Northern Cree Round Dance Songs Under A Carolina Blue Sky Creating Reds On Silk
Part of indigenous ways of knowing and creating is patience and the ability to listen to things more than people. The greater Anglo society values busy, loud, constant movement, talking heads, always doing and consuming more and more. Native American culture embraces an opposite point of view, and if we are going to heal ourselves and our land requires that we decolonize ourselves. It’s impossible for any human being to walk in two worlds without losing themselves.
Authenticity to the circumstances of one’s life means taking responsibility for one’s actions. In the words of a Blues song, “God Bless The Child That Has Its Own! Momma may have! Papa may have! But God bless the child that has its own!” This is a painful life lesson but for my creative self is a very necessary one because I’m an only child and all my extended birth family is dead. I’m the last living Toisnot Tuscarora with knowledge of the old ways related to growing and harvesting natural color. My life has a purpose that I must walkout.
But I’m not alone! My Algonquin bloodline has blessed me with finding the oldest Algonquin people, The Niitsitapi, from the northern Great Plains of western North America, who have designated me an Elder. When I am with them and on their ancestral homeland, I feel like a long-lost soul who has returned to the source. It’s all part of my journey of walking out the prayers of my dying mother, to share Algonquin/Gullah traditions connected to natural dyeing and stitching. I love my life and I cherish every precious breathe and heartbeat.