with Elizabeth Panamick
Evelyn: Gegoo na kii-kendaan e-bgojging maajing? Mii go eta genii niwi ni’ii…mii go eta genii niwi…maanda go naa waashkbang, naa? Miinan, mshiimnag, you know, gegoo go naa maanda. Enh, kina go naa niwi. Ngoding sa oodi nihiing, ngii-yaamnaaba Meldrum Bay nikeyaa. Aa’sh, mbibaambatoomi’sh naa geniinwi ngii-nii…binoojiinshiwyaang. Aapji’sh go naa zhiwi nawaj ndan’kamgizmi zhiwi. Wiigwaamens nda-zhtoonaa; zhngob, zhngob ndin’kaaznaa; ndadminmi. Bmi-waawaan’kewag’sh go gonda gwiiwzhenshag zhiwi. Aapji’sh go…jiisensing zhinaagwod wi gaa-moon’kaadkaadang wa bezhig.
“Wenesh wi, jiisens?” kidwag sa. “Jiisensan iidig zhonda zyaagkiig,” ndikdami. Aa’sh, mii sa gii-maajiibtwaadmaang. Ngii-giiwebtwaadaanaa wi; n-mamaa oodi. “Yaa!” kida sa. “Nihii maanda aawan,” kida sa, e-teg iidig zhonda maanda,” kida sa, “nishnaabe-tisgan.”
Enh, nanda go naa tisganan go naa daawegamgoong edaadngin, gegoo noonj wii-bmi-naazman, you know. “Msko-jiibig” gii-zhin’kaadaan’sh wi, ‘msko-jiibig” gii-zhin’kaadaan wi n-mamaa wi. Mii dash niwi kikshan gii-bmi-ndowaabmaad. Wgii-wzaan’sh wi, naa? Mii’sh miinwaa waabshki-gdagiigaanh gii-pagdood. Mii sa go gaa-bi-naandeg wi; orange gii-naande. Ezaawmin’gaanh e-naandeg, mii gaa-bi-naandeg wi. Giin’sh go naa mnik waa-toowin wi, naa, waa-piitaandeg wi…nihii… gnamaa go, aapji go wii-boozaandeg, aa’sh, niibna go gdaa-toon wi, naa? Dbishkoo go naa mnik ziisbaakwod e-toowiin, ziisbaakdokeyin, aanii waa-piitaagmig wi, you know, mii go naa dbishkoo wi. Nishnaabe tisgan’sh giiyenh aawan wi. Aa’iish, kina gegoo wdaahaan wa Nishnaabe, you know. Kina go gegoo gdaa’aanaa gegoo.
Evelyn: Do you know any wild edibles? I just, um…I just…all I know is sweet stuff, eh? Blueberries, apples, you know, things like that. Yes, all those things. Well, one time there, um, we were…we were out towards Meldrum Bay. And so, we’re running around, we…us who are kids. So we were playing all kinds of games there. We’d make a little house; Cedar, we’re using cedar; we’re playing. And they’re…so these boys are digging around there. And so…it looked like a carrot, what one of those boys dug up. “What’s that, a carrot?” they say.
“Carrots must grow here,” we say. So, off we ran with it. We ran home with that; my mother’s there. “Oh, my goodness!” she says. “This is whachmacall…,” she says, “this must be here,” she says, “Anishinaabe dye.”
Evelyn: Anishinaabe dye
Yes, these dyes, you know, that are sold in stores, for you to dye various things, you know. And she called that “red root”…my mother called that “red root,” that thing. So, she looked around for an old pot. So she boiled that, eh? And then she threw in a white rag. And that’s the colour it turned; it turned orange in colour. The colour of an orange, that’s the color it turned. And however much of that you want to put there, eh, how deep in colour, um… Say maybe it’s going to be really dark, well, you’d put a lot of that, eh? Just like how much sugar you put when you sweeten something, how sweet that’s [supposed] to be, you know, it’s just like that. So that’s Anishinaabe dye, they say. Well, the Anishinaabe has everything, you know. Everything, we have everything.
© 2014 M'Chigeeng First Nation