Fond du Lac Follies


Mark Charles is the son of a Navajo friend who served in the same grunt outfits as me when we were young Marines. We have stayed in touch over the years.  

Mark Charles is working on a new project, he doesn’t think the US apology to Native peoples was sufficient so he is gathering Natives from all over the US to come to Washington DC and in their own languages say what the apology should have said.        When the apology came out I wrote about it in the Follies and it is also in my fourth book Rez Salute, p 117.

US Apology to Native peoples:

Sec. 8113. (a) Acknowledgment and Apology- The United States, acting through Congress-

(1) recognizes the special legal and political relationship Indian tribes have with the United States and the solemn covenant with the land we share;

(2) commends and honors Native Peoples for the thousands of years that they have stewarded and protected this land;

(3) recognizes that there have been years of official depredations, ill-conceived policies, and the breaking of covenants by the Federal Government regarding Indian tribes;

(4) apologizes on behalf of the people of the United States to all Native Peoples for the many instances of violence, maltreatment, and neglect inflicted on Native Peoples by citizens of the United States;

(5) expresses its regret for the ramifications of former wrongs and its commitment to build on the positive relationships of the past and present to move toward a brighter future where all the people of this land live reconciled as brothers and sisters, and harmoniously steward and protect this land together;

(6) urges the President to acknowledge the wrongs of the United States against Indian tribes in the history of the United States in order to bring healing to this land; and

(7) commends the State governments that have begun reconciliation efforts with recognized Indian tribes located in their boundaries and encourages all State governments similarly to work toward reconciling relationships with Indian tribes within their boundaries.

(b) Disclaimer- Nothing in this section-

(1) authorizes or supports any claim against the United States; or

(2) serves as a settlement of any claim against the United States.

    I would like to see an Ojibwemowin version of the apology.

**** My wife gave me a Nook Tablet.  We weren’t celebrating anything except the gift of generosity.  She wanted to do it because she could.  

So, before this event was I Nookless?  Am I Nookful now?  I named the unit Nooky. Am I a full-blooded Techno-Tradish inini?

Imagine, access to over two million books or periodicals. Movies and music. For a compulsive reader like me this is great.

With this unit I can gmail, share photographs, and do almost everything the laptop does.  

The electronic keyboard rewards one-finger typing. My 9th grade typing teacher must be rolling over in her platen.

**** We settled down in front of the TV to watch the annual Walmart riots; although to be fair, the riots don’t just happen at Wallyworld, they happen in just about any retail big box store.       

I read about a man who pulled his gun on a line cutter.  They get pretty serious about the sanctity of the waiting line in San Antonio, Texas.

**** Rick Gresczyk and Melvin Geyshick translated two of my poems into Ojibwemowin.  I thought I would share one of them with Follies readers.  

The poem is from my first book Walking The Rez Road, soon to be republished by Fulcrum Publishing.

Ishkonigani-odaabaan  (Rez Car)


Gichi-aabadizi nawaj igo dash niibowa

Ombiigwewe nawaj igo dash wiin bemisemagak

Niizhwaaswaak-niimidana ashi niizhwaaswi

Nenoojinaagozi, anooj izhinaagozi,

Gaawiin idash detibisejig osayensiwag, bebakaaniziwag,

Niin dash niizhwaazo- maagizhaa ishwaaso- debenimag

Ingikendaan niin sa ishkwaaj ge-ishkwe-dibenimag

Aaniin ezhiwebizid?

Aaniish naa

Mii dash awasonaaago

Gii-pangisin aadikwe’igan

Gaawiin anokiimagasinoon bizindamoo-makak

Idash anokiimagad awazowin

Odaabaani-apabiwinan ogii-waabandaanan niibowa ojiidan

Dash wiin ojiidi-mashkikiwinini gaa-waabandang

Ingwekiwebinaan aabaabika’igan ezhi-maajiibizod

Ninagaawebishkige ezhi-noogibizod

Aaniin gaye ge-izhichiged odaabaan?

(Gaa-aanikanootamowaad Ojibwemong: Melvin Geyshick miinawaa Rick Gresczyk)


**** Mii  iw

The views expressed in this column belong to the writer alone, they are not meant to represent

this newspaper, this Rez, this part of what is now called Minnesota or anyone else.  Comments

and bingo packs can be sent to FdL Follies, PO Box 16, Sawyer, Minnesota 55780-0016.

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