Arts & Récits Autochtones - The Death of a Brother

The Death of a Brother

2005 - Lauréat de récits

Dawn broke through the shadows of the night bringing light upon the camp. Many people were just waking up. But among one of the first ones our were Water Man and his younger friend spotted eagle. The 2 boys were known to be troublemakers but also known to be helpful whenever possible. This particular day was important to the 2 boys since it was going to be their first buffalo hunt.

Lisez l’histoire de Tyler White

Tyler White

Ashmont Secondary School, Ashmont, AB
Âge 15

Une note d'auteur

Many reasons shaped my decision to write about the great buffalo hunts. Among them was the importance of the massive herds as nourishment. As well as a supply of hides to use as clothing and to make the shelter of the many tribes. The main reason I wrote about this point in history is because it is among my heritage as an aboriginal.My father, grandfather and great aunt taught me about much of my culture. It also provided me with the challenge I needed o put this knowledge to good use. Another reason I chose this topic is that it was a description of what the land was before the contact was made with the first settlers. Before much of the great herds of buffalo were wiped out. It also provides insight and factual historical background. Much hard work and research was put into this project. As a note the Indian names given to Water Man, spotted eagle, white buffalo, and red eagle woman are the names of my father (white buffalo), sister (red eagle woman), uncle (spotted eagle), and myself (Water Man). The significance in history of the buffalo hunts was the food, shelter, and clothing of the native tribes on the plains. The plains people followed the buffalo without setting up permanent settlements. Once contact was made with the settlers they began hunting with guns and taking more than what was needed. Thus leading the near extinction of the buffalo. Today we are trying to rebuild the shattered buffalo population.

Letter of Support

This letter is in support of Tyler White’s story, “Death of a Brother”. I have come to know Tyler through the writing of this story. That is a story in itself.

I had my writing posters up and was waiting for some sort of response, I was disappointed to see that no-one was taking an interest in the contest. I love to write and really wanted someone from the school to submit an entry. I had offered to help many students; still no one wanted to write. Then the Creator stepped and helped. While trying to convince a young girl to write she said, “why don’t you get my brother to do it ,he’s writing a book.” I jumped up, “who’s your brother?” I demanded, and set off to look for him, I found him just under the wire, the bell was about to ring and the deadline was fast approaching. “You want to write a story?” I asked, his eyes lit up and he said, “yeah” just as the bell rang. “I’ll come find you” I hollered after him as he ran down the hall.

I found him took him out of class and told him what the story was to be about, I asked him if he need help and his words and the way he spoke them sent shivers down my spine, “no, I’m an author” he said, “I have a gift.” He went on to tell me that he has been writing since he was 10 years old and has been working on his book for the last 3 years. This all took place on Wenesday, the deadline was Friday. We did it though. I know Tyler is a little sad that we were not able to send all the rest of the stories, his program at home and mine are different so we couldn’t open them. This story was the one that was meant to be sent. He wrote this in about a day, give or take a few hours. I can’t wait to see his book.

I am the native liaison here at Ashmont and I work with a lot of kids, none of them have effected me the way this one does. He gives me goose bumps, and if you were to meet him you would know what I am talking about. He has told me was is raised in a traditional manner and taught to respect his Elders, this is very evident in the way he presents himself. I asked around the school about him and I only heard good things about him. He is much wiser then his 15 years, very soft spoken and very kind. He never makes fun of others and gives what he has to help others. These pat few days hay been a real eye opener to me. I wish I had the courage to follow my dreams of being a writer instead of trying to cool. I know that this boy will succeed in his dream and it is only a matter of time before we all see his name in print.

Ay Ay,
Mary McDermott
Ashmont Secondary

Lisez la suite

The Death of a Brother

“I spotted something,” cried out a young brave.

“Where!” Yelled another.

“Towards the left,” he replied.

“How many do you think there are?” Asked one of them.

“Looks to be at least 10000″ was the coming reply.

“WELL LET’S GO!” was the triumphant yell of the others.

So began one of the largest buffalo hunts the braves had ever embarked upon. As they drew nearer to their prey they grew nervous, for the herd had been bigger than they had first thought.

“WHOA!” cried out a young brave.

“Be quiet, you’ll spook them!” whispered one of the older ones.

