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Drawing Out Law

Drawing Out Law: A Spirit's Guide

Copyright Date: 2010
Pages: 272
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  • Book Info
    Drawing Out Law
    Book Description:

    Shedding light on Canadian law and policy as they relate to Indigenous peoples,Drawing Out Lawillustrates past and present moral agency of Indigenous peoples and their approaches to the law and calls for the renewal of ancient Ojibway teaching in contemporary circumstances.

    eISBN: 978-1-4426-8591-8
    Subjects: Sociology, Law, History, Political Science

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
  3. Preface: N’gii-pawaudjige
    (pp. ix-xiv)
  4. PART ONE: MINOKMI: Issues: The First Hill

    • Scroll One: Daebaujimoot
      (pp. 3-16)

      Mishomis sat for some time, contemplating the morning’s conversation with his grandson. It was often like that at this time in his life. Long days reflecting on an even longer life, peppered with fleeting moments of real-time human association. Yet when he was a younger man it seemed as though he never had a moment’s peace. He had worked hard as a labourer in many different fields: logger, painter, plasterer, farmer, and road builder. This kept him busy from sunup to sundown; except for that time he spent working in films. California had been a welcome change for a while,...

    • Scroll Two: W’aud-issookae
      (pp. 17-29)

      ‘Indian Dogs and the Law.’ The young man thought someone should write a law review article about this subject one day. It would be a great topic because it would reveal many things about Indian reserves. People throughout Indian Country would understand the subject’s significant, representative nature. Dogs were probably the first point of contact on most of the reserves he had visited, though the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) clapboard bungalows were a close second. Dogs were mercurial, bearing the shifting personalities of those they lived with. Their behaviours sometimes reminded him of Nanabush. A focus on their...

    • Scroll Three: Pauwauwaein
      (pp. 30-47)

      Nokomis drove out the old road behind her house. The trail began as little more than two ruts through a field. She had to be careful with all the mud; she didn’t want to get stuck. While she loved being outside in the spring, if something should happen she didn’t want to have to walk back to get help. It was a day to spend alone enjoying the silence of the woods. She was looking forward to seeing how the old place had weathered the seasons. She ached for its peace and serenity. There was a lot to think about...

    • Scroll Four: Daeb-awaewin
      (pp. 48-72)

      Nag’anal’mot lazed in the front yard, waving the flies away with his tail. As soon as spring arrived,bugoksensswarmed in droves, never giving a moment’s peace. He sat up and scratched behind his ears, working hard to satisfy the itch. Certain spots were getting difficult to reach the older he got. When he was finished, he settled his chin back onto the lawn. Tufted grass and bare dirt rolled out to the road a few yards away. Beyond was a new crop of weeds, and the bay. A few fishing boats lay in the water, resting from their early...

  5. PART TWO: NEEBIN: Individuals: The Second Hill

    • Scroll Five: Pauguk
      (pp. 75-90)

      The light poured through the window at Nag’anal’mot’s bedside. It was five o’clock in the morning. He couldn’t believe the sun was already rising; it seemed to him like it just went down. As his vision cleared, he glanced over at the calendar: 21 June, Aboriginal Day. It was the longest day of the year. Of course, that explained the annoying light. Neebin is ascendant. Beebon is in retreat. Summer and winter have fought like this since the beginning.

      Sitting up in bed, he gathered the cushions around his neck for support. Looking over the room, he saw the tale...

    • Scroll Six: Aud-waudjimoowin
      (pp. 91-99)

      The sun rose bright the next morning, giving them an early start to their day. They had been visiting this place ever since he could remember. When he was a young boy, his mother would take them there to discover its hidden treasures. They would spend hours going through its stores, picking through abundance most ignored. When they returned home, their trunk was usually loaded with all the stuff they got; even their seats would be covered. At such times, they felt like the richest people in the world. They would go home and display their new acquisitions prominently throughout...

    • Scroll Seven: Animikeek & Mishi-Bizheu
      (pp. 100-112)

      It started so innocently, with just a few distant echoes in the sky. Then the west winds picked up and pushed the clouds before them, hurrying them on their journey. The clouds resisted and fought back, catching on the horizon’s edge. Anchored at a distance, they piled themselves high in the air as they prepared for the coming confrontation. Darkness fell an hour before the sun went down.Animikeek, the Thunderers, fled their nests in warning, to search out the Anishinabek and remind them of their duties. At the same moment,Mishi-bizheuprepared for the battle, rising from the depths,...

    • Scroll Eight: W’pishebaubee-aushih
      (pp. 113-124)

      As he made his way alongside the canal, the stirring shadows of a new morning stretched lazily before him. They always chose this time of day to range over the land in search of a cool place to rest. It wouldn’t be long before they would be forced to retreat. The harsh Phoenix sun would burn its way through the sky, withering almost everything before it. But for the moment the shadows relaxed, sprawling across the desert floor and quietly exploring the land’s texture. Overhead, morning voices sang from the treetops as the young man headed towards the Superstitions, the...

