Elizabeth Barrette (ysabetwordsmith) wrote,
Elizabeth Barrette
ysabetwordsmith

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Poem: "Different Languages to Use"

This poem is spillover from the July 21, 2020 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by and sponsored by [personal profile] ng_moonmoth. It also fills the "Feast" square in my 7-1-20 card for the Winterfest in July Bingo. This poem belongs to the Iron Horses thread of the Polychrome Heroics series.


"Different Languages to Use"

[Saturday, June 22, 2013]

Culture Day at Rocky Boy's Reservation
was always somewhat chaotic.

Mostly it attracted tourists,
students, and relatives visiting
from neighboring reservations.

Sounding Shell presided over
the feast of traditional foods.

There were buffalo burgers,
fried rabbit, and grilled trout.
A pot held Three Sisters Soup
for a vegetarian main dish.

The salad of wild greens was
topped with flower petals
and sunflower seeds.

Another bowl held fruits
including gooseberries
blackberries, and raspberries.

The cold mint tea was disappearing
at a rapid pace in the summer heat.

Sounding Shell liked encouraging
people to try traditional foods.
Every once in a while it stuck.

Today the table was half
white people and half guests
from other reservations.

As soon as people finished
eating, the tribefolks dispersed
in search of their various relatives.

Some of the white people inevitably
clustered around Sounding Shell.

"Hey, will you teach us about
totems?" one boy said.

"I wanna hear about
shamanism," said a girl.

A woman old enough
to know better asked,
"Is it true that you all
have Animal Powers?"

Sounding Shell sighed.
"The presentation about
tribal religions was at ten.
If you missed it, you'll have
to wait for another day."

"But I want to hear about
superpowers," one whined.

"It is very rude to make demands
of medicine powers," the shaman said.

"Isn't there any way to catch up on
totems?" the first boy said. "We missed
that because we had to drive a long way."

Sounding Shell smiled. "Why yes,"
she said. "You can work for the tribe
and hire someone to tutor you for an hour."

Most of them promptly scoffed and scattered.

One girl lingered, though, bright as a new penny.
Her red hair only added to the resemblance.

Sounding Shell wondered if Big Chipmunk
had seen her, redheads being rare here.

"What's your name?" the shaman said
as she carefully looked the girl over.

"Corsen Aufroy," she said. "I was
hoping to learn about native languages
and -- oh drat, everyone's leaving!"

"You don't seem that good a match
for that group," Sounding Shell said.

"Yeah, I know," Corsen said, fidgeting
with her blouse. "It's just ... they're
my ride home and it's a long drive."

"If you stay and work, someone will
take you home," said Sounding Shell.

"Is there a list of things to do?"
Corsen said, perking up.

"There is," said Sounding Shell.
"What kind of things can you do?"

"I'm good with languages in general and
I know elementary Blackfoot," said Corsen.
"I can do some computer programming,
like website design and maintenance."

Blackfoot wasn't a local language, and
the websites were fine at the moment,
though she would remember that one
in case it was needed in the future.

"Mmm ... how are you with babysitting?"
said Sounding Shell. "We always need that."

Corsen flicked her wrist, fanning out
a half-circle of cards from a wallet.
"Basic Babysitting, Advanced Babysitting,
Basic First Aid, Advanced First Aid with
CPR ... drat, that's almost run out, I've
had it so long. Excuse me." She typed
a reminder into her phone. "Okay, where
was I ... Early Language Learning, and
Toddler Enrichment. I hoped for a nest."

"Well, we do have a Language Nest here,
so I'm sure it'll come in handy sooner or later,"
said Sounding Shell. "Right now, we need
people who can watch kids while the parents
work or volunteer on other projects, and
your official credentials actually outmatch
almost everyone but our teachers."

"Really?" Corsen said, eyes widening.
"But it's just the basics and a few certs I
picked up to make kids and parents like me."

"Sweetie, with those credentials, they're
going to love you," said Sounding Shell.
Do some work for us, and I will trade
you hour for hour in Oji-Cree."

Corsen squealed, bouncing
up and down on her toes.
"Thank you so much! I've
heard that the college here
has a work-trade program."

"That interests you?"
said Sounding Shell.

"Yeah, I was working on
my master's in Linguistics
at the University of Montana,
but ... the money ran out,"
Corsen said glumly. "I had
to drop out after the first year."

"Stone Child College does
take tribal currency for tuition,"
said Sounding Shell. "However,
that means working for the tribe
for two years, which is a great deal
more involved than babysitting
for a few hours on Culture Day."

"I'm interested," Corsen said
anyway, lifting her chin. "I'm
not afraid of hard work."

