I am a Minneapolis, MN based Professional Photographer, originally from Washburn WI. My descendants are part of the Bad River Band of The Ojibwe (Anishinaabe) Nation, in Wisconsin. I have always said that deeply rooted in my heart is a passion instilled in me by my Anishinaabe ancestors and all of my ancestors combined. That passion is this sense of honor, duty, legacy, pride, reclaiming/regaining and sustaining the Ojibwe culture that has been lost throughout time.
I was blessed to have grown up in the area where my ancestors lived, walked, and thrived. I’ve always said that I could feel their spirits in the land back home and in my heart. This for me has always been that bond in my heart and spirit that binds me closely to my Anishinaabe ancestry. I am not full Native American and I am very proud of my other ancestors as well. However the bond in my heart makes me identify most with my Anishinaabe heritage. The quote below makes me tear up, relating to my bond that I’ve felt. Reading that quote was the first time I stumbled upon an elder speaking about that specific bond between descendants and ancestors. I believe that is what Anishinaabe people see in me when they say I have a Native heart and soul.
Our people, the Ojibwe or Anishinabe people, have lived here for many years. I can imagine being out here 100 or 200 years ago, and I think about the ancestors who were here before us, and why they came here, and why they loved it so much. The essence of our people is here, in the woods, on the lakes, in the rivers. We believe that everywhere you go you leave a part of yourself. You leave your thoughts and feelings in the woods and in the lakes, and your descendents come along and they can feel that. That’s why we’re so adamant about staying in our homeland; because that’s who we are, how connected we are. We have a connection to the Earth that we renew with seasonal activities, such as maple sugaring, fishing, and wild ricing. It is our duty to take care of the Earth. We need wild places to keep our sense of place in the world. If we don’t have wild places, you can’t have that peace that is so important to being Anishinabe or to being a good person. Welcome to our community.
— Gerald White Leech Lake Reservation, Bemidji MN http://www.indigenousgeography.si.edu/community.aspx?commID=10&lang=eng
Yeah do what you gotta do, say what you wanna say
Act like you wanna act, do that s**t anyway
Think how you wanna think, play how you wanna play
Man I’m just so discon-nected
Now that’s what I call rockin, work it out baby
Ain’t this a crazy world, hit it on the button…