Friday, November 13, 2015

Singing Our Treaty Song for Human Rights Radio

I find Elder Alma in the Luther College Library, signing out books for her July post graduate university classes. She climbs into my truck, and I introduce her to my guitar students, Doug Song and Felicity Nokusis in the back seat. Elder Alma and Felicity soon have made connections through their Peepeekisis relatives.
We drive through Regina, heading toward Dewdney, then turn off on 8th Street to find the offices of CJTR 91.3 FM Community Radio where we will appear on the Friday Noon show, "Human Rights Radio". We have practiced "As Long as the Grass Grows: A Treaty Song from Saskatchewan" in guitar class and I have worked on the song with Alma, but this is the first time we have put it all together. 

Host, Jim Hutchings, meets us at the front door and we take the elevator to the studio. We go live in fifteen minutes, but this is enough time to get the bass plugged in and visit a little with Jim. He wants to know how to pronounce names and a bit about each of us.

Jim begins the interview reminding the listeners that I'd been on the program last Easter and had shared about my Treaty Walks and the song I'd written. He says that we've been working on the song with Elder Alma, and he asks her about the importance of Treaty and the Nehiyawak world views contributing to Treaty principles: Miyowicehtowin, Pimacihowin, and Witaskewin (getting along with others, making a living on the land, and we are one with the land.)

Then, we sing the song, and Jim is making us a recording.

After we're done singing, he asks more questions, and Felicity has the last word, talking about the importance of Treaties to our youth.

We are feeling like rock stars as we go back onto the street. It's time to celebrate and share lunch. We say our favorite restaurants and Doug adds, "Korea House". Elder Alma says, "Let's go to the young man's restaurant and share in his culture."

We order beef, noodles, rice and all of Doug's favorites. Felicity is helping Elder Alma learn how to use chopsticks. We are laughing and talking about which dishes are too hot or just right.

Before we drop Elder Alma back at Luther College, she has business at city hall, so the kids and I wait out front, under the flags: Canada, Saskatchewan, Royal Union Jack, Regina, Treaty 4, and Metis.

Felicity, who I've known as Sweet most of her life, she and I take a selfie to send to Moira, my middle daughter. I couldn't be happier!

Elder Alma and Delma sharing teaching on Miyowicehtowin, Pimacihowin, and Witaskewin (getting along with others, making a living on the land, and we are one with the land.)

"As Long as the Grass Grows" which can be found on youtube.