"That will serve you well
here," said Sounding Shell.
"All right, try your hand at
babysitting today and we'll
consider that a trial run."

"Yes, please!" Corsen said.
Then she nibbled on her lip.
"Why are you helping me?"

"óta askihk ki-mámawohtáwimáw
ka-kí-ohséhikowak, ka-sákihitowak mina
ta-kistéyiméhtowak. ki-kí-miyikowésiwinaw
pá-pitos-píkiskwéwina ta-áyamihitowak,"

Sounding Shell said with a smile.

Corsen tilted her head like
the redbird she resembled.
"What's that mean?" she said.

"Our Creator put us here on earth,"
said Sounding Shell. "He gave us
different languages to use. He put us
here to love and respect each other."

Corsen's lips moved, trying to remember
the shape of the unfamiliar words.
"Oh," she said in a soft tone.

"Come on now, I'll walk you to
the child care tent, and you should
call your friends to tell them you've found
another ride home," said Sounding Shell.

"Okay," Corsen said, following her.

Behind them, volunteers began
clearing the dishes from the table.

Sounding Shell watched the girl
as they walked toward the tent.

Usually, white people just came
to gawk at the cultural displays,
and disappeared as soon as
anyone mentioned actual work.

Every once in a while, though,
someone showed more promise
and a willingness to pitch in.

So far, Sounding Shell had
a good feeling about this one.

* * *

Notes:

Sounding Shell appeared in the previously posted poem, which is later in the thread's chronology:
"What Keeps Us Happy"

Sounding Shell (Georgianna Baie) -- She has light copper skin, brown eyes, and straight gray hair past her shoulders. The shaman of Rocky Boy's Reservation, an old woman. She is Cree from Ontario and married a Cree man from Rocky Boy's Reservation. It annoys her when people ignore her visions, and she has a habit of saying, "I told you so," when those come true anyway.
Origin: When Georgianna was twelve, she got her first period. She stayed in a special tent for four days and four nights, secluded with the older women of her family. She prayed for a way to help her people move into the future. She developed superpowers, and when she emerged, there was a great feast at which a shaman gave her the name Sounding Shell.
Uniform: Most of the time, she wears comfortable, outdoorsy women's clothes. She favors dark colors, although for ceremonial use she often chooses brighter ones.
Qualities: Master (+6) Shaman, Master (+6) Wisdom, Expert (+4) Birchbark Crafts, Expert (+4) Grandmother, Good (+2) Horsewoman, Good (+2) Stamina, Good (+2) Wildcrafting
Poor (-2) I Told You So
Powers: Good (+2) Foresight
Sometimes the spirits give her visions of the future. These are rarely large or complete scenes. Instead she gets practical tidbits. People don't always want to listen, because the ideas are seemingly unconnected to anything else at that point in time, but she is consistently right.
Motivation: To help her people move into the future.

Many tribes have a womanhood ceremony, although the details vary. Here are some examples from Cree and Yankton Sioux cultures.


Corsen Aufroy appeared in the previously posted poems, which are later in the thread's chronology:
"What Keeps Us Happy"
"Sheltered and True"

Corsen Aufroy -- She has fair skin, hazel eyes, and long auburn hair with just a little wave. Her heritage includes Welsh and French. She was a graduate student majoring in linguistics at the University of Montana before the money ran out. Then she moved to Rocky Boy's Reservation to earn her way through Stone Child College. Her strong work ethic and deft computer skills have made her very popular on the reservation.
Qualities: Good (+2) Beautiful, Good (+2) Computer Skills, Good (+2) Linguist, Good (+2) Linguistic Intelligence, Good (+2) Work Ethic
Poor (-2) Impoverished Background

(age 18-21, birthday August 24)
Bachelor of Arts - Native American Studies
at the University of Montana

College of Humanities & Sciences
Degree Specific Credits: 39
Required Cumulative GPA: 2.5
Catalog Year: 2019-2020
General Education Requirements
Information regarding these requirements can be found in the General Education Section of the catalog.
Summary
Lower-Division Core Courses 12
Upper-Division Core Courses 18
Fundamentals
Indigenous
History
Elective Courses 9
Total Hours 39

Lower-Division Core Courses
Complete all of the following courses:
NASX 105H Intro Native Amer Studies 3
NASX 201X Indian Cultr Exprssd Thru Lang 3
NASX 235X Oral/Written Trads Native Amer 3
NASX 280 NA Studies Rsrch Theors/Mthds 3
Total Hours 12
Minimum Required Grade: C-

