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NDN Coping Mechanisms

NDN Coping Mechanisms

Notes from the Field
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Devil in the Woods

Letter to Cherry from Denis Crowfeather's Garage


Dear Don: it's been some time since last time
we saw eye-to-eye on anything. Maybe it goes
all the way back to big pay checks and Rocky
Mountain highs, maybe it's locked up in that
golden eagle strut of your Pow-Wow-infused
fancy dancing outfits showcased coast-to-coast
Saturday nights. Every eyeball busting thread
makes me understand that most all of us share
the need to strut the goods that Creator gave us
as we turkey-step our lives on the old turtle's back.
Old Denis and I were taking in the battle
of Ontario in his Curve Lake garage when you
came flashing through a bad V-hold and started
hollering about Bobby Orr and knowing your past,
and the importance of face punching a guy
when the right moment comes. Damned if we
didn't talk about the time the Odjick boys
roughed up some of Kahnawe fancy dancers
at Silver Lake couple of years back. Cree boys
reigned down snow like it was the last week
of November and did it because they swore
Edna Puskamoose lost the Grass Dance final
on account of a stick left in the circle by one
their boys the previous round. Grapes, you
gotta know that eastern Ontario Pow Wows
play heavier than an Adam Division final.
Intent in any competition is only an eighth
of any penalty. Old Denis and I laughed
like the Pow Wow spectators we are, both
knowing that Edna had the grace of a blind
heron and that it's easier to think well enough
of taking a shot or twelve to the head
so long as your suit makes you look like lake
showing off to the world and best things
you ever did were thirty years before you
started hollering advice into the night.
Always remember, we are nothing without
linesmen who talk quick enough to keep us
honest and ensure that second late game
hits the air before the V-hold breaks for good,

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