February 5, 2018
Grade 10 student, Hannah Shewaybick, created this story about decolonization in Webequie on assignment for her Indigenous Studies class at SJMEC.
One night a boy named Haylem had woken up from his sleep because his Grandma has begun having pains just below her breast, pains so bad she had begun to cry.
Haylem rushed out of bed and into his grandparent’s’ room.
“Grandma, are you okay?” asked Haylem.
Grandma opened her eyes and smiled.
“Yeah I’m okay, Haylem. Go back to bed,” said Grandma.
Haylem believed Grandma was okay and began walking tiredly towards his bed.
The next morning he had realized he was alone in the house because his Grandma hadn’t woken him up for school and his Grandpa wasn’t in the kitchen making breakfast.
Haylem began to get worried. He saw it was just 8:30 in the morning and he decided he’d get ready for school and make something quick to eat because it’s what Grandma would have wanted.
Haylem just finished his fourth period at school and was walking home. Outside his house was a medical van. Haylem ran as fast as he could and rushed inside. He opened the door to see Grandma getting helped into bed by the medical van driver and Grandpa.
They all had gotten out of the room to give Grandma some rest.
Haylem had finished eating supper and went out back to find Grandpa making medicine for Grandma.
“What are you making?” asked Haylem.
“Medicine for Grandma. They only gave her Tylenol.”
“What’s wrong with her?” Haylem asked, worried.
Grandpa sighed and said, “she’s sick.”
Haylem nodded and sat down next to Grandpa and watched how he was putting different kinds of plants into zip-lock bags and wrote dates on the bags and how to make it.
Haylem looked at Grandpa and asked, “I know you’re sick too, why don’t you ever go to the Nursing Station?”
Grandpa stopped what he was going for just a second, then started again.
“I don’t go to the Nursing Station because what they give out—Tylenol, antibiotics, white man’s medicine,” he looked Haylem in the eye and said, “it doesn’t work where you want it to work. It only works in your head, not where you are in pain.”
Haylem nodded and asked another question, “Why can’t you make your own medicine?”
“Because I am a healer. I can’t heal myself it doesn’t work like that,” Grandpa replied.
“Can I heal you?” Haylem asked.
“I can teach you,” Grandpa said.
Six years later, Haylem had just gotten out of school and into medical school. He learned a lot about white man’s medicine and traditional medicine.
He worked at home where his grandparents were. He changed the way his people were being treated and he treated them how they should have been treated.
Everything in Webequie had gotten better because of this.