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<v Speaker>The following program presents personal views and opinions which are not necessarily <v Speaker>those of Main Public Television or the funder. <v Speaker>Some program content may not be suitable for young children. <v Speaker>Maine Public Television's production of our stories is made possible through a Television <v Speaker>Demonstration Grant from Rural Development, part of the USDA.
<v Speaker>[music and singing] <v Speaker>I didn't know Donald was gonna be my neighbor until we all got assigned these <v Speaker>houses and all that. <v Speaker>I was glad. <v Speaker>There's a legend about the ash tree.The <v Speaker>Great Spirit made the ash tree the brother of the Passamaquody. <v Speaker>And it's like a sacred tree to the tribe. <v Speaker>But for some reason in the last 20- 20 years, the ash trees, <v Speaker>the brown ash tree is declining. <v Speaker>They think that might be due to the climate, the change in the climate. <v Speaker>So for us, it's like our organs are a dying.
<v Speaker>When me and Cheyenne went out and got some brown ash trees for <v Speaker>Molly, we gave our offerings so the Great Spirit <v Speaker>would accept them for the tree that we were taking. <v Speaker>[chainsaw sounds] Well, ?it's a good tree? five or six feet. <v Speaker>Yeah. We're gonna want to cut that off. [chainsaw sounds]
<v Speaker>A little ways to go. <v Speaker>Here's one of the trails. <v Speaker>We'll switch when you're ready. <v Speaker>[muffled talking and laughing] <v Speaker>This is going to be good. That's gonna be a good piece of ash. <v Speaker>Holy. <v Speaker>[cutting counds] You have to do it. Just, you know, like hit it little, just like that. <v Speaker>This is really soft. [hammering sounds] Look at that. <v Speaker>[muffled talking]That's
<v Speaker>all you have to do Chey. <v Speaker>[Offscreen man: Just keep on going like.] Yeah. Yeah. <v Speaker>Yeah. Make sure when you when it hits seeing you start hitting like that. <v Speaker>[Man: OK] Always overlap. <v Speaker>[Man: Should I have my foot on it?] Yeah. <v Speaker>We should have put a notch on that. <v Speaker>[hammering]He's <v Speaker>got one strip, pretty well done. <v Speaker>So what we'll do is we'll try to slip it and see if it'll work out all right. <v Speaker>He tried to loosen each fiber or each you know each layer of a tree. <v Speaker>That way, when we pull it apart, we usually strip it like two inches out say, <v Speaker>then bring it right off the tree. <v Speaker>[hammering and muffled talking]
<v Speaker>I hear that nice sound. <v Speaker>Yeah, it sounds good. <v Speaker>I haven't hear that for years. <v Speaker>I remember waking up to that sound. <v Speaker>Just thinking about when you- we lived in Naples, and you kids <v Speaker>joined the Girl Scouts, and they volunteered <v Speaker>me to make some baskets. <v Speaker>That's when the girls I think actually got interested in baskets because <v Speaker>it gave them a chance to show their friends what they can do <v Speaker>and what I can do with baskets. <v Speaker>Have Donald go and check on those ones [muffles talking] He said- <v Speaker>Hi- he said he's got about 50,
<v Speaker>but they're little. And in ten years, they'll be big enough. <v Speaker>So hopefully that nobody will cut 'em. <v Speaker>I remember my grandmother telling me that she used to work <v Speaker>days for one day, you know, many, many days before my grandfather would fill <v Speaker>up a big burlap bag to hitchhike to Callas or Tobego <v Speaker>to peddle the baskets, and once- and <v Speaker>once they got- he sells every one of them then he starts walking back again <v Speaker>to bring home money to my grandmother so they can buy food and whatever <v Speaker>else is needed for the house. <v Speaker>Yeah, I get it. <v Speaker>[muffled talking] check up on the kids for me, would you please, T? <v Speaker>Come on. [car noises] <v Speaker>I remember when I lived at Pleasant Point right next to Francis.
