Monthly Archives: November 2015

Reasons to quit school: Why I quit 4th grade

Reasons to quit school: Why I quit 4th grade

Hello everyone!

I hope you are all having a good weekend. If you have been on my site this week, you might know what this article is. It is the conclusion of a 3 part series written by the Red man about a particular childhood experience. I encourage you to read part 1 about his new school clothes and part 2 about his grandmother’s (kokum) reaction. Today, we learn about his first day of Grade 4. We heard about his experience in Grade 1 before, and today we learn about Grade 4 taught by the husband of the the Red man’s first grade teacher. A thoughtful and entertaining story ahead addressing reasons to quit school (in the mind of a fourth grader). 

Where were we?

When we left, we were the day before the first day of Grade 4 and the Red man was trying to sleep. However, the Red man had also received a very brutal beating from his kokum and was in pain. Continue reading

Down with the sickness: my grandmother’s reaction

Down with the sickness: my grandmother’s reaction

Hello all!

I hope your week is going good. Tonight I introduce you to the second part of one of Red man’s story. I encourage you to read the first part here before. In the first part, the Red man began telling us how he got new school clothes (a rarity for him) and how after daring of his brothers, he got them as dirty as they could be. We heard about a piece of his childhood, his relationship with his brothers as well as his kokum (his grandmother) who raised him. Tonight, let’s focus on the second part of the story, this time a story of child abuse. I want to warn you that this is not an easy one to read. My heart broke more than once while reading it. The Red man was nervous about sharing that one as he thought it would affect my opinion of him. I will explain more after you read the story. Brace yourself for a reality that was only too present in many houses and communities. And still is today. Let’s look at a story of child abuse, down with the sickness.

Where were we again?

We left it off with the Red man having fell into a pool of stinky dirty water and asking his brother to go get him clean clothes before his kokum saw him. He then sent his brother to the house fearing his grandmother’s reaction to his now ruined clothes.

Continue reading

My new school clothes: The day before a new school year

My new school clothes: The day before a new school year

Hello everyone!!

For those following my Facebook page, you know that I just came out of 3 days of courses on Aboriginal therapy, part of a certificate I am doing. Such an intense course but left feeling grounded and better. For those interested in the certificate, read this. I highly recommend it 🙂

Today, the Red man is back. With a very personal story that will be unfolded in three parts this week. He shares a story of abuse but a story of love too. A love for his kokum (grandmother) mixed with a hatred for the abuse she put him through. His story is the story of many Native people, a story of abuse but fear of being taken away from his family. To a place even worse: foster care. I encourage you to read some of his story with his kokum here, before you go on. So here we go with part one, the story of his new school clothes and the anticipation of a new school year.

I got new school clothes! “You better keep them clean!” she warns

The house in Moccasin Flats burned down soon after the devil did its deed (Moccasins Flat was where the Red Man lived as a child, learn more about it here). Everything we owned went up in flames at Christmas no less. Years later, all sense of innocence and safety was lost. Reality was harsh and ugly but I did my best to find pleasure the best way I could: escape! Continue reading

Silver dreamcatcher earrings: arrowhead, turquoise and more!



Silver dreamcatcher earrings: arrowhead, turquoise and more!

Hello all!

Another weekend upon us. I have to say that time has been flying by quickly for sure! Busy busy at work and excited about now having a shop on my site! Look in the menu above to see beautiful hand carved jewelry by my friend Randy. But today, I will reviewing another product from Etsy (yes Etsy again…). Christmas time is fast approaching so time for you to think about what you will be buying your loved ones 🙂 I had some problems while ordering those silver dreamcatcher earrings but the shop owner was understanding and reasonable. Let’s look at those beautiful earrings.

Product: Silver dreamcatcher earrings with arrowhead and feather pendants

arrowhead silver dreamcatcher earrings

Silver dreamcatcher earrings

Where: EmelyRose Boutique on Etsy

Materials: Silver, turquoise beads

Price: $14.50 USD

Rating: 4 stars

 

 

 

Continue reading

Manitobah Moccasins: treasures to discover

Manitobah Moccasins: treasures to discover

Hello all!

I do not know where you are all but over here on the Pacific Northwest, we are drowning in rain today! So I am at home and thought I would share a favorite product of mine. If you know my Facebook page, you probably know how I love this company. Manitobah Mukluks is an Aboriginal owned company that sells the best moccasins and mukluks! Manitobah moccasins are just awesome 🙂 Therefore, I wanted to share with you my latest purchase with all of you. FYI: I am in no way associated with Manitobah Mukluks nor am I getting paid for this review. I just love their products!

Product: Wool canoe moccasins

canoe black moccasins

Canoe black moccasins

Where: Manitobah.ca

Materials: Leather, wool and sheepskin

Price: $89.99

Rating:  4 1/2 stars

Continue reading

Quanah Parker: The last Comanche chief and his family

Quanah Parker: The last Comanche chief and his family

Hello all!

