the Great Spirit. I have to preach about what He has done for you. He gave you the land and water to live on, and your body movement. xxx[74‑19] And your health is a great movement to work with.

When my work is done I go to another place and it’s all the same. Xxx…zzz When my work is done here I’ll try to walk on into that group of people [that my spirit visited]. But to do that you have to live a good way. Yea, you just keep going. Zzz[74‑20] I don't know what they'll say when I get there. That remains to be seen again. I think, I think I'll get repaid. They'll pay for what good you do. It's a beautiful place.

[But maybe] there's something that hold's you back. When there’s something that holds you back, you're not done. xxx You have to get clear‑i‑fied to get into heaven. If you're weak, you are suffering for a punishment. When you're punished you suffer so long, and that purifies you. xxx And if you have to go to clarify your spirit [some more] they have to a heat you up.(18) I believe in the Judge heating you up. He'll purify you [that way]. He heats you up with fire. Fire is not good to dream about neither. xxx [But with fire] you’re purified. And then He takes you[, when] you're purified.

When you're [all] done [it will be signified;] [maybe] it's a weakness and it's a sickness [that might set in]. [And that maybe part of the purifying.] And maybe if I'm too sick to live, I'll decide it. I'll tell God to take me. I'll tell God[, “I think I’m ready.”]

A lot of people suffer so much they want to die.

Why?

I know they could see a better place [to be with] their ailment than to suffer on earth. xxx[74‑21] Some of them give up. Some of them do that, ya!

And [some of them] suffer on account of the pollution that's coming [in with the newcomers]. All these comers have a different idea [about the land and the water and the air we breathe]. They all come from a different country of their own belief. And they come to this country [and interfere] with our own belief, with the Great who gave us this and who purified this state and union.

[Nowadays they ask me about leisure homes.(19) ] Leisure homes aren't very good. Oh!! I don't like leisure homes because . . . you know why? You hear so many points against the rules and regulations. Maybe you hear so much [about rules] and you get tired. Maybe you hear so much [about regulations] and you get tired. Then that worries your body movement and [it worries] your spirit. Xxx You hear so much stuff [about rules and regulations that] you are willing to go [on to the next world].

xxx[74‑22] If somebody put me in the leisure home I'd want to go before the judge of the leisure [home]. I'd want to talk to him. "Are you going to make my life better?" That's the big question I'm going to ask. "Or are you going to put me down and keep my mouth shut, until you are ready to feed me food and everything?"

I wouldn't do anything. I'd rather [just] talk to him and ask him why [he wants to have me in that home].

xxx[74‑23] I often thought of it, about what would happen if I go in the leisure home. I have some more to do because I am able. Xxx Now I'm earning my food myself. It's there if I hunt it. The country is full of fruit and meat and everything, but it's up to me to get it. And that's the way a lot of people who went ahead before did it. zzzxxx But if I'm not able, I might have to stay there [in the leisure home]. [Well,] if I’m not able, I'm not able, and I'll be getting there. Everybody else will get there too.

There is nothing against that leisure home, but I believe so strong that the willpower of my Great Spirit will help me [that I really don’t concern myself too much about it, at this time]. Either way He'll help me, help me to stay and rest, or help me to stay and do some more [work].

Xxx 60a I never thought about taking my life on my own hands; I'm waiting until my Creator takes me [on His own]. zzzxxx [But to tell you the truth, when my time is up] I would rather walk out and sit in the middle of the woods [than finish off by resting up in the leisure home]. You see, I know one Indian who ran away from [a leisure home in] my area. He’s my brother-in-law. He’s a full-blood Indian. And he's a real Indian.(20) I said, "What did you run away from Grand Rapids for? That's a good home."

They searched all over, but they couldn't find him. You know Jim Mitchell. When they found him he was sitting by the highway on the big log. He had a little stick and he was signing those Indian songs, slowly you know. [You know how they sing like that.](21) xxx ft note

[He’d sing] xxx[74‑24] and then he'd look around. He'd look at the vegetation and the timber and everything.

"Oh, what great country," [he’d say.]

But he was getting old. He was ready to go. I don't know why, but he gave up himself. I said, "Why did you give up yourself, Jim? Why? Why did you give it up?"

"Educational are coming in. They don't want to hear the Indian."

At that time, when he was talking, I felt like the Indian was going to be discriminated -- and we are now, in places. [The educational] don't want to hear about our country because it's so slow to learn.(22) But we know how [to live here].

The Creator put us here and told us the way we should live. Don't step over the Creator. Don't think that you know better with your educational meaning of a way of life, because it might start the revolution, a revolution against one another. They've tried [time and again to change the Indian], but the Indian was always [at home] in his own country.

We don't look around for trouble; the trouble is here. If we can clarify our own trouble, then we're doing a good job. We should clarify the good points and the bad points. [When] the good points are clarified, the bad points of view you should speak about. Do not speak direct to a certain person, no, but let him hear [what] you [have to say], so he'll understand that you have [lived] a life.

