As I research and learn about the history of the Indigenous People of North America, I am filled with respect for their love of the land and the reverence they hold for their ancestors. There is so much to learn.
I realize I have never fully understood or, at least, been fully educated about the history of Native American’s struggle to remain on their lands, and true story of the many treaties with governments which were made and broken. These people had faith and hope that the government meant to keep their promises. The true stories of their struggle to preserve their heritage is inspiring. The incredible lack of understanding by the European settlers who simply wanted the wealth that land acquisition could provide—at any cost—saddens me.
I do realize those were different times. We understand more as we look back at our history. We can easily say, “Well, that wasn’t right.” But the thing that eludes us even today, is how do we now begin to work together and better understand to make a right new beginning?
The Ojibwa in Northern Minnesota have been my focus for the new novel I’m writing. I hope I am respecting them as I tell the tale of fourteen-year-old Grace Memengwaa Weber. Her middle name means butterfly in Ojibwa.
Grace has the beauty of a butterfly. She also has courage, wisdom, and strength. As a fourteen-year-old she amazes me as she leads me on this journey to meet the old world while forging courageously ahead, respecting her father and forefathers, and bringing them into her world and her life today.
I’m anxious to let her tell her story and that of her family.
The Witch Tree nourishes the tale of years past and years to come.