Arts & Récits Autochtones - Makya


2007 - Lauréat de récits

As she stood and watched the winds picked up. On the edge of the beach there was a person coming this way. Slowly she watched not one but two, three maybe more men walking her way, with what looked like long wooden objects over their shoulders. Makya ran for the village. She called for her father at the edge of the houses. Everyone gathered around to hear why Makya was so panicked

Lisez l’histoire de Trisha Redman

Trisha Redman

Armstrong, BC
Âge 19

Une note d'auteur

I think that the English settlers coming to North America was a great defining moment. It was a huge part of history and still is. This is something that we still study in school but is not a big part of life here. It didn't just change history and make the worlds we how now. It changed two large cultures. This event took two prominent cultures and tried blending them. The English were more advanced in technology and schooling, where the Native Americans were more advanced in social cultures and in using the land. So this blend didn't exactly work. I think this event should be studied and looked into so it never happens again. I think cultures can be blended and that they should. But I don't think the way these cultures were blended was in the best possible way. I'm sure it was the best way at that time.

When the English came to North America it changed a lot for the good but it also changed a lot for the bad they tried to take over and I don't think that was the smartest thing they could have done. But they didn't have the technology and ways to do things that we do today. It changed both cultures greatly. It didn't affect the people still in England directly but the English that were already in North America were changed. It changed the Natives history and life greatly.

I think this was a great thing. It was horrible what did happen. What the Native Americans went through, but the possibilities were great. The English accomplished a lot to be able to make it here. I think this moment shows the true possibility of humans and their determination to do what they want. I think it is bad that through that determination we hurt a lot of innocent people and life. I believe that this proves that cultures can be blended but we just have to be more careful and have to think things through before we do it.

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As Makya stood silently looking over the hill, the little village Para below buzzed. Daily chores were being done. She could see women in the corn patches and men cutting and tanning yesterday’s catches. A grandmother of the village sitting under a willow tree telling the smaller children stories around a fire. The older boys were practicing hunting and arching bows and arrows. The older girls helped their mothers with the babies, cooking, and sewing.

Para lay beside the great waters with large rolling hills to its rear. The sandy beaches and open forest and fields were Makya’s home. Makya’s father was the leader of the warriors. Her mother had died giving birth to her. When her father had been at war, Makya stayed with her best fiend Lily. Lily and Makya did everything together like sisters.

The older Makya got the less she liked her father being chief warrior. When she was younger, she just didn’t like him leaving her alone all the time, now she always worried that he wouldn’t come back. The more she watched the village the more she saw its routine. Everything had its purpose and its reward. Nothing ever changed more than the leaves on the trees.

As she stood and watched the winds picked up. On the edge of the beach there was a person coming this way. Slowly she watched not one but two, three maybe more men walking her way, with what looked like long wooden objects over their shoulders. Makya ran for the village. She called for her father at the edge of the houses. Everyone gathered around to hear why Makya was so panicked. When she started to explain her father put his hand up for silence. She stopped talking and tried to calm her breathing.

Strange sounds where coming down the path. Almost like voices but in a language nobody could understand. It couldn’t be another tribe all the tribes around the village spoke the same. A far tribe wouldn’t just walk into the village there would be the drums of war first. Puzzled everyone looked to the chief and the chief of the warrior. Many mothers took their children into their houses. At the path entrance appeared five men.

Their skin was the colour of the sand and their hair like corn. They pointed their sticks at the tribe and yelled. The closer they got Makya realized it was not sticks they had it wasn’t anything she had seen before. They were gray, shiny, and hollow. Makya stood by her father and watched the men wonder around their camp. Two of the men just stood with the gray sticks pointed at them, while the other three looked through the village. They never got close enough to touch anyone but they kept talking to each other. Finally, they all grouped back together in front of the tribe. They yelled and waved their sticks and slowly walked backward back to the path. Then they disappeared into the forest.

All at once, everyone started talking. Asking the chief what to do, what happened and why the men came. The biggest question was who were these strange men and where did they come from. The chief ordered Makya’s father and his warriors to get ready for battle. First, they had to see where the men went. Makya’s father and two other warriors got bows and arrows and left to follow the pale men. Makya pleaded with her father as he got ready not to go. It'd be dangerous and could be a trap. He turned to her, hugged her, kissed her forehead and left. She followed to the entrance of the path pleading, but had to stand and watch him leave her.

Makya ran straight to Lily. Lily always made her feel better but Lily was worried too. Something wasn’t right so they went to see the wisest grandfather of the village. He didn’t know anything about these strange men or the gray sticks. He told them to leave it to the warriors and the chief. That wasn’t good enough. Makya and Lily made their own plan. If her father and the other men were not home by sun down tomorrow they were going out to look for themselves.

At midday Makya’s father and the other men were back. They had followed the pale men back to a big boat not like the ones used by the tribe’s fishermen. They were making what looked like a village on the sand beside it. But the warriors couldn’t see in because of the large walls around it. There were two men at the outside doorway so no one could walk in like they did to the village here. The chief didn’t like the sound of this he wanted everyone ready for war. These men couldn’t stay here.