<v Speaker>You know, we had a little house there, and we'd start off Monday <v Speaker>morning. Well, we always have, you know, ash <v Speaker>on hand, so we'd sit down to start making baskets. <v Speaker>Old Mitch Francis used to cut up the standards, you know, which was like these. <v Speaker>And then somebody else would start making the bottoms. <v Speaker>And I'd weave all of the hundred baskets we make every <v Speaker>day, every week. [Woman offscreen: 100 baskets] 100 baskets. <v Speaker>But I think even if you found that- I know your grandfather didn't he used to make <v Speaker>baskets? [muffles talking] Yeah. <v Speaker>And he used to get some ash too. <v Speaker>Know, but I remember years ago when it seems as if <v Speaker>the women was the head of the household instead of the man, <v Speaker>because it was the women that worked. <v Speaker>You know, that did the basketry, and it was women that also seek other,
<v Speaker>you know, other things to do on the outside. <v Speaker>And, uh, I know one thing, too, like they were saying that, you know, <v Speaker>the in some of the other tribes along with ours, that they have the elders, <v Speaker>the women as elders. <v Speaker>And everybody listens to what they have to say. <v Speaker>Now, they're the ones that would that would tell you what to do. <v Speaker>Yeah, I remember grow-um, growing up and it was the mothers and the grandmothers who <v Speaker>decided how is always going to vote in the family. <v Speaker>And even, you know, we have a majority of tribal council members are male. <v Speaker>We only have two females on the tribal council. <v Speaker>But I can guarantee you that if there is a decision that one of the tribal council <v Speaker>members make that his wife or significant other makes, I'm sure he <v Speaker>hears about it. I mean, you look at even in our employment society, most <v Speaker>of the women are the ones that are out there within tribal government and they're <v Speaker>making the decisions and making the programs work because women are strong here.
<v Speaker>Well, that's what I was trying to stress to my girls for many years. <v Speaker>I says, you know, you always make sure that you take care of your children and you <v Speaker>do what has to be done. <v Speaker>Never rely on anybody else. <v Speaker>It isn't as if they do a better job. <v Speaker>But from wha- from way back, a woman- a woman <v Speaker>has more responsibility than- than a man, I feel. <v Speaker>So what they do is, uh- [muffled talking] Yeah. <v Speaker>Yeah. I think they do have more gobal in their thinking. <v Speaker>You want to make baskets when you little bigger? <v Speaker>Oh yeah, grammy will help you, huh, yeah. [laughter]. <v Speaker>Let me see hun. Oh, I think <v Speaker>you've had enough honey. <v Speaker>That's a pretty basket. <v Speaker>You got to put a couple whites. Both really. <v Speaker>Oh, I see. I see what you're saying, one more red. <v Speaker>Yeah, yeah, yeah. <v Speaker>This is will- she'll finishi this? ?inaudible? <v Speaker>Like this? Oh, she put that to rest?
<v Speaker>Yeah. Yeah, that's all she'll do. <v Speaker>Yeah. So that's all set to put the sweet grass in. <v Speaker>[duck calls] <v Speaker>Try to skip it, Frances. <v Frances>Dad, I skipped it. <v Speaker>Try it again. <v Speaker>I love Donald's kids. He's got nothing but girls. And he's been trying for a boy for a <v Speaker>while. And he must have seven girls. [laughter] Well I tease him about it and all that. <v Speaker>But I'll tell you those girls are cute, tiptoeing around here and everything. <v Speaker>Cause I have girls too, and they're are 18, 16 and <v Speaker>I missed out on their own upbringing. <v Speaker>And I've always wanted to bring up a daughter. <v Speaker>I've brought up boys, you know, from when they were a child. <v Speaker>I'll tell you it just, there's a difference, <v Speaker>and why I missed out on my daughters was because I was out drinking, drugging, acting <v Speaker>out.