If you know me and this site’s Facebook page, you know that one of my favorite chief is Mr. Quanah Parker. Not only was he handsome (and he really was!), his story and his family story are amazing. A great character, a great person. So I thought it was about time that I write about him. Let’s explore together the life of Quanah Parker, the last Comanche chief.

Quanah Parker

Quanah Parker

Quanah’s early years and his mother’s story

Quanah was born in today’s Texas in 1845 (some report it was in 1852 but 1845 seems to be the correct year). His mother, Cynthia, and his father, chief Peta Nocona, had three children, including Quanah (he had a brother, Pecos and a sister, Topsannah). Before I go any further, it is important to mention that Quanah’s mother, Cynthia Ann, was a white woman who, in 1836, at the age of 9 was captured by the Comanches during one of their raids. From that moment on, Cynthia grew up among the Comanches and adopted their lifestyle, eventually marrying Quanah’s father, Chief Peta. She then had Quanah in 1845, at the age of 18. She was soon a young mother of 3. Some say that the name Quanah or Kwanah meant “Sweet smell” or “bed of flowers”, indicating a Spring birth.

Cynthia Ann Parker

Quanah was born during a time of raids, from the Comanches and against the Comanches. His father was a great chief who led some of those raids everywhere in Texas. In December of 1860, Texas Rangers were sent to find Peta. They soon found him on the banks of Pease River, where his camp was. Peta and his 2 sons managed to escape but numerous people living in the camp were killed, including sixteen women. Cynthia Ann was saved but captured. Cynthia and her daughter Topsannah were both taken to Camp Cooper where she was recognized as the young girl who had been kidnapped 24 years prior.

Quanah Parker

However, by then, Cynthia’s family was the Comanches, not the whites. Her sense of belonging was not with the Whites but rather with the Comanches who had adopted her. She pleaded with the white men to be returned to the Comanches, to no avail. A member of her white family, Isaac Parker, took her to his home and encouraged Cynthia Ann to live life the “white way”. But her heart was not in it. She eventually was locked up in the house so she would not escape. Some might say that she was identifying with her abductor but let’s not mix a modern way of thinking with Cynthia’s story. Which in fact was a touching story. She developed her own sense of belonging and was treated well by the Comanches. She was accepted and she became a member of the family. 

The deaths of Cynthia and Peta

Although reports of Peta’s year of death vary, it is said that he mostly likely was killed in 1863. Soon after, Pecos died of small pox followed by Topsannah who succumbed to pneumonia. This was too much for Cynthia to bear and she tried frantically to be reunited with Quanah. She pleaded with the Parker family who remained firm and refused to let Cynthia leave. Desperate and heart broken, she stopped eating and drinking, eventually dying in 1870. Some say she died of a broken heart, missing her family and what had become her home.

After his father’s death, Quanah continued the raids his father had began and became known comanche chief Quanah Parkeras a great courageous warrior. He fought for his land and his people against the buffalo hunters and the white settlers. Under his watch, entering the Comanche land was considered an act of war. Quanah joined the Kiowa at some point to obtain more power by joining forces. Quanah refused to sign treaties and made it clear that the white men would have to come take the land away from his people before he surrendered and agreed to live on a reservation. Quanah continued his fight against the Buffalo hunters who were getting cockier and killed numerous of the beautiful sacred beasts.

 

The last years of Quanah’s life

 

However, on June 2nd 1875, Quanah, in order to keep the peace (as he had received word that those who did not surrender would be automatically exterminated), led his people to surrender and agreed to live on a reservation in present day Oklahoma. From that day on until his death, Quanah encouraged his people to develop their agricultural skills and also served as a tribal court judge on his reserve. He was a respected chief who counted Theodore Roosevelt as a friend. He was a familiar face in Washington, DC, representing the Comanches at the congress. He tried more than most to reconcile the White and Comanche ways, maybe due to his own family history. He also married (some say he had more than one wife, up to 7) and had numerous beautiful children (up to 24). 

Quanah and 3 wives

Quanah and 3 of his wives-1892

Quanah, aka Fragrance-1892

Quanah, aka Fragrance in 1892

Nevertheless, Quanah had been left wondering what had happened to his mother. In 1875, he searched desperately for her only to be told that she had passed away 5 years earlier. Quanah continued to lead and support his people until the day of his death, February 23rd, 1911. He was buried next to his mother and sister (he had them re-burried on Comanche land in 1910). On his tombstone, one can read:

Resting here until day breaks

And shadows fall and darkness disappears

Is Quanah Parker

Last Chief of the Comanches

Born: 1845

Died: February 23, 1911

 

Quanah Parker

Quanah standing proud

Quanah-1911

Quanah, slightly before his death in 1911

 

I leave you with a wonderful video illustrating Quanah Parker’s life, told by his great grandsons. 

Do you love Quanah as much as I do? What did you think of his story? Comment below and I will answer. 🙂

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