April's Real Blog

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Tying and Shackling and Stuff

Mom decided 2 do sum gardening, and Connie came over 2 help. Connie was wearing a silly gardening hat and crouching, holding a seedling tray while my mom was kneeling over her new plantlings and doing her imitation of a slack-jawed sloth. Mom had told Connie abt Liz coming over 2 pre-reserve Mom's babysitting services, and Connie sed, "U started it, Elly! When U made yrself available 2 Mike and Deanna, day and nite, they took advantage!" Mom went, "Don't put it like that, Connie. I luv my grandkids 2 pieces--and I WANT 2 take care of them."

Connie got up and started 2 walk away, and Mom sed, "But now w/Liz marrying a man w/a child... And wanting kids of her own, I'm going 2 B..." Over her manly shoulder, Connie went, "Tied down?" Mom called after her, "Don't put it like that, Connie!" And Connie called back, "OK... How abt 'shackled'!"

Oh, I get it. Connie's filling the "cynical friend" role there. Kind of like Candace 2 Liz. I wonder if Eva is supposed 2 B my cynical friend.

I just hope Connie isn't a signal that I'll B telling U flashback stories 2morrow. In which case I mite boycott the past again!


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  • At 12:35 PM, Anonymous Constable Paul Wright said…


    Boozhoo (Hello).

    Miigwetch (thank you ) for letting me know your ngashi (mother’s) website published
    >my biography
    . The writer for the biography called me and my niinimoshenh (fiancée) Susan Dokis (whom I call Chipper) and asked us questions about our life and how we met. I did not know how much she would remember. Chipper and I thought there might be parts which were not right. Chipper has noticed that the biographer of your ngashi (mother’s) website likes to make things more exciting than they really were.

    I will tell the parts which were not right. The big ones first. First is that Chipper is from the Dokis First Nation, a reserve very near Corbeil, Ontario. This is why her last name is Dokis, in honour of the Dokis First Nation. The biographer writes that her father, Bill Dokis, was the chief of a small reserve near Thunder Bay. The reserve near Thunder Bay is the Fort William First Nation reserve. Chipper has many friends at that reserve, because she went to Lakehead University in Thunder Bay. Lakehead U has Canada's only Department of Aboriginal Education to foster Native Language instruction. There are many people who go to Lakehead U who do not live in Thunder Bay. When Chipper remembers the Dokis First Nation it is with images of cars for repair, and not a reserve right next to Thunder Bay. Chipper knew the biographer would not get this right, because she kept saying, a student teacher from Thunder Bay meant she was brought up in Thunder Bay. That would be like saying your noos (father) was from Toronto, if he went to university there.

    My ngashi (mother) Shirley Whetung Wright, did not live in Mtigwaki (Land of Trees) First Nation reserve all her life as the biographer said. Before she lived in Mtigwaki (Land of Trees), her family lived in the Curve Lake Indian Reserve in the central Ontario, only two hours north east of Toronto, Canada; and helped to start the Whetung Ojibwa Centre. The Whetung Ojibwa Centre is known for promoting First Nations artists. You could say, in many ways, my mother’s name is to honour the Whetung Ojibwa Centre and its support of the arts.

    The biographer only mentioned my mishomis (grandfather) one time, when she talked about how he showed us to make a lean-to. She did not even mention my nokomis (grandmother). I talk about my mishomis (grandfather) all the time. If the story was right, he would be in it. In the Ojibway, we honour our mishomis (grandfather) and nokomis (grandmother) and do not push them aside to tell a story.

    The biographer did not explain how I was going to join the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) and my friend “Ahmed Sharma” (not his real name) was there too, even though he was training for the Toronto Police. The OPP recruits spend the first week at the Provincial Police Academy in Orillia, Ontario for orientation training. This is followed by 12 weeks at the Ontario Police College in Aylmer, Ontario. Then we have 4 more weeks at the Provincial Police Academy. Toronto Police recruits receive a two-week orientation at the Service's C. O. Bick College in Toronto. Recruits are then sent to the Ontario Police College in Aylmer for 12 weeks, like the OPP recruits are. Then they report back to C.O. Bick for a further six weeks of training. My friends in the Toronto Police Service I knew back at the OPC tell me I am missing 3 weeks of training. This is how “Ahmed Sharma” and I went to the OPC even though we are in different services. Yes, April, “Ahmed Sharma” is a name given to a character so the biographer could make an “Indian” joke. It is enough to say I have friends in the Toronto Police Service who would not want to live in Mtigwaki (Land of Trees).

