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Grace

When I was in college I got the chance to travel to different conferences and share my Families story. Below is a piece that I wrote about and for my Great Grandma Grace and my Grandfather.

Grace
Up stairs in my Grandma’s house there is a picture of a woman.
Her skin has been kissed by the sun and her face weathered by the wind.
She has the saddest eyes you’ve ever seen, when you look into them they pull at your soul.
Daddy who is the lady in the picture, why does she look different from you and me, why is she sad?

My Daddy scooped me up and said: baby girl meet my Grandma Grace.
She lived during a dark and sad time, a time where it wasn’t cool to be an Indian.
Where she couldn’t dance, where she couldn’t speak Ojibwa, or pray to the spirits.

Grace is the reason that we’re free today.
She suffered and endured.
She was relocated, assimilated, they took her lad, they stole her children.
In an attempt to break her down, to make her conform to their way.
They beat her and knocked her down, they tried to break her spirit.
But there’s one thing the white man under estimated and that was the power of the Ojibwa soul.
So Grace stood up, dried her tears and dusted herself off and walked on.
She knew there had to be a better day, where she would be free.
Grace is the reason I’m free today.

Grandpa, Daddy told me about your mama and I don’t understand.
Grandpa sat me on his lap and said: Handy Mandy my mama and I lived during a time when it wasn’t cool to be an Indian.
They took me away from her when I was your age. Brought me to the city.
They cut my hair, took my buck skins away and put me in a uniform.
They told me that I was a white boy now.
They said if I spoke my native tongue they would beat me down, if I didn’t pray to Jesus, i was going straight to hell. Hell, I didn’t even know what hell was.
Back then it was wrong for an Indian man to marry an Irish woman like your Grandma Irene, they would of beat me, possible killed me back then.

Baby Grace is the reason we are free today.
She suffered and endured.
She was assimilated, relocated, they took her land, and stole her children
In an attempt to break her down, to make her conform to there ways
They beat her and knocked her down, they tried to break her spirit
But there’s one thing the white man under estimated and that was the power of the Ojibwa soul.
So Grace stood up, dried her tears, dusted her self off, and marched on.

She knew there had to be a better day where her people would be free.
Where she would be free, where her children and grandchildren, could be free.
Free to speak Ojibwa
Free to pray to the spirits or Jesus if they chose
Free to follow the teachings of our people or the message of the Bible.
Free to choose, free to live, free to be an Ojibwa
Free to dance around the drum and practice our past.

Grace is the reason that we are free today.
Grace and my Grandpa are the reason we are free today.
All Indian people who suffered and endured are the reason that I am free today.

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About NinjaInTheCity

AmandaJean is a thriving pulmonary embolism & stroke survivor, passionate Paralegal, Advocate, and Blogger who believes she can change the world one person at a time. She is obsessed with the Law, beauty subscription boxes, collecting costume jewelry, visiting flea markets, Ruby Red Squirt and Candy Corn. World Traveler. Serial Volunteer. Lover of Frank Lloyd Wright, Heart Healthy Living, and good wine. Mama to a Muppet like dog. Aunt to @HalfPintNinja

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