Can you live with hate, regret and sadness? My beautiful Ojibwa Grandmother taught us, you can not. My Grandmother told me when I was seven. When I was six years old in 1922, the white man came to my home and they took me to a government school. The nuns cut my hair, they changed my name and I wasn’t allow to speak my language. I wore school uniforms and I was beaten often. I never saw my home again. They broke my heart and I didn’t understand.
Today I don’t hold hate, regret or sadness. Holding hate, regret and sadness is a heavy load to carry a lifetime. I forgave them, but I did not forget. Johnnie, we must know forgiveness to be able to see some good in our life. My grandchildren make me feel alive and good. I teach them the Ojibwa ways and I hope. They remember me. Teach your children, we were once born free and uncaged. We are of the great forest and we are part of nature energy. She would sing her Ojibwa songs to us and I watched her sad eyes. I knew as a child. The heartbreak she saw and I promised her. I would become like her. Teach the children to love the lakes, the forest and protect the free animals. She would smile and whisper. I pray you can.