Boozhoo Nindinawaymaaginidog. Madweyaashka-gichigami-ikwe indizhinikaaz. Makwa nin doodem. Nindedeyeban Mikanaakwaajiwing onjibaayiban. Hello my relations. My name is Madweyaashka-gichigami-ikwe. I am bear clan. My father was from Turtle Mountain Reservation.
This is a traditional introduction. It allows you to put me in context in the world. This is very important. One needs to have a place in the web of beings. Being able to introduce myself this way gives me great joy and I am so grateful to the elders and teachers that have helped me along the way.
I was born in 1955 in Montana and am a "lost bird". This is the name given to those children who were taken away from native parents and adopted out into white society. It has taken me many years to find my way back home. Part of the journey has been learning to speak Ojibwe which has changed my life in so many ways. Truly, learning a different language allows one to view the world in a whole different way. I must state here in order to avoid confusion that I am not tribally enrolled. I lack the required blood quantum levels. I call myself a metis woman of Anishinaabe descent. On my father's side we trace the family name LaVerdure back to Alexis LaVerdure a french voyageur in 1775 who married Angeline Montour, a mixed blood woman of Ojibwe and French descent. From then on my geneology has done a lively jig of mixing native and european bloodlines. The one thing that has stayed constant throughout is a strong connection to this land.
I thought it important to let you know who I am as this colors the way I see the world and influences my teachings. Miigwech. Mii'iw. That's all for now.