Debaajmod: Lewis Debassige
Maaba-sh gewii Niibaakhom, gii-miigaazo gewii. Gchi-mookmaanan go gewii
maaba gii-miigaanaan; gii-maazh’aan gego. Mii gewii maaba gii-gwejmigaaza maaba;
Zhaagnaashan gii-gwejmigoon wii-naadmawaad.
Mii-sh gaa-zhi-miigaading. Gii-gjibwewag-sh maa mnik, nahaa, zhaagnaashag.
Mii gewii gii-maakogaaza go gewii maaba nahaa Niibaakhom. Kina-sh gonda giiswebhowewag Nishnaabeg. Gewii maaba miigaazoo-ninwag wiiji-miigaazoninwan; kina
gii-swebhowewag. Gii-naandwedizo maaba, mii-sh gii-bskaabiid.
Geyaabi giiwenh ngoding wii-miigaadim. Mii go miinwaa zhaagnaash miinwaa
wiijigaabwitwaad miinwaa Nishnaaben.
“Gaawii,” gii-kida-sh maaba, nahaa, Niibaakhom.
“Niinwi go eta geniinwi maa mnik, mii geniinwi ge-zhigaabwiyaang. Giinwaash gegiinwaa, mii gegiinwaa ge-zhigaabwiyeg,” gii-jigaaza maaba zhaagnaash.
“Shkwaach maanda aani-niizhookwaawing maaba, gii-gjibhowem.”
Mii-sh go naa Nishnaabe gewii gaa-zhitwaawaad, gegoo weweni wii-zhichged maage
weweni gegoo wii-gshkitood, gii-kwe-mkadeke maaba; gii-namhaa. Ntaa-namhaa, ntaanamhaawag… ntaa-namhaawag kina gonda Nishnaabeg. Gii-bgosenmaawaan gewiinwaa
mindoomwaan wii-naadmaagwaad. Mii-sh maa gonda gaa-zhichgewaad wii-miigaazwak
Mii-sh giiyenh niizhgon gii-bmosewag oodi, wii-ni-dgoshnawaad gchi-aankwaan.
Mii gaa-zhinkaadeg wi, nahaa, oodi gchi-mookmaanag yaawaad. Mii wi, “garrison” mii
oodi gii-dgoshnawaad. Jibwaa-dgoshnowaad, naanan gii-gwejmigaazwag giwi
Nishnaabeg ji-zhaawaad oodi. Ngo-giizhigad daa-ni-nzikaa waya …piichi-waasa.
Mii-sh gii-gwejmigaazwaad, naanan; naanan giiwenh nishnaabeg – miigaazooninwag.
Mii giiwenh giwi gii-gwejmigaazwaad wii-oo-waamdamwaad oodi ezhi-mshkwiiziiwaad
giwi, Gchi-mookmaanag. Mii sa go iidig naanan gii-naaniibwiwag. Mahiinganag,
mahiinganag-sh giiwenh gii-bi-yaawwag giwi, gii-maajiibtoowaad maa, shkwaanaawkweg go naa.
Mii-sh giiwenh, gaawii waasa gii-patoosiiwag, gchi-gidaakiiwang oodi
“Gaawii go naa memkaach* gdaa-zhaa-siimi. Zaam go naa, zaam go naa gnabach
mshkwiiziiwidgenak, mshkwiiziiwag giwi, nahaag, gchi-mookmaanag,” kidwag giiwenh
“Gaawii gdaa-maazh’aasiinaanig, miinwaa waasa aabdeg oodi wii-patooying,
miinwaa wii-bskaabbatooying,” kidwag.
“Mii go naa waabang bskaabiiying oodi, Niibaakhom ga-wiindmowaanaa, ‘zaam
mshkwiiziiwag giwi, baamenmaasiinaanig giwi.”
Mii-sh giiwenh jibwaa-dbikak, gewii naanan miinwaa gii-gwejmigaazwag
wii-zhaawaad oodi. Mii-sh go naanan gewii giwi nishnaabeg miinwaa
“Nga-zhaami,” kidwag giiwenh.
Nahaa-sh giiwenh gii-bi-yaawiwag giwi, bashkwaanaajiinyag ‘bats’ gii-maajiibzowaad.
Yahaa-sh go ekizhbewaawgang, e-kizhebaagag, mii giiwenh gii-ndamgaazwaad giwi,
nahaag, mahiinganag. Bebezhig gii-ndamgaaza, kwejmigaaza wi: “Aaniish gewiinwaa
oodi? Aaniish naa gaa-zhi-waamjigeyeg? Aaniish oodi gaa-zhi-waamdaman wi?””
Kina-sh bebkaan gonda gii-ni-naajmowag mahiingnag. Kina bebkaan gii-naajmowag,
ezhnaagwag oodi, maaba nahaa gchi-mookmaan enji-kandood.