Xxx Then, where am I going from here, at my age? zzzxxx [13‑11] At my age I'm looking forward to another land. [I am.] xxx[13‑12] A lot of people will be thinking of my words and they'll start to feel that it's so.

It's so.

We live in this world, for a long time, or maybe for a short period.

What happens if we live in a short period?

We didn't do what's right, and there's a judgment on that. There's a limit. There's a limit to bad. When you do not [try to] understand, there's a weakness. [And your life is shortened.]

But there's a very, very long‑range program to study. Take it slow. That's why I often say, "Stop. Look. And listen, LISTEN!" You'll see it. This world is just like a . . . the way I'll put it is . . . I was a young fellow and I lived a long, long life. Everything went along good. I thank the Great Spirit that I think I have it in me . . . [power].(23) I carried it in me. It was in me. And I know it was by me. Whenever I looked, things looked good.

Xxx [But I know hardship too.] xxx I [saw] some rough spots, yes. They were very rough. I heard of rough stories, [and sometimes] I cast my will with the rough stories. zzzxxx [But I learned, by watching and by listening, and now] I share, with my will, with my Great Spirit. Xxx I share [my spirit] onto them that's having hardship. I hope my spirit [will] help. [I say to my spirit] "Go onto them. Help them."

That's a big thing!

[That’s a big thing when I send my spirit to help.]

xxx[13‑13] [But] in this country, the way it is, a lot of people don't believe in anything. They don't believe in words. [They don’t believe in the Great Spirit and they don’t even believe in their own jichaag.] They don't take time to study things. [Now life is] too fast, too high speed, with high power, high life. It's too fast, too high stream. There's too much elevation,(24) regulation, dictation.

There are a lot of things we have to understand [in this world]. [And] this is a big world. . . .

I'm going a little too far with the points, but this is a big world. At my age, at my age, I'm preparing. I'm preparing to leave something for the next generation, the younger class. I'm leaving something that they could read upon. Maybe someday [the younger class will] do it better. Maybe it'll they'll do better than I did. I didn't have a chance for a better education. My eyes bothered me. I [could have] been better educated now if my eyes were true.(25) But in [those] days I was reckless. That's my fault of that.

[This is all true.] That's why I'm here setting here with you [telling you this]. Something [has] to be done to make it clear to the younger class that we don't want them to be overthrowed. There's things they [have] to look upon. They have to listen to their father and mother, and [grand] folks. Then they [have] to weed out [and keep] the best [of what they hear]. When you weed out the best then you [have] something in your hand for the next world.

It's like picking flowers, pretty flowers. [And the flower is] a good word that my folks left[, that I pass on]. And the best [flowers] is are [going to] be [with you in] the next world, in your hand.

Ya, in your hand.



While the priest was talking at my friend Joe’s funeral,(26) I was thinking about my mother. And about her words, and about how wonderful they were are . . . . And I was also thinking that it was is time to pass them on.

Now . . . I’m done.

Father Anthanase gave Joe a wonderful sermon at the funeral. That’s what I’m told.


Indian graves, Cass Lake, ca. 1920.

Indian graves, Cass Lake, ca. 1920.

Photograph Collection, Postcard ca. 1920
  Collections Online
  Minnesota Historical Society
Location no. E97.37 r118


Footnotes



1. Cf., “River Life and Fishing,” “Jack Nason, My Dad, My Step-Dad,” and “Leech and Mississippi Forks

2. Church hymns translated into the Ojibwe language have been around for a long time. Cf., Densmore 1910 and 1913, and Hulbert, 1846.

3. Cf., “Power.”

4. Cf., “Messengers and Unusual Events.”

5. Cf., “Courtship, Marriage, and Living with the In-Laws.”

6. Intends.

7. Cf., “Timber Days.”

8. Cf., “Leech and Mississippi Forks

9. Cf., The soil is very sandy around that area, hence the frequent references to sand.

10. The term “Medicine Man” is not a preferred term, but, as Paul Buffalo says, “If I don’t use that term the whites will not know what I’m talking about.” Cf., “Medicine Men / Medicine Women” and “Midewiwin: Grand Medicine.”

11. xxx animal messenger

12. Cf., “Jack Nason, My Dad, My Step-Dad.”

13. Going to the moon the same as building the tower of Babel in that they were doing it to try to get to heaven.

14. xxx Ch. xxx “What’s Behind the Sun?: An Indian Sermon.”

15. xxx moon landing ref

16. Cf., “Messengers and Unusual Events.”

17. Musical instruments.

18. In purgatory.

19. Nursing home, old age home, rest home, old folks’ home.

20. He’s a traditional Indian, who, for example speaks the Indian language as his preferred language, and follows traditional beliefs and practices.

21. how they sing like that (xxx in a death chant) ref xxx

22. It takes such a long time for people to learn, and to “get things done.”

23. Cf., “Power

24. Putting oneself above others.

25. Cf., “School.”

26. Cf., very beginning of Ch. 1, "Early Life at Leech Lake." xxx


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