    The story about me, and my nisayenh (male cousin) Adam, my nimisenh (female cousin) Carla, and Susan and Amber Dokis is mostly right. My mishomis (grandfather) told me to always keep dry matches when you are in the bush, in case you get lost and need to make a fire. The biographer left that part out. My nisayenh (male cousin), Adam still lives in Mtigwaki (Land of Trees). His noos (father), my nimishoo (uncle) Ben lives in Otter County, where I used to live and not in Mtigwaki (Land of Trees) as the biographer says. You may remember a story your nimis (sister) told about coming to visit me to see the apartment where I lived, and how we had dinner with my nimishoo (uncle).

    The biographer said I chose the OPP as a career because I got lost in the bush and learned how to lead. There was a lot more than that. Many Ojibway people do not like the OPP, because of things that happened in the past. Some of my people asked why I would choose the OPP and not the First Nations police. The answer is simple. The OPP is more respected, and has more money to pay salaries and buy equipment. As an Ojibway, I can help my people to obey the law and not have the problems with the OPP they have had before. This is an important part of my life. The biographer makes it seem like my life was made from getting lost when I was 11 years old. That is too simple. I do not think the biographer wanted to say a controversial story.

    If you looked at the times I was in places you would get confused. The biographer did not get them right. The biographer said I was in Red Lake detachment for 3 years and Kenora detachment for 4 years, and then Otter County detachment for 3 years. The Kenora required duration is actually 6 years. The Red Lake required duration is actually 4 years. There is monetary incentive for accepting those detachments and I was glad for it. I was 18 when I applied to the OPP, and 19 when I finished training. If I spent 3 years in Kenora, 4 years in Red Lake, and 3 years in Otter County; then I would be 29 when I met your sister. But the biographer says I was 30 when I met your sister. Now if you say I spent 6 at Kenora, 4 at Red Lake, and 1 at Otter County; when I met your sister I would be 30. I was only at the Otter County detachment one year when I met your ngashi (mother) in 2005. The detachment was only one year old.

    The biographer says that Otter County was “two hours of pot-holed road away” from Mtigwaki (Land of Trees). This does not make sense. When I first met your ngashi (mother) in 2005, she drove from Mtigwaki (Land of Trees) until she was too tired to keep driving. That is not a 2-hour drive. In Northwest Ontario a 2-hour drive is not much for an OPP officer covering many kilometres of the Trans-Canada Highway every day. I would not call the Trans-Canada Highway a pot-holed road. There are some pot holes. If 2 hours was all the time to Mtigwaki (Land of Trees) from Otter County, I would have seen your nimis (sister) every day. I think the biographer got Otter County confused with Spruce Narrows, where I work now, which is 100 kilometres of unpaved road from it to Mtigwaki (Land of Trees).

    The story of Christmas, 2005, when your nimis (sister) went away with Warren Blackwood and did not meet my ningitiziim (parents), I have written about before. The biographer said my noos (father) “looked thoughtful” and my ngashi (mother) accepted with “nothing more than regret.” That is not the story I told the biographer. My ngashi (mother) said I should end the relationship right then and my nokomis (grandmother) said your nimis (sister) was maji-ayaawish (bad person). They thought I was bagandizi (stupid) to stay with her. They were right. I was in love and I would not hear it.

    The story about Andy, the missing boy is almost completely made up. You could probably tell that. Chipper would like you to know that if she had a hunch about where a missing boy was, she would not wait until I showed up to tell someone. She also thought the part where I was sweating to keep up with her in the snow was funny. Also the part where she said she fell in love with me when she was 9 years old. As Chipper puts it, only in Milborough do girls fall in love that young. Chipper is right about that. We got to know each other on the pow-wow trail. We were together almost every summer when I was young. I loved to watch her jingle dancing in her ziibaaska`iganagooday (jingle dress). Just to let you know, skinned squirrels are not homely. They are miskwiiwi (bloody).

    It is hard to list all the little things about the story with your nimis (sister) which were not exactly right. Chipper says the reason Gary Crane asked her to apply for a job at the Mtigwaki (Land of Trees) School was because she was better for the job than your nimis (sister). After 2 years in Mtigwaki (Land of Trees), your sister did not know Ojibway or how to teach it. Gary hired your nimis (sister) because the last teacher left and they could not find a qualified teacher to replace her. Chipper said , “Suds (her nickname for me). Gary knew the moment I arrived as a student teacher, he was going to replace Elizabeth. I could teach Ojibway and there was starting to be huge problems with absenteeism under Elizabeth with students leaving school to check trap lines almost all year long.” It did not have anything to do with your nimis (sister’s) “homesickness”, that everyone knew about except me. Chipper is insulted that the biographer would say she was hired only because your nimis (sister) was homesick. Everyone in Mtigwaki (Land of Trees) knows your nimis (sister) left Mtigwaki (Land of Trees) as soon as she found out that Anthony Caine was divorced. Jesse Mukwa saw the printout of your e-mail and told everyone. Actually, Jesse stole the printout and passed it around, so everyone knew.