Mii-sh gii-gkenjgaazwaad giinishkwaad.
Mii-sh miinwaa gii-ndamgaazwaad giwi bashkwaanaajiinyag. Kina-shii naasaab
gonda gii-naajmowag. Mii mnik wi, nahaa, etegin oodi ngaasmongamgoon, mii gewe
oodi mnik baashkziganan etegin niigaan. Maanda ko gii-naaksinoon niwi baashkzignan
niigaan ngaasmonigamgoong — mii mnik e-ni-tegin. Kina go gii-miigwenaawaa, mii go
kina naasaab gonda bashkwaanaajiinyag gaa-naajmowaad. Mii-sh gii-gkenmigaazwaad
maa mnik debwewaad.
Geyaabi giiyenh ngo-giizhig gii-kwe-yaawag maa, mii-sh gii-maajaawaad.
Wii-oo-nnaakonaawaan niwi Gchi-mookmaanan; kwe-namhaawag. Pane go naa
Nishnaabe gaa-bi-zhichiged, kwe-namhaa. Mii-sh giiwenh oodi jibwaa-dgoshnowaad
oodi, gii-gchi-nchiiwad giiwenh; gii-gchi-nimkiikaa. Mii-sh giiwenh bezhig gaa-zhigwaashid wa gchi-mtig, nahaa, gchi-zhingwaak gii-gwaashi. Mii-sh giiwenh giibiigshkang wi gchi-mchikan. Mii-sh maa gaa-ni-zhi-biindige’oodewaad giwi
Nishnaabeg. Geyaabi go gchi-nimkiikaag, mii kina maa mnik gii-nsaawaan niwi gchimookmaanan.
Miinwaa-sh yihii gii-biigzaanaawaa wi nihaa “gunpowder room” gunpowder
temgak. Mii enji-taaswaad giwi gchi-mookmaanag, mii wi gaa-biigzigaadeg. Niibna-sh
Miinwaa gaa-shkwaa-maazhtwaawaad, mii kina gii-ndamgaazwaad maa mnik,
nahaa, Nishnaabeg. Mii-sh go ntam go giwi, nahaa, mahiinganag. Mii-sh giiwenh gaazhi-gwejmigaazod ntam bezhig, “Aaniish gegii ge-zhi-mkwenmigoowin?”
Giikendaan go waa-zhwebzid; mii enji-kwejmigaazod wi. Mii-sh giiyenh gewii
gaa-kidod: “Ga-wiindamawaag giwi gaa-bi-n’gangwaa ooshto oodi ndabinoojiinmag,
getin maampii gii-maagaazyaanh, weweni maanpii gii-miigaazyaanh, niibna maa mnik
genii gii-nsagwaa,” gii-kida giiwenh. Mii-sh gii-giishkwegjigaazod.
Eko-niizhing, mii go gewii naasaab, eko-nsing, eko-niiwing, gonda mahiingnag
maaba-sh mamaanji- shkwaach mahiingan, mii giiwenh gewii gaa-kidod wi: “Gazhaabwizhim sa naa,” gii-kida giiwenh; “ga-zhaabwizhim.”
“Nga-oo-wiindamawaag maa mnik gaa-bi-n’ganaayaang, gonda nwiijikiwenik
gewiinwaa gaa-bi-n’ganaayaat, piichi weweni gaa-miigaazwaang. Niin oodi nga-oowiindmaage maanpii nahaa gaa-zhi-bkinaageying, gaa-zhi-maazhtwaaying.”
“Ahaaw,” gii-jigaaza-sh giiwenh.
Gii-giishkjaanegjigaaza-sh giiwenh, mii-sh gii-maajaat. Gaawii-sh oodi giizhaasii, gii-bskaabiisii oodi gaa-bi-njibaad. Maanpii giiyenh nakeyaa gii-bi-pahwe,
Baawting. Mii go wi gii-bmaajmigaaza go maa; aanwii-dbendaagozi go maa, naa?
Gewii nihaa maa gimaa gii-aawi, gimaa gii-aawi Zhingwaakoons miinwaa Bgojininii,
aanwii-gjitoon-sh maa wii-dbendaagzid, gaawii-sh ii gii-bgidnigaaz-sii,
Bmibhowe niinaa maaba. Mii gaa-zhichgaazod ko Nishnaabe ge gii-giinwishkid;
gii-giishkjaanegjigaaza giiwenh ko, kina go waya wii-waamdang gaa-zhi-mji-doodang.
Mii ko nmishoomsiba gaa-dbaadang.
