Please find 1-Video and 2-Audio Podcasts below. A Story Doula Original – CC License in sidebar.
Original music by Kate Ofwono. Please contact Kate for music rights – email@example.com.
“It’s not what I am. But I don’t really know what I am.” – Pat Moore
“Restoring Mohawk” is my own story; my family’s story. It’s a story about secrets and shame; about fear and being invisible and seeking and finding our own voice and identity and place.
My grandfather Albert Hill was Mohawk Indian raised on Six Nations of the Grand River First Nations reserve southeast of Brantford, Ontario. Mildred Hill, my grandmother came from a poor Irish farming family near Montreal. Mildred was feisty and funny as well as racist against her husband and children. Her fear and secrets and longing for place still impacts our family profoundly.
Show Me Our Story:
My mom Patricia Moore bore the brunt of my grandmother’s insecurity and a century-old Canadian policy called the Indian Act allowed and in fact encouraged my mom to erase the Indian identity that her mother taught her to despise. In 1970 my mom sold our family’s Indian rights for less than $100. That meant our family relinquished all treaty and statutory rights as native people and the rights to live in the reserve community. That action was called Enfranchisement.
In 1985 the U.N. Human Rights Committee ruled the Indian Act was a grave human rights violation and Canada changed its laws around revoking Indian status. My sister Pamela Latham and I seek to regain our Indian rights. My mom still struggles with her Indian history and identity. “It’s not what I am,” she says. “But I don’t really know what I am.”
Above you see a short video introduction to my mother, my sister Pam and me. In the video I asked Pam and my mom to describe our story without using words (a technique my friend Nadia Bazzy and I explored at Center for Justice and Peacebuilding – and first used in the video you find when you click here).
The two 10-minute audio podcasts that follow below this text are conversations around what our family refers to as “The Indian Thing”. I learn a lot as I work on this project. I find my family’s stories fascinating, funny, conflicted, sweet and heartbreaking. They reflect a common human struggle with ourselves and the world around us. We recorded this in December 2009.
TWO AUDIO PODCASTS:
You’ve heard of seeing old landscapes with new eyes? This is the just the beginning of my exploration of this story in particular – and an evolving method for telling stories in general. I hope this provides a little space for discussion. I’d love to hear your own stories in whatever medium you chose to share.
Original music created and performed by Kate Ofwono.