From “Matisiwin” by Marie Christine Bernard, translated by Melissa Bull.
TAN E TATO TIPAHIKENEAK?
WHAT TIME IS IT?
They call it “Indian time.” They say it’s disappointing Indians are always late, can’t keep an appointment, won’t respect a schedule. They say it’s really too bad. Those who went to residential schools know their disappointment firsthand.
What do they know about time? They treat it like they treat everything else. They pack it into tiny boxes. Words, dreams, people, cold, rain, stars. They have boxes to organize rocks, animals and plants, in order of kingdom, class, family and genus. When I trap along the Wapoc, I do not ask to which class or phylum belongs the hare that will have come to offer its life for my family. I wonder if its belly will be soft enough to finish the blanket destined to become my baby’s, if it will keep my child warm, if its skin ...