    My partner at Otter County, Shelley, does know Constable Brad Luggsworth. That part is true. The part about Constable Luggsworth seeing your sister at the Howard Bunt trial and reporting it to Shelley is silly. If you think about it, a friend of your family like Constable Luggsworth, would come up to your nimis (sister) and have a conversation. He would not spy on your nimis (sister) and Mr. Caine and then report it to my partner, Shelley, in Otter County.

    The part of the story, the biographer left out was when your nimis (sister) came to visit me in Otter County to see where I lived. When I showed Elizabeth around the Otter County detachment, she met my partner Shelley. Shelley did not like her. I remember afterwards, Shelley would say, “Her ngashi (mother) said she was outdoorsy and adventuresome? That is definitely not this girl. Maybe to someone in the South, she is outdoorsy and adventuresome, if your adventure is how you don’t know how to handle your cat.” Shelley loved Chipper though. That part of the biography is right.

    The biographer makes it seem like I was wrong not to call Elizabeth and break off the relationship as soon as I started with Chipper. That is true. I thought break-ups should be done face-to-face, and Elizabeth was coming back to Mtigwaki (Land of Trees) anyway to live up to her promise to come back and visit. I thought that would be a good time; but I was wrong. It wasn’t fair to Chipper or to Elizabeth. Chipper was mad at me for that. She did tell me I was in love with someone who did not exist. I saw the sweet, kind woman the people in Mtigwaki (Land of Trees) loved; not the real Elizabeth.

    One part that is absolutely right in the biography is that both Chipper and I hope your nimis (sister) would soon find the true happiness that she deserves. From what we have been able to tell about Anthony Caine on your Blog, it looks like that is happening. Congratulations to her from Chipper and me.

    Gi'-ga-wa-ba-min' na-gutch! (See you later!)
    Constable Paul Wright

  • At 3:25 PM, Blogger howard said…


    Is there a reason why your mother is running across your yard with a gardening trowel chasing after your niece Meredith and nephew Robin saying, “I want to take care of you. I want to love you to pieces?”

    Howard Bunt

  • At 4:20 PM, Blogger April Patterson said…

    paul, thanx 4 writing in and clearing up the mistakes in the bio. i didn't think everything sounded rite!

    omg, howard! jeremy and i r on our way 2 find out what's going on.


  • At 8:34 PM, Blogger April Patterson said…

    jeremy did a gr8 job distracting my mom while i got the kids calmed down and occupied until mike was ready 2 come by and get them. whew! i just finished giving jeremy a v. special thanx.


  • At 9:17 PM, Anonymous jeremy jones said…

    april, i guess ur niece & nephew know now not 2 get n2 gramma elly’s pastries. good thing i all hadda say wuz, “look @this yummy beavertail. i wondah who iz gonna get 2 eat it?” well i also hadda run ‘round a bit ‘till u got merrie & robin outa the way. u know ur mom can run pretty fast wen it comez 2 pastries. 4tun8ly, she iz not v. strong or she might have sunk that gardening trowel deeper n2 my back, wen she finally caught me & got the beavertail.

    then connie poirier came ovah & sed, "u started it, elly! when u made ur pastries available 2 ur grandkids, day and nite & sumtymez in the midmorning & @tea tyme 2, they took advantage!" ‘course wen ur mom went, "don't put it like that, connie. i luv my grandkids 2 pieces--and i want 2 take care of them,” merrie & robin started shriekin’ again. u gave them a good rule of thumb 2 not try & get a pastry ‘till gramma elly was done gettin’ hers.

    thanx 4 puttin’ the bandage on my back. u cud prolly b a good dr. or nurse, if it wuzn’t 4 grabbin’ me ‘round the shirt collar & sayin’ “keep calm big fellah” while u were puttin’ it on me. i think vet iz the rite choice 4u. ‘course i especially liked wut u did 4 ur v. special thanx aftahwardz. u say u learned that technique @the vet clinic in winnipeg? it sure worked on me.


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