April 14, 2016

by Hannah Battiste



An average “Indian”

They say they know, but do they?

They correct and stare, as if they’ve lived our lives.

As if they died fighting, as if they struggled while protesting.

We were “found” and we were okay.

But they treated our people as if they were an unspoken disaster.

The use of direction, infection, and miscommunication made a Nation.

And for what? For selfishness, for determination, destruction, and wealth.

They say they’ve done the damage for a purpose.

The purpose was a lesson, a lesson not often educated, but a lesson well-known.

The lesson destroyed our nation.

The lesson destroyed our people.

They say that the past is the past.

But the past means having to live with the present

Having to live with the physical and emotional pain.

For what reason? For what lesson? For what person?

The survivors had to learn all over again.

The survivors had to love again.

The survivors had to LIVE again.

No, not everyone is the same

No, not every person is left to blame,

And no, we will not define this pain

An average “Indian” is the colour of brown

An average “Indian” is not most likely to succeed

An average “Indian” is most likely to live off welfare

An average “Indian” is mostly likely not educated.

We were ruined and misguided,

We were misidentified and judged,

We were followed in a store because of our appearance

We were kicked out of school because we’re not supposed to learn

We were beat down because we stood up for ourselves

We were broken into pieces and separated because:

We weren’t an average “Indian”

Now when I say we:

I mean them.

The survivors.

The Elder who fought their way to the top

The man who became a chief

The woman who was educated enough to be a lawyer

The Elder who worked hard labour for her children

The men who struggled to put food on the table

The women who took a beating for her people

When I say they

I mean the real warriors.

Today we have a lot more power then we know

We have a bigger team

We have a bigger nation

We have a bigger communication

We are all our own individual warrior

We are not an average “Indian”

We are First Nations

We rise

We fight

We work

We have creativity

And we have other races

We have Nations

We have technology

We have voices

We are not an average “Indian”

Nor is any Indigenous person who has walked this planet

We will not be defined by the way we walk

The way we talk

The way we work

The way we rant

The way we tumble

The way we survive

Because we’re making it.

We’re changing history

We’re making history

We’re making our own rules,

We were making our own futures

Not just because we owe it to us

but because we owe it to the warriors

We owe it to the people who called us “an average Indian”

We’re making it in this nation

Because we create

We expose

It doesn’t matter what colour our skin is

It doesn’t matter how long or short our hair is

It doesn’t matter what language we speak

It doesn’t matter what God we worship

It doesn’t matter what we wear

And it sure doesn’t matter who we impress




All the pain that was caused was meant to happen,

All the tears were supposed to happen

All the struggling was supposed to happen

Because look at where we are now

This is about us!

This is about what we are capable of

This is about our nation

Our culture,

Our language,

Our people

This is about the warrior inside of you

The guidance you want to share

The ideas and talent we all have

Make us.

We’ve built this place with our eyes

with our voices

with our brains

We could do anything we set our minds too

not because we now have power

But because we are not an average “Indian”

We’re our own guidance

We’re our own person

We’re our own WARRIOR.

When you look at someone succeeding

and think you can’t do it

You can,

Because you are the one who created this life we live in now

You are the one who created the power

We are the ones who fight.

No not because we are an average “Indian”

But because we are a SOMEONE

We are Lnu!

We are tomorrow’s history!

And we will never be “average”.

About Hannah Battiste

I am a young Mi’kmaq woman, who fights for what she believes in, and for her people. I believe that all bad things turn into good things. History is being made, and I’m planning on helping anyway that I can.


Image by Krystalline Kraus


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