The warriors rested this night because tomorrow the drums of war would sound. This was always a horrible night for Makya. She liked having her father home with her. She didn’t want him to go to war and have to worry about him. She pleaded with him all night for him to stay. Her argument was let a younger man be chief warrior. He reassured her this was his last battle. He was getting too old for battle, but he couldn’t run away now. This would be the biggest battle the tribe had ever had and they would need him now. At sunrise, he was going to battle.

Watching the men suit up for battle Makya’s tears fell. As they put on their war paint and gathered their arrows, the tribe gathered to wish them luck and to be strong. The greatest grandmother of the village blessed them. The drums started to sound and the men walked. Lily and Makya stood side by side, hand in hand watching the warriors leave.

Makya ran for the top of the hill. That was her thinking spot. Lily followed but didn’t run to keep up. When Lily reached the cress, Makya was standing very still at the edge looking down. Lily silently walked over to see the last of the warriors disappearing into the forest. She put her arm around Makya and let her cry. Every battle her father had entered hurt Makya but this one was very different. Something just wasn’t right.

Makya and Lily went back down the hill after awhile. Chores still had to be done. Today was their day to be in the corn patches. They picked up their baskets and headed out to the fields. There were no songs being sung in the fields today. Most of the women with the girls were warriors’ wives. Everyone else was just listening. Listening to the tears and the fate, dying drums of war. That night there was a meeting of the elders. Makya and Lily were to stay home with Lily�s younger siblings. They were just putting them all to sleep when loud rings went off. Lily and Makya raced to the door to see what the strange noise was. There were five of the pale men standing in the middle of the village. Another one was standing with all the elders. The elders seemed unable to move. They had had their hands and feet tied together and to each other in a long line. One by one, one pale man pointed his stick at them and that loud horrible noise went off again. When it did that elder dropped. When Lily’s father dropped, she ran out the door screaming and trying to get to him. Another pale man grabbed Lily.

Now Makya ran to help. She went around the first pale man, but the second grabbed her arm. He swung her around and she hit the ground. She could hear Lily screaming still but she would only see the ground and a path to the elders She felt his foot on her back. Makya twisted and kicked the man. Lily had bit the man’s arm holding her and freed herself. She ran to help Makya. Lily hit the man with the stick he had dropped trying to control Makya. They both ran to Lily’s father’s side. He was covered in blood. The elders were dead.

The pale men killed all the elders and men that night. The children were taken with all the young girls and boys. Makya and Lily were among than. Their hands were tied together and their feet were all tied in a long line so they could walk. One pale man walked in front, two behind him and the rest beside him. They walked to the beach.

As they went through the front doors, Makya could see that there was a battle last night here too. Lily was the one to notice that the men lying face down were their warriors. She nudged Makya’s arm and pointed to the right. Unmistakably it was Makya’s father. Makya screamed and pulled one the ropes to free herself. One of the men came beside her and hit her in the back of the legs with his stick to stop her.

They stopped near what seemed to be the center of this little village. More pale men came out of their houses to see. There were lots of them but very few women. Screaming and yelling the younger children were taken with force. Older children held on to them, trying to not let go but it failed. The few women took them into a house and closed the door. The older boys were cut away from the girls and given shovels and hoes. The men started laughing and yelling and the girls. Two girls had their clothes cut off. They their hardest to cover themselves back up. The boys looked the other way not to offend the girls but the pale men yelled louder. Some of the men walked up and down the line looking at the girls one touched Makya’s face. He put his hand on her head. He ran his fingers through her hair down beside her mouth. She bit him. He slapped her across her face and Makya fell. Lily pulled on the rope attaching her to Makya. Makya looked at Lily and they both had tears.

Life changed that day. The boys from their village were the workers. They had to work the fields and hunted for the pale men. The pale women were raising the younger children. They were being taught English and how to be English. The girls had become slaves. They were to do whatever the pale men wanted. They had to cook for them, feed them and make their clothing. Most of the girls had been taken as wives to the men. They were to have the pale men’s babies. Lily had gotten really sick. She was covered with small red bumps. She got weaker and weaker. Some of the pale men had this too and then got medication and help but nobody gave it to Lily. Makya worked twice as hard so Lily didn’t have to and all night she put cool cloths on Lily’s forehead. One night Lily told Makya she thought she was pregnant. One of the pale men had violated her over and over again. The two friends talked all night and fell asleep in each other's arms. The next morning Lily didn’t wake up.

Makya knew what she had to do. With her head held high, she walked straight through the camp. She was going to find the man who hurt Lilly. Outside his door she didn’t hesitate. She picked up his gun and walked straight in. He was hurting another girl. Makya could see the tears in the girl’s face. He started yelling at Makya while he pulled up his pants. The girl covered herself and ran out the door. Makya wanted to hurt him like he hurt Lily. She lifted the gun at him. She had seen it used so many times she knew how to work one now. He stopped yelling and just stared at her. He laughed and tried to grab the gun. As he did, she flipped it around and hit him with the end of it. He fell to the floor. Her head was spinning. Just hurt him she thought. He is the one who hurt Lily. She raised the gun again, but she couldn’t do it. She just fired at the floor beside him. Two other English men ran in. They saw him laying on the ground and Makya standing there. They bound her and dragged her into the center of the village. One yelled for everyone to watch. They shaved Makya’s head to dishonour her and prove who she was. She was their example of what happens if you don’t listen. From that day until the day she died, Makya was just another slave for the English men.