Date: Thu, 02 Dec 1999 12:33:30 -0500
From: Lynne Moss-Sharman <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>
Subject: five eager nish head home to Wiky

November 30, 1999 Five eager nish head home to Wiky 
              Weekend trip to reserve renews ties to family 
                                  By Joni Shawana 
                                 Young People's Press

Everyone has a favourite travel story. Here's one for those of us
who live in Toronto but left our hearts in Wikwemikong, or
``Wiky,'' a self-contained reserve on Manitoulin Island. As the early sun
rises on the day of our journey, everybody is rushing around the house.
Oops, forgot to do laundry! Oh well, just pack it up anyway and wash the
clothes up there. We're used to doing that. 

The original plan was to go to work or school, take off early and
leave Toronto by noon to get to Wiky before 7 p.m., just in time
for ``Diij-Jaama-Win'' (Did Your Mom Win?) - Grandma's favourite game,
bingo.  But just like any nish (First Nation) we are running on ``Indian
Time'' and end up leaving the city at 1 p.m.. Grandma is in the back seat
getting all maaska (mad and pouting) because we are
not going to make it in time for her bingo session. I guess our
bumper sticker, which reads, ``This daawban (car) stops at all
bingos!'' is of no use.  Oh well, we know how to handle Grandma pretty
well. All we say is, ``Yeah! Yeah! Grandma we love you, too!'' 

We end up detouring to Casino Rama on Highway 12. We had to satisfy my
Grams somehow. We always give her a time limit.``Fifteen minutes ONLY!'' If
she is late, we go inside hunting her down like mad animals.  My brother
walks around the Casino saying, ``Where's dat
wabbit?'' - just like Elmer Fudd would. We eventually find her
and get on the road again, hitting a Second Cup just before we
     get on the highway for a last taste of city life.  Travelling is hectic
with five big nishs squeezed into a little daawben, each weighing about 160
to 200 pounds, and accompanied by another 100 pounds of luggage in the
trunk.  All you hear is ``Move over, my diiosh (buttocks) is getting sore''
or ``I need to go wiisawkum (to the washroom).''  Not only that, but we
have First Nations music - WhiteFish Jr.'s, WildHorse, Eyabay and Ulali -
blasting in our so-called stereo. We can hardly hear the music, though,
because only one speaker is working. 

Eventually everyone but the driver takes an afternoon car nap
and we roll along quietly until Little Current, about 25 minutes
from the reserve, when everyone wakes up.  In Wiky, we have to pass through
downtown to get to my Gram's place. We stop at every house along the way to
say ahneen (hi). We drive by Andry's, the main store, and the two schools
and give everyone the nish nod, our equivalent of asking ``What's up?''
Wiky, a fairly large reserve with six satellite communities, is where I
left my childhood behind. 
I go there to relax and visit family and friends. It allows me to
set myself free and not to worry as much as I would in the city. 
As soon as we get out of the car, a bunch of kids come running
to greet us.  The first thing they ask is, ``So, what we doing tonight?''
The answer's always the same - Schooners!, the hit club-bar with a tiny
dance floor located just 10 minutes off the reserve. There, I sit back and
relax, sipping a Sprite and glasses of water over good laughs with family
and friends. The weekend goes by fast. After visiting, watching people play
the gambling card game Pay Me, babysitting and taking all the kids to the
beach, it's over. 

It was a good visit. But then, I always enjoy going back to the
place I consider my home. 

Joni Shawana, 18, is a student at George Brown College.

               "Let Us Consider The Human Brain As
                A Very Complex Photographic Plate"
                     1957 G.H. Estabrooks

                    FOR   K A R E N  #01182
                   who died fighting  4/23/99

                   [EMAIL PROTECTED]

    For people like me, violence is the minotaur; we spend our lives
        wandering its maze, looking for the exit.  (Richard Rhodes)
                   Never befriend the oppressed 
                    unless you are prepared to 
                    take on the oppressor.   
                        (Author unknown)

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