Nanaboozhoo (Greetings in the Name of Ojibwe First Teacher) Indaawemaageniidoog, N’Kaanisiidoog (All my Sisters and Brothers)! Gizhewe’e Inini n’dishnikaas (Kind Man I am called). Waabaazheshii Doodem gaye (I am Marten Clan too). My other given names are Dr. Hopi Lovell Martin. I hold a PhD in Developmental Psychology and Education from the University of Toronto. I am named after the Hopi Nation and the Briton Warriors that came to Mishiikenh Minissing (Turtle Island/North America) from England. My ancestry is Lenni Lenape, Briton, and European. I was born on the western edge of Massachusetts along the Housatonic River, but I was raised in Tkaronto (Toronto), the Traditional Territory of Anishinaabeg, Tionontatí (Petun/Tobacco Nations), Huron-Wendat, the Seneca Nation of the Hodenosaunee, and that is currently in the care of Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation. It is within this context that I belong to Waabaazheshii Doodem (Ojibwe Marten Clan) through my Auntie and Traditional Teacher, Gokoomis (Grandmother) Jacque(line) Lavallee, Waabaazheshii Doodem (Marten Clan), Niizho Mide’ow (2nd Degree) in the Midewigaan (Three Fires Grand Medicine Lodge). Through this relationship I am nephew and Oshkaabewis (Ceremonial Helper, Messenger, and Fire Keeper) following an old-time Traditional Ojibwe Path called Asemaa Nitam (Tobacco First). Gichi Miigwech (A Big Thank You)! Niigaaniikina, Niigaanis Akina Gwa (All my Relations)!
Within this ‘introduction’ I am sharing my understanding of ‘Traditional Protocol’ in this digital context to communicate ‘who I am’, ‘where I am from’, my relational context, and ‘how I am feeling in my heart’. Based on my teachings, this is my beginning place from which I can speak Debewewin (Truth), or more precisely ‘the sound my heart makes’. It is from this ‘beginning place’ that everything that is shared on this ‘Edge of the Bush’ website. 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 that is shared.
Based on my Auntie Jacque’s Marten Clan Teachings, the ‘Edge of the Bush‘ is an old-time meeting place between visiting and host nations at the edge of their respective territories. There once was a protocol around the Great Lakes where I live that expected visiting nations to light a small fire at the meeting places between territories which often came at the edges of lakes and rivers or in the spaces between cleared lands and bush. From that Sacred Fire, 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 like Asemaa (Sacred Tobacco) and other gifts of kindness and reciprocity. Through consensus, relationships could be (re)established or refused depending on the words that are shared. Considering that the Truth and Reconciliation of Canada defined reconciliation as “establishing and maintaining respectful relationships” (TRC, p. 6) between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples, the ‘edge of the bush’ is a crucial land-based concept that can embody this practice.
The intention of this ‘Edge of the Bush’ website and our partnership 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.