We Don’t Speak Ojibway, But we have Matresses

Here is a link to a Facebook event I created for an Art Installation I created as a part of Peterborough Artsweek at the Cannery:                                                                                    (3) “We don’t speak Ojibway, but we have mattresses”                                                         And here is a link to the Story Collector’s blog, which did a write-up about the installation:                                                                                                                                     We Don’t Speak Ojibway, But We Have Matresses « Story Collector                                 And Vol. 11 issue 1 of Redwire Magazine, In which “The Apology” originally appeared: http://www.redwiremag.com/assets/Vol_11_Issue_1.pdf

And here is the poem that was written on three Matresses using fabric letters

Gloucester MT Extra Condensed, 300 Font, Bold, Capital,
3 1/4″ x 2 1/2″, BW:

 The Apology
I’m Sorry
I’m sorry your son, daughter, niece, nephew, mother, grandmother was molested, raped, physically or sexually abused, beaten, had their arm broken, was neglected and mistreated, was always hungry, wasn’t allowed to speak Ojibway, was taken away from home, was punished for speaking their language, was separated from family, friends, home and homeland, was locked in a cold room,

ate raw onions

got sick from eating tree bark was sterilized and will never have kids, never finished high-school, never went to college or university, became a drug addict alcoholic, lived on the street, spent time in jail, a mental institution, foster care

wasn’t given medication when they were sick, was left to sleep beside other children with a communicable disease, was murdered, pushed down a flight of stairs, ran away from school and died of exposure, was given electro-shock, was tortured
these are only some of he things that happened, we’ve barely scratched the surface

gawiin onjiidah
in Ojibway ,“I’m sorry” means “I didn’t mean to”
what does “I’m sorry” mean in English? (that’s exactly what you meant to do)

I’m sorry?
I’m sorry too
as my grandmother said
“What good’s an apology?” “ What good is an apology to all those kids?” “It doesn’t change anything”

my mom and grandmother like camping they went halfses on a 20 foot trailer, my aunt bought new mattresses for herself, her daughters, and her grand-kids she already spent all her money even though she got more than either my uncle or my mom or my grandmother government subsidized affordable housing next to the power-lines (I’ve heard that in some countries, they won’t even build houses near those things)

we don’t speak Ojibway, but we have mattresses
It doesn’t rhyme? You tell me what rhymes with molested? You don’t like it? How bout I underline each and every thing that happened to a member of my family? You don’t want to look, look away, don’t want to read?
The truth hurts doesn’t it


About nathanadlerblog

I am a writer and an artist. I write stories, poetry, and articles. I draw, paint, make films and videos, and have done some installations. I work as a glass artist.
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