Arts & Récits Autochtones - Frustration


2008 - Lauréat de récits

He thought, “Who would want to hear anything that I had to say anyways?” He lay down and sat there for while. “Why should I even bother? Who’s going to actually read and get what I’m trying to say?” he said. “Maybe I shouldn’t be writing about other people”, he thought.

Lisez l’histoire de Alyssa Bird

Alyssa Bird

Winnipeg, MB
Peguis First Nation
Âge 15

Une note d'auteur

I only had a few days to write this story that had to be at least 800 words long, and the first day or so I just sat there trying to think of a story that would get recognized. So that’s where I came up with the young Aboriginal man in my story that had the exact problem as me. But near the end he started to feel a bit hopeless and doubtful about himself, which think a lot of the Aboriginal youth go through. Where they think what they have to say, doesn’t matter. So that’s the basic message that I wanted to get out with my short story. I know that there are a lot of people trying to speak out, get heard, and other things like that. But there are also a lot of people who could care less of what other people have to say. But the people who want to be heard and want to listen have to come together, that’s what I like about this contest, it’s giving people a chance to get heard and be acknowledged. So I guess my story is about what this contest is all about. I just added a few historical events that I think are important. Like the Oka Standoff, I think it’s important because it shows the potential warrior in everyone, where we can stand up for our history and tradition. The Residential Schools are an important part of our history because it shows our strength that we have, that we can survive years of abuse like that and still be strong. Then lastly it’s what the youth have to go through today, the history in the making. It’s what our children and grandchildren are going to hear, along with the other historical events.

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He sat there with a few pages of loose leaf in front of him and a pen in his hand, tapping it against his head. He was looking towards the corner of the room in deep thought. “What should I write about?” he thought. He then spoke aloud, “Out of all the things I can come up with, why can’t I just choose one?” He had narrowed it down by a small fraction by deciding that he wanted to have an Aboriginal perspective of how he was writing.

He had always pictured himself being a famous writer someday. While he was sitting in classes he always could come up with ideas or thoughts about other people’s lives going on and all the different problems or adventures that they would face. He was so imaginative that he could come up with last names, family problems and even scars that these people had. All of his past English teachers had encouraged him to write all of his ideas into different short stories or even books. But he had always thought that no one would care about what he’d have to say. He had always thought to himself; “Why would anyone want to know my stories?”

So he had always kept most of his thoughts and things that went on in his life written down in a notebook, which he had always carried with him everywhere he went. It was very worn out and one could tell that the book had been through a lot, along with whoever had owned it.

He had been born on a small reserve a few hours out of the city and spent most of his life out there. He and his mom had lived with his very traditional grandparents and they made sure that he was bought up to learn the old ways. So when he had moved off the reserve when he was 14, he left with a strong sense of who he was as an Aboriginal person.

He sat there for a few minutes, still thinking. He was the type of person to think out loud when he was alone. “Hmm, What about… no never mind. Hmm…” He thought about writing about the Oka Standoff with a young man’s perspective that was fighting against the people trying to develop on his reserve’s land. He could picture the story playing out already.

My brother was always the fighter of our family. I was just his nerdy little brother who tagged along with him wherever he went, but as he got older he made me stay home. Everything had gone downhill after the white people tried to develop that sacred area near our reserve and turn it into a golf course. I was 14 when all of this was happening. Being the fighter that my brother was, he was always right in the middle of all the rallies and protests that were going on. He wasn’t going to let them walk all over our people and take what they want.

He then crumpled up the paper and took a shot at the garbage can in the corner. He missed and shrugged his shoulders and thought, “I’ll just pick it up later” He was convinced that his Oka story was going nowhere and would just end in a cheesy way. He pictured that the boy’s brother would get arrested and then the boy would fill his brother’s shoes. He thought that it was too predictable.

So he sat there for awhile, thinking of all things that his people had to go through. Then he thought about the stories that his Kookum had told him, about what all happened to her when she went to residential school. He got another idea and started writing about this little six year old girl.

She woke up with the tears from last night still on her cheek. But she quickly rubbed her face and started to prepare herself for the upcoming day. They day time was hardest for her; the sisters of the school were always shouting at her, whenever she did or said anything. They would hit her if she spoke in her language. So she just learned to keep quiet. She hated the time when the sun was up because the sisters and priests where always watching her, yelling at her and calling her down. At night was the only time she was truly alone. At night before she went to sleep she had always hummed songs that her mother and Kookum had taught her.

He shook his head and folded the paper in half and set it aside. Again he thought that the story wasn’t going anywhere, it would just be playing with people’s sympathy and the last thing he wanted was for people to look down and feel sorry for Indians.

He sat there yet again, thinking, and then thought, “Maybe going into the past of Indians isn’t the way to go.” He already started to imagine a young man who was deeply involved with this one native gang. So again he started to write.

I stopped and hid in a doorway, trying to catch my breath. It was dark out so I don’t think anyone had seen me. I poked my head out and took a quick look around. So far the coast was clear and so I just sat there for a few minutes. “Why did I take that shot? What the hell have I done?”, he thought to himself. I sat there with my head in my hands trying to figure out what all just happened and what am I going to do next. I can hear shouting in the distance. So I picked myself up and started to run again. I kept to the back lanes and alleys so I could quickly hide if anyone else happens to run by. I was down this one street just near main when I heard gun shots. I ducked and started sprinting in the opposite direction from where I heard the shots. I wasn’t ready to die, not even for the gang I lived for, not for anyone.

He then sighed in frustration, crumpled up the paper and threw it into the garbage can, the paper ball jumped out and landed next to the paper from earlier. He got up and started to walk around his room. He shook his head and was tired with himself and his ideas. He sat at the corner of his bed. He thought, “Who would want to hear anything that I had to say anyways?” He lay down and sat there for while. “Why should I even bother? Who’s going to actually read and get what I’m trying to say?” he said. “Maybe I shouldn’t be writing about other people”, he thought.

He then glanced to his backpack, and then just stopped. He saw the corner of his notebook sticking out of a hole from his similarly roughed up backpack. He looked to the floor, then at his hand which was still holding his pencil. He sat there silently, and then he finally got an idea. He sat back down at his desk, took a fresh piece of paper and wrote his story.