Upper-Division Core Courses
Rule: Complete the following subcategories. 18 total credits required.
Fundamentals
Complete all of the following courses:
NASX 304E Native American Beliefs/Philos 3
NASX 475 Tribal Sovereignty 3
NASX 494 Seminar/Workshop 3
Total Hours 9
Minimum Required Grade: C-
Indigenous
Complete one of the following courses: 3
NASX 340 Native American Lit 3
Total Hours 3
Minimum Required Grade: C-
History
Complete all of the following courses: 6
NASX 464 Hist Amer Indian Affrs to 1776
NASX 465 History of American Indian Affairs in the 19th Century
Total Hours 6
Minimum Required Grade: C-

Elective Courses
Complete 9 credits from the following courses: 9
ANTY 323X Native Peoples of Montana 3
NASX 141 Elementary Blackfoot I 3
NASX 142 Elementary Blackfoot II 3
NASX 499 Senior Capstone/Thesis
Total Hours 9
Minimum Required Grade: C-


Minor - Linguistics
at the University of Montana in Missoula, Montana

College of Humanities & Sciences
Degree Specific Credits: 18
Required Cumulative GPA: 2.0
Catalog Year: 2019-2020
Note: To earn a Minor in Linguistics, students must complete 18 credits beyond their major degree requirements.
Summary
Upper-Division Core Courses 9
Core Course
Additional Core Courses
Elective Courses 9
Total Hours 18

Upper-Division Core Courses
Rule: Complete the following subcategories of courses. 9 total credits required.
Core Course
Complete the following course:
LING 470 Linguistic Analysis 3
Total Hours 3
Minimum Required Grade: C-
Additional Core Courses
Complete two of the following courses: 6
LING 471 Phonetics and Phonology
LING 472 Syntax
Total Hours 6
Minimum Required Grade: C-

Elective Courses
Note: Please note: In earning this minor, neither LING 270S nor LING 465 may be taken after LING 470. In addition, only 1 of LING 270S and LING 465 may be counted towards the minor. LING 471, LING 472, and LING 489 may be taken as an elective, if not taken as a required core course.
Complete three of the following courses: 9
LING 375X Linguistic Ecology and Language Endangerment 3
LING 477 Bilingualism 3
LING 478 Learner Language 3
Total Hours 9
Minimum Required Grade: C-


Computer Programming Certificate
at the University of Montana in Missoula, Montana

Programming is an essential skill for solving problems in many fields. Programming gives maximum flexibility in processing and understanding data, constructing computational models, and building user friendly applications. Programming skills are in high demand in the marketplace. Completing this certificate could be the first step towards a career that involves software development.
Students will apply object-oriented principles to develop software systems. Students will learn to apply and program data structures like lists, trees, and hash tables. The elective course allows the student to learn about software engineering, web programming, mobile device programming, or user interface design.
Post-Secondary Certificate - Computer Programming
College of Humanities & Sciences
Degree Specific Credits: 12
Required Cumulative GPA: 2.0
Catalog Year: 2019-2020
Summary
Required Courses 10
Elective Courses 3-4
Total Required Credits 12

Required Courses
Complete all of the following courses:
CSCI 135 Fund of Computer Science I 3
CSCI 136 Fund of Computer Science II 3
CSCI 232 Data Structures and Algorithms 4
Total Hours 10
Minimum Required Grade: C-

Elective Courses
Complete one of the following courses: 3-4
CSCI 323 Software Science
CSCI 411 Advanced Web Programming
Total Hours 3-4
Minimum Required Grade: C-


General Education Courses
LING Courses the Satisfy General Education (Gen Ed) Requirements

Group VII. Social Sciences
• LING 270S Introduction to Linguistics (3 credits)
Group X. Indigenous & Global Perspectives
• LING 375X Linguistic Ecology and Language Endangerment (3 credits)
Intermediate Writing Requirement for Linguistics and Anthropology Majors
• LING 375X Linguistic Ecology and Language Endangerment (3 credits)
Advanced Writing Requirement for Linguistics and Anthropology Majors
• LING 473 Language and Culture (3 credits)
• LING 484 North American Indigenous Languages and Linguistics (3 credits)


(age 22, spring and fall of what should have been a 2-year program)
Master of Arts in Linguistics
at the University of Montana in Missoula, Montana

Welcome to Linguistics at the University of Montana! Our program aims to equip students with a strong foundation in core areas of linguistic analysis and to train students to think critically about a broad range of issues in language use, development, variation, and change. Faculty interests include Indigenous languages of North America, language development, phonology, semantics, syntax, and typology. We offer a range of courses in general theoretical and descriptive linguistics, as well as coursework leading to a Certificate of Accomplishment in ESL. Undergraduates may earn a Minor in Linguistics; a Major in Linguistics is not offered at this time. The Linguistics program at UM offers the only Linguistics MA in the state. Recent graduates have been admitted to some of the most highly-ranked Linguistics PhD programs in North America.

