I Call Them My Medicine Ay

“I’m proud now that I’ve dealt with my Residential school and how I feel about white people in general. Because I grew up hating white people.

Because of how it was. I had sugar shakers broken on my head.

I tell ya, have you ever seen that movie called Billy Jack and these white guys are pouring flour over an Indian boy’s head, and it triggered that so bad, I was right back with the Brothers…the sugar was just pouring down.

When they say they take something out of you, that’s how I feel, they took something out of me. And that was trust. And it’s really hard for me to trust.

I think I’ve grown up to a point where I don’t feel angry anymore.

Maybe it’s because of my grandchildren. Whenever I’m hurting, like when my wife took off, I used to have them over all the time. They’d come and hug me, I’d tell ‘em I love ‘em and I’d just hold ‘em, and it makes you feel better. Because you know that they’re there, it make you stronger as a person. I call them my medicine ay.”

Hesquiaht Elder, Patrick Charleson Jr

Photography: Donovan Williams, Jacine Charleson, Kevin Charleson, Patrick Charleson IV, Rakaylyn Charleson

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