Of Dogma and Ceremony


wow, when do we draw the line?

Decolonization

by Tara Williamson

This article is about dogma. Not Christian dogma or Western political dogma, but North American Indigenous dogma. And, particularly (because that is the tradition I am from), Ojibwe and Cree dogma.

You know what I mean.  It starts off as rules. Medicine people aren’t supposed to kill things.  You shouldn’t pay for medicine.  Women need to wear skirts to ALL ceremony. Women don’t sit at a drum.  And, ceremony should definitely, DEFINITELY, not be documented.

I want to start with some stories about my great-grandmother, Kaapiidashiik.  My kookoo was a medicine woman.  And she was a good medicine woman. One of those women people travelled miles to see.  One of my favourite stories is about how, when my mother told her there was a strange man in the yard, Kaapiidashiik locked up the doors and windows and huddled in the corner of the house behind a rocking…

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