People and Wolves Interviews Female Members of the Ojibwe Culture

Marvin DeFoe told me that women are the backbone of his people. I do think he is right in this thinking after interviewing two wise Ojibwe women! Read for yourself the following excerpts from the film.

Edith Leoso

“I was planting my pots on my deck, and I stood there looking at my plants, and I had this feeling that something was looking at me. Someone was looking at me. So I looked up on the road, and there was a wolf standing right in the road, just a little ways from my house, looking at me. And I looked at him, I said, what are you doing here? And he just sort of trotted away, still looking at me, but he didn’t run. And that was telling me, I’m just letting you know that I’m here and you’re all right. And so I never worried I could walk around outside at night with no flashlight. It was safe. I felt safe at my house with the coyote pack and the wolf pack that was there. I didn’t worry about them. They knew their boundaries, and I knew mine with theirs.” Edith Leoso, in an interview with People & Wolves.

Sandy Gokee

“I don’t think the state is going to last very long in terms of how old the earth is, how old our stories are, how long our relationship with Ma’iingan has been intact. And it still is intact. It may seem like we’re real far apart right now, but our lives are this long (points to the end of the little finger). And as individuals, as a collective, we live forever. As long as we keep teaching, as long as we keep showing a way to be learning and being more comfortable with our relatives because Little Red Riding Hood inflicted a lot of fear into a lot of people. Stories are powerful on both sides. So as far as the conflict with the state goes, we can be creative. That’s one of the gifts that we were given was the ability to create imagination and intellect. So I think collectively, we all have unique gifts that we were given, and we can utilize those gifts to help bring our societies back into balance. Because this is a societal problem. It’s not just a Wisconsin wolf hunt problem. This is how we view our natural world and how we are as Anishinaabe are viewed from Western society as a whole. And that’s a generalization. We are all individuals capable of independent thought and beliefs, but as a whole, in a society and a capitalist society with Western values, we are apart from nature; we are not a part of nature.” People & Wolves interview with Sandy Gokee. Interviewed by the film’s Ojibwe Cultural Advisor producer: Michael Waasegiizhig Price.

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