About fifty people from the four Wabanaki nations as well as non-indigenous supporters gathered for an Idle No More drumming circle yesterday in Portland, Maine. Spoken words by members of the Passamoquoddy, Maliseet, MicMac and Penobscot nations were shared, some in dialects of the Abenaki shared language. Many of us joined in singing in the language of the people who cherished the natural resources of this planet before colonial exploitation came to North America. We were all there in support of Attawapsikat Chief Theresa Spence who continues on a hunger strike until the Prime Minister of Canada meets with her on January 11. Many of us will fast in solidarity with her on that day. (Scroll down for her press release.)
I especially enjoyed the words of George Neptune of the Passamoqoddy. I have a film, Language of America: An Indian Story that I use in school where, as a teenager, he speaks about the suppression and revival of the language of his ancestors. The brutal treatment of Indian children and adults by state welfare agencies and a violent domineering culture are also revealed in the movie, news which always astonishes high school students in central Maine. It was great to hear him speaking true words in Passamoquoddy yesterday.
|photo credit: Robin Farrin|