  6. PART THREE: TIKWAUKIK: Institutions: The Third Hill

    • Scroll Nine: Augoonaet-waendumoowin
      (pp. 127-146)

      Nokomis awakes to find she is living inside someone’s dream. As she adjusts to the new sensations, she finds herself looking out at the world through four-year-old eyes. The room blurs. Her eyes flick open, and then they fall shut. She is some young Ojibway boy sleeping in his bed, calico cat and bunny resting in his arms. The young boy’s childhood friends Beatle and Cowboy are resting in the corner after a long day’s play. They are dog tired. They are the little people:maemaegawaehnsessiwuk. Very few ever see these two guardians, except the young boy. Beatle and Cowboy...

    • Scroll Ten: Ashawa-munissoowin
      (pp. 147-158)

      Everything was cancelled. The three-hour journey from the reserve to the airport had taken half a day because of the snow. Highway 10 from Chatsworth to Flesherton was a windstorm of white-outs and whirling fall leaves. It was the first blizzard of the year, though it was still early fall. No one had expected the weather to turn from one season to the next this early. When the young man drove through Orangeville and Brampton, he could barely see the cars ahead of him. He passed numerous accident scenes, where cars had slid off the road or ploughed into one...

    • Scroll Eleven: Maemaegawahsessiwuk
      (pp. 159-168)

      Inside the longhouse, a large fire blazes in the centre pit. The young firekeeper adds another log every ten to fifteen minutes. The wood cracks, fractures, and sparks as the fire explosively consumes the surrounding air. Smoke slowly swirls and rises over the room, casting a heavy mantle over the proceedings before escaping through the roof into the black October night. Orange and yellow light ripples over the sandy floor. It spills onto benches and along the walls, spreading changing shadows on those gathered around the hall.

      Back home it would bebinaakwe-giizis: falling leaves moon. He is not sure...

    • Scroll Twelve: Iskugaewin
      (pp. 169-186)

      ‘So, did you learn much out West?’ Mishomis asks his grandson. ‘I heard you’ve been doing some travelling.’

      The young man looks at his grandfather sitting across the boat from him, baiting a hook with some roe. He deftly winds it around the metal barb with his strong, sinuous fingers. His grandmother Nokomis is beside him, her line in the water. She has caught all the fish today.

      The young man responds, ‘Yeah, I’ve been out West: first I was in Australia, then New Zealand, and finally in Minnesota. It’s been interesting. I spent about four months teaching for a...

  7. PART FOUR: BEEBON: Ideas: The Fourth Hill

    • Scroll Thirteen: Mauz-aubindumoowin
      (pp. 189-198)

      As night fell, the young man’s thoughts once again returned to his recurring dream. He had the ability to return to a previous night’s thoughts, if he focused his mind on them as his head touched his pillow. His mother and father had taught him that dreams were among the most important experiences he would have on this earth. They could provide guidance and direction, if properly remembered. As a result, for most of his young life, the first question his parents would ask him each morning was, ‘What did you dream last night?’ The reflections prompted by these repeated...

    • Scroll Fourteen: Aunagwaum-iziwin
      (pp. 199-215)

      Four corners lie at the heart of the reserve. The old United Church stands on one corner. Its limestone form sits heavily on the land, while its tin spire rises high above the trees. Four is very prominent in the building’s design, four crowns on the main tower, four chimneys (one at each corner), four windows on each side, as well as four windows at the front and four at back. It is the oldest building on the reserve, and was built by his great-grandfather over one hundred years ago. A memorial cairn out front commemorates his contributions to the...

    • Scroll Fifteen: Windigos
      (pp. 216-227)

      The old refrigeration fan whines in the background as she checks the window seals. Frost coats the panes from the inside, and a skin of ice covers the glasses in the sink. The fire went out in the old stove last night, allowing the winter to seep through the walls.

      Her house is slowly deteriorating. The upkeep is getting more difficult each year. The cabin’s south-western corner is gradually being undermined through accumulated years of natural settling, invasive cedar roots, and percolating water and ice. Time had a way of wearing most everything down. The result was a noticeable tilt...

    • Scroll Sixteen: Cheeby-akeeng
      (pp. 228-232)

      The snow sleeps peacefully on the branches as Nokomis and Mishomis climb through the forest. They had arisen early to begin their journey. Tiny creatures greet the sun as the new morning light lengthens shadows across the land. White rabbits, brown mice, and small chickadees leave a complex network of tracks as they scurry through the snow. An otter slide is visible along the banks of the river. The world feels new. Everything is bright, crisp, and clean as they start their journey.

      Nokomis and Mishomis walk lightly through the bush as they start along the path that climbs up...

  8. Notes
    (pp. 233-254)
  9. Index
    (pp. 255-259)