As for this character, Niibaakhom, he too fought. He too fought the Americans; he
defeated them too. Then he…then this [Niibaakhom] was asked; The British asked him
to…to help them. So he said, “Okay.” So it happened that war broke out. And several of
these British took flight. Then he was…was…this Niibaakhom too was wounded. And
all of these Nishnaabeg scattered and fled. This [one] too, um, sol…soldiers…their
brothers in arms, they all scattered and fled. He doctored himself, then he returned.
There is to be one more battle. The British again wants to stand with the Nishnaabeg
again. And this character, um, Niibaakhom said, “No.” “Just a number of us [excluding
you], that’s how we’ll stand [i.e. form a group]. And you men, that’s how you’ll stand[i.e. form a group],” this…this Englishman was told. “The last time the two of us
attacked them together, you…you fled.” And this was the Nishnaabe’s way [his religion] to…to do something properly or to achieve success, he fasted first; he prayed. He prays
often, they pray often…all these Indians pray frequently. They beseeched their personal
spirit guardians to help them. And this is what these ones did; these Nishnaabeg are
going to fight. And then — they walked for two days to get there to the fort. That’s what
it was called, that place, um…where the Americans are. That’s the, um, garrison — so
they got there. Before they arrived, five of those Nishnaabeg were asked to go over
there. It would take someone one day to get there…how far it is. So, um, five were
asked, five Nishnaabeg – warriors. So those men were asked to go over…to go over
there…to see how strong those, um, Americans are. So evidently, um,…five stood [up].
Wolves…and those men reportedly became wolves, and off they ran, in the afternoon
you know. And so, they didn’t run far, they were on top of a big hill there, “Let’s not
bother going there.” “I think they’re too…too powerful…those, um, Americans are
strong,” they apparently said. “We wouldn’t be able to overpower them, and us having to
run far over there, and to run back again,” they say. “And when…when we return there
tomorrow, we’ll tell Niibaakhom, ‘they’re too strong’,” “[we] won’t bother with them.”
And then before nightfall, another five were asked to go over there. Then another five
Nishnaabeg… “We’ll go,” they say. And those men became bats – bats — and they flew
off. And so the next morning…when it was morning, those – um — wolves were
summoned. Each one was summoned in turn…he’s asked that: “What’s their…What did
you see? How did you see it?” And all of these wolves gave different reports. They all
gave different reports, what the layout is there where, um, this American is lying in wait.
Then they were known to be lying. And then those ba…bats were summoned. So these
ones all gave the same report. That’s how many tents there are, that’s how many guns
there are up front. The guns used to be lined up, um, in front of the tents – that’s how
many there are. They all…ga…gave…those bats all gave the exact same report. Then
this group were known to be telling the truth. They stayed there for one one…one more
day, then they set out. They’re going to go…to go…to go and retaliate against those
Americans; they pray first. Just as the Nishnaabe has always done, he prays
beforehand. Then when they got…before they arrived there, it was reportedly very
stormy; there was a big thunderstorm. Then a tree was blown over by the wind, a big…a
nig tree, um, a huge pine tree blew over, and it broke that fence [to the fort]. And that’s
how those Nishnaabeg crawled in. Still…it’s still thundering greatly, they all ki…they
killed several of those Americans. And then they blew up that gunpowder room, where
the gunpowder is. There where the Americans stored the gunpowder, that’s what was
blown up. And so many of them were killed. And after they had…after they had
prevailed in battle, that group of Nishnaabeg was summoned. And so it’s the, um, wolves
first. And the first one was asked, “how want to…how will you…will you be
remembered?” He knows what’s going to happen to him; that is why he’s asked that.
And what he said was: You will tell those I…my children that I have left behind,” that I
fought hard here, that I fought well here,” “that I, too, killed many [of the enemy],” he
said. Then his throat was slit. The second one, same thing, and the third, the
fourth,…these wolves. Then this very last wolf, what he said was: “You will [please] spare me,” he says, “you’ll spare me. I’ll go tell the ones we left behind, and those my
friends left behind, how well we fought over here. Me, I’ll go there and tell, um, how
we…how we won, what had happened, how we prevailed.” So he was told, “Okay.”
Then his nose was cut, and he left. And he didn’t go over there…did not return to where
he was from. They say he fled this way, to Sault Ste Marie. As he went about he
was…was talked about; he try…tried…tried to become a member there, eh? And, um,
the chief there was, Little Pine was chief [there] and Wild Bush Man. So, he tried to
become a member there, but he wasn’t accepted. “You will leave,” he was told. After
all, he’s on the run. That is what used to be done to a Nishnaabe when he… who lies; his
nose used to be cut off so everyone will see how he had done wrong. That is what my
grandfather used to…used to talk about.
Niibaakhom: Night Thunder
Debaajmod: Lewis Debassige
Anishinaabewisidood: Alan Corbiere