Quiet Auntie . . . By Berma

Published on: Author: bette 7 Comments

This story is a description of an actual event that took place when I was about 15 years old. I never saw my Quiet Auntie as Indian. She was a nurse, a mother, an auntie who always listened and when she had an opinion she shared it quietly and respectfully with good humor. The response of the white men who sat next to us at the lunch counter came as quite a shock. One of my favorite authors, Louise Erdrich took on the complex topic of Reservation Borderland Law and the issue of women and rape in her book Round House.

CLICK HERE:  Quiet Auntie

7 Responses to Quiet Auntie . . . By Berma Comments (RSS) Comments (RSS)

  1. Thank you for your comments. Leila, it makes sharing this story worth while that it brought to mind your own story. Thank you for sharing it here.

  2. Hey Berma!

    It occurs to me that you may not have seen the comments that were left on this post! I’m on a very slow learning curve and just realized that the only people who are notified of new comments are those who have already replied.

    I was actually just thinking about Quiet Auntie and wondering if you have continued writing and might consider posting it as a “serial” like Shirley is doing with Champagne Moon?

  3. This struck a nerve with me. My cousins are Indian or as they call them in Canada — First Nations. They told me of going to a white church and how they were treated so that they prefer to sing their hymns in the sweat lodge rather than in a church. I hear from a cousin how one of our uncles treated them so that the little girls did not want to be around him. I remember my mother never taking us to visit them but once, but of all of my aunties she was the only one who wrote to me and showed an interest in my sister and brother and I when our parents were far away in Thailand and we were in a missionary children’s home in Canada. None of my aunties visited me, but she wrote to me and sent me interesting things to think about. I remember when I was in high school some First Nations girls loaned me a sweater so that I would match the other girls in our trio when we sang. They said that they would not have shared with the other girls in the trio because they were not nice to them. Those girls who shared with me were the first girls to graduate from high school from their tribe. It cost them a lot to do that — leaving their homes and families to live in a boarding school. Their graduation gift from their tribe was a pen and a watch. I liked them and their quiet ways. I wonder where they are today.

    My cousins have all achieved in their lives far more than those who despised and rejected and belittled them because their father was First Nations and their mother white. Two of my male cousins are famous artists — one even was voted and awarded as a national treasure by the country of Canada. Another works for the Canadian banks as an executive on the upper levels. My two girl cousins have also achieved much and make me so proud to know them.

    All I have to say is that be careful who you choose to put down. For in their quiet responses they show their true nobility.

  4. This piece holds a special place in my heart because you sent it to me the first day we met! Quiet Auntie’s reaction to the abusive treatment stirs something very deep in me. It would be nice to be able to say that things have improved since 1965 – and in many ways they have, but in other ways they have become so much worse.

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