“I know but this is the last hunt of the season, so we should make it a good one” said the eldest hunter.

With that the last of the talk quickly died down to silence and they stealthily moved towards their prey.

“GO NOW!” yelled out the leader of the party.

The front most hunters threw their spears and managed to take down one of the many buffalo as the others began firing their arrows into the massive herd. Many buffalo were hit but such little were successfully killed.

“LOOK OUT!” screamed the newest hunter.

But at that instant the herd began stampeding. As it died down they began gathering their arrows and spears and counting how many of the buffalo they had gotten.

“We got a good 10 of them” said one of the hunters happily.

“In the early seasons this may have been a good take but this isn’t enough to get our tribe through the winter.” The eldest said with a hint of sadness in his voice.

“We still got daylight, let us bring these back to camp and go looking for some more.” Piped a younger brave.

“Sounds like a good idea” replied the leader “lets begin hauling these to camp.”

“Wait, where are Water Man and Spotted Eagle?” said one of the others urgently.

“I don’t know, haven’t seen them since the hunt began.”

“NO!” cried out Water Man’s younger brother “no, no, no..

“What is wrong young one?” asked the leader a bit curious.

“Come look,” he said with tears glistening in his eyes and some trickling down his cheeks.

“Oh no,” was all the leader said.

There underneath one of the buffalo was Water Man, his spear embedded in the skull of the buffalo.

“Look for Spotted Eagle” was the leaders only command.

They found spotted eagle lying just a few feet from Water Man. His bow was cracked in 2, pieces lying at his feet. Many hoof prints embedded on his chest and face. The entire band was mourning the loss of 2 of the most experienced and skilful hunters in the entire tribe.

Dawn broke through the shadows of the night bringing light upon the camp. Many people were just waking up. But among one of the first ones our were Water Man and his younger friend spotted eagle. The 2 boys were known to be troublemakers but also known to be helpful whenever possible. This particular day was important to the 2 boys since it was going to be their first buffalo hunt. As the rest of their hunting party gathered Water Man and spotted eagle stood there with smiles upon their face their eyes gleaming with pride. Water Man’s father was among the hunting band and he also was beaming with pride that his son took this great responsibility upon himself. As they set out in complete silence making their way towards their hunting ground. Water Man being the eldest of him and spotted eagle took most of his friend’s pack as well as his. When his father saw the herd he told Water Man and spotted eagle to stay by him and sent the others ahead to take out which ones ran towards them. The hunt began good with water man taking out 2 buffalo himself with his spears spotted eagle managed to take out 1 and drive the rest towards to the other hunters. After the hunt was over they saw they had taken 20 buffalo Water Man was proud of himself as was spotted eagle, but the most proud of all was Water Man’s father. When they returned to the camp a massive celebration was held and the people all celebrated to Water Man and spotted eagle becoming men.

When the hunters returned to camp the people were expecting a large amount because Water Man and spotted eagle had gone with them. But they saw Water Man’s younger brother at the head with his head down. His childhood friend red eagle women came running up.

“Hey white buffalo where is Water Man and spotted eagle?” she asked with some worry in her voice

All white buffalo did was point back towards the end. All the people were saddened of the news. Many of the women broke out into tears many of the men just stood there with a gaunt look in there eyes. The people gave spotted eagle and Water Man the deepest respect their funeral was to be the best they could give them.

They dressed the bodies with the best clothing they could find tied back their hair, cleaned then, and set them upon a pyre and watched with many people praying and giving offers of food to the great spirit to protect Water Man and spotted eagle a safe journey to his lodge and to let them live good lives by his side. After the funeral many people held a great feast in their honor and to remember the good times they had. The band of men that had been with Water Man and spotted eagle held a hunt in their honor and found the herd. They charged upon the herd and took as many as they needed and brought them back to the camp and skinned them and gutted them and prepared the meat for the long winter months.

The tribe was in chaos at the loss of their chief and couldn’t find someone to replace Water Man. They chose his younger brother White Buffalo who took his brothers place and said just a few words.

“My fellow tribe members we have suffered a great loss when my brother died but I will do my best to follow within his footsteps and make our tribe prosper like my dear brother wish for it to do”

White Buffalo led his tribe to prosper and thrive and helped them live good lives until the foreigners came but that is quite a different story. For another day…