Nanaboozhoo (Greetings in the name of Ojibwe First Teacher)! Gizhwe’inini n’dishinakas (Kind Man I am called). Waabizheshi Dodem gaye (I am Marten Clan too). My other given names are Hopi Lovell Martin which connect me to my Lenni Lenape, Briton, and European ancestry. I was born along the western edge of Massachusetts on the Housatonic River, but I have been raised in Tkaronto (Toronto), the Sacred Territory of Anishinaabeg, Huron-Wendat, Tobacco, and Hodenosaunee Nations that is currently in the care of the Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation. It is in this Anishinaabe context that I belong to Ojibwe Marten Clan through my Auntie and Traditional Teacher, Jacque(line) Lavalley, from Shawanaga First Nation, to whom I am Oshkaabewis (Ceremonial Helper and Messenger). I am so very grateful for each and every one of these relationships that stand me up in kindness, caring, strength, and honesty as Anishinaabe (Good Being) Inini (Man). For all of these relations I say, “G’Chi Miigwech!” to express my deepest gratitude from the bottom of my heart to the top of the Skyworld.
Within that ‘introduction’ I am sharing my understanding of Traditional Protocol in this digital context to communicate ‘who I am’, ‘where I am from’, and ‘how I am feeling in my heart’. Based on my teachings, this is the ethic with which I can speak Debewewin (Truth, or more precisely ‘the sound my heart makes’). Everything that I am sharing through ‘Edge of the Bush’ comes from this place. It is my intent that visitors to this site begin with this ‘About’ page to emphasize the importance of context and relationships to any knowledge shared.
From my teachings, the ‘Edge of the Bush‘ is an old-time meeting place between visiting and host nations at the edge of their respective territories. Once, there was a protocol that expected visiting nations to light a small fire at that meeting places between territories which often came between cleared lands and bush. From that place, the visiting nation would wait to meet with the host nation. There would then be a meeting of those two nations in a Circle around that Sacred Fire in the presence of those Sacred Medicines and gifts of reciprocity. Through consensus, relationships could be (re)established or refused depending on the context of the words shared.
The intention of ‘Edge of the Bush’ is to renew these old-time protocols to facilitate respectful nation-to-nation relationships at the meeting place(s) of Indigenous and non-Indigenous worldviews.