The Linguistics Program at the University of Montana awards a 36-credit-hour Master of Arts degree with thesis and non-thesis options. Students are trained in theoretical and descriptive linguistics and have opportunities to engage in independent research and fieldwork. The small size of the Program allows for a great deal of individualized attention. Recent graduates have been admitted to prestigious Ph.D. programs and have also gone on to teaching and other careers.

Courses

LING 574 - Historical Linguistics. 3 Credits.
Offered spring even-numbered years. An introduction to the study of language change over time. Topics include: methods for studying language change (the comparative method and internal reconstruction); types of language change (sound change, borrowing, analogical change, lexical, syntactic, and semantic change); and explanations for language change. The principles of historical reconstruction and comparative method in the analysis of linguistic variation and change. This course co-convenes with LING 474. Graduate students will complete additional requirements and their work will be of a more advanced nature. Level: Graduate

LING 575 - Linguistic Field Methods. 3 Credits.
Offered spring odd-numbered years. Writing up linguistic data; developing techniques for eliciting linguistic data by working with a native speaker of a less commonly taught language. This courses co-convenes with LING 475. Graduate students will complete additional requirements and their work will be of a more advanced nature. Level: Graduate

LING 584 - NA Indigenous Lang and Ling. 3 Credits.
Offered autumn odd-numbered years. Description and analysis of grammatical features of Indigenous languages of North America. This course co-convenes with LING 484. Graduate students will complete additional requirements and their work will be of a more advanced nature. Level: Graduate

LING 589 - Morphology. 3 Credits.
Offered spring. A survey of the morphological features of several unrelated languages to provide the student with a broad overview of how languages compare and contrast. This course co-convenes with LING 489. Graduate students taking LING 589 will complete additional requirements and their work will be of a more advanced nature. Level: Graduate

(Taken fall and spring, working with a club for families who speak indigenous languages)
LING 598 - Internship. 1-6 Credits.
(R-6) Offered intermittently. Extended classroom experience which provides practical application of classroom learning during placements off campus. Level: Graduate

NASX 594 - Sem Native American Stds. 1-3 Credits.
(R-6) Offered intermittently. Prereq., consent of instr. A review and discussion of current research. Topics vary. Level: Graduate

(Corsen came to Rocky Boy's Reservation in June of 2013, age 22 almost 23. She spent years 23-24 working for the tribe to fund her tuition at Stone Child College. She will be 25 when she begins studying at Stone Child College in fall of 2015.)

* * *

"Our Creator put us here on earth. He gave us different languages to use. He put us here to love and respect each other."
"óta askihk ki-mámawohtáwimáw ka-kí-ohséhikowak, ka-sákihitowak mina ta-kistéyiméhtowak. ki-kí-miyikowésiwinaw pá-pitos-píkiskwéwina ta-áyamihitowak."
-- JOHN MOSQUITO, NEKANEET FIRST NATION

Enjoy a recipe for Three Sisters Soup.

Traditional Foods

The most common game meats include bison and rabbit, as the tribe raises these for food. The others are used opportunistically in season, depending on what hunters bring in to trade for meal tickets. They also raise ducks, geese, pigeons, and turkeys along with getting wild species from hunters. Catfish and trout are purchased from sustainable farms. The larger Blackfeet Reservation farms both fish.

Hooved Animals
bison
deer
elk
moose
pronghorn

Furbearers
badger
beaver
muskrat
rabbit
skunk

Rodents
porcupine
tree squirrel

Other Mammals
bears

Freshwater Fish
bass
catfish
perch
pike
sunfish
trout
walleye
whitefish

Waterfowl
duck
goose
swan

Upland Fowl
grouse
wild turkey

Other Birds
doves and pigeons

These are among the more popular of traditional plant foods.
Leaves, shoots, and roots: cattails, fiddleheads, fireweed, flower petals, mustard greens, sunchoke roots, watercress, wild mushrooms, and wild onions.
Fruits: blackberries, blueberries, crabapples, currants, gooseberries, grapes, huckleberries, raspberries, serviceberries, strawberries, and thimbleberries.
Nuts and seeds: acorns, beechnuts, black walnuts, corn, hazelnuts, sunflower seeds, whitebark pine seeds, and wild rice.
Herbs: Canada mint, juniper berries, trailing wild blackberry, wild bergamot, wild chives, wild rose, and wild sage.

Read about the tribal currency and working for the tribe.
Tags: community, cyberfunded creativity, economics, ethnic studies, fantasy, fishbowl, linguistics, poem, poetry, reading, weblit, writing
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