<v Speaker>Mel Gordon is a down to earth kind of guy. <v Speaker>He loves hunting. He loves being outdoors. <v Speaker>I think we all share that connection to the outdoors and <v Speaker>the relationship we have with the Earth and everything. <v Speaker>It's a community thing. [child sounds] <v Speaker>Who is that? Is it daddy? Listen Fordon, she likes hearing his voice. What? Who is that? <v Speaker>Hi there babe. <v Speaker>There he is. <v Speaker>[laughter] Sit down over here. On your big chair. <v Speaker>[muffled talking] <v Speaker>That's when we got you. Seven years ago, you was two months or two weeks old when we got <v Speaker>you rhe first time. Two weeks old or three weeks old? <v Speaker>[Woman: I can't remember] Two weeks old or something like that. <v Speaker>Why did you guys want to adopt me? <v Speaker>Because we loved you, and we wanted kids.
<v Speaker>Momma couldn't have kids and daddy couldn't. <v Speaker>But we wanted them <v Speaker>Because you have that cut there? <v Speaker>Mhm <v Speaker>No wonder you can't have kids. You're a boy. <v Speaker>[laughter] <v Speaker>Yep, that's why I can't. [child speaking, inaudible] But we wanted kids. <v Speaker>And you adopted him from Amanda. <v Speaker>Mhm. <v Speaker>So we put the word out that we- that we wanted to adopt. <v Speaker>And within a year or so. <v Speaker>We had one girl come up to us and wanted us to adopt. <v Speaker>Cause, she knew she couldn't handle her baby. <v Speaker>So- She would be running around and <v Speaker>this and that and- We made an agreement, and she wasn't ready <v Speaker>to settle down. And we'd been married for quite a few years already and settled down. <v Speaker>Who was the first one to, um, out of us to adopt? <v Speaker>You [laughter] You are the special one. your the first one we got. [Boy: and me too] Our
<v Speaker>very, very own. And nobody can take them away from us. <v Speaker>You call me your little brat. <v Speaker>Yep, that's cause you are. [laughter] What do you call him again? <v Speaker>That's my- my weasel, my weasel right here. <v Speaker>Did we come out of there? <v Speaker>Some babies come out of someone else's belly. <v Speaker>Everybody's born from a belly. We wanted a little boy and little girl. <v Speaker>[child speaks softly]. <v Speaker>A little boy and a little girl. <v Speaker>And we're still picking little boys and little girls left and right. <v Speaker>Take them for a couple weeks, a couple of months, couple of years, take 'em for <v Speaker>18 years. <v Speaker>[Woman: we got married first] We're still taking kids, huh. <v Speaker>Take it back now, all the way down. Yep. <v Speaker>I burnt myself [laughter] [sharpening sounds]
<v Speaker>Fix this one for your brother. <v Speaker>He'll get off my back, he needs arrows. <v Speaker>[tv sounds, muffled laughter] That's the one he'll probably take my windshield out with. <v Speaker>[tv sounds] [muffled talking] <v Speaker>[tv commercial sounds] <v Speaker>Too much mechanics on that bow, son. [arrow sounds] [laughter] [music]
<v Speaker>You keep arrows out my way, boy. <v Speaker>Daddy <v Speaker>came real close to a moose up in ?Jackin? <v Speaker>With his bow, real close. <v Speaker>It was a about here from that wall away from me, big moose. <v Speaker>Daddy kept walking down the road, kept calling and calling. <v Speaker>That moose stood there. He turned this way here. He almost come after your Dad too. <v Speaker>What do you think Dad would do? <v Speaker>He almost ran me over <v Speaker>[laughter] He was thinking about it real hard, and I was <v Speaker>close to that thing, son real close. <v Speaker>He was looking at me, and he was all mad at your old dad. He <v Speaker>was get ready to kick my butt. <v Speaker>Say no, daddy would have had a big old gun. <v Speaker>Daddy didn't have- I had my bow that day. <v Speaker>[woman: oh] [laughter] I almost turned around once when he let out all that spit and he
<v Speaker>gave me a big holler like an 'ol horse. <v Speaker>I was about 40 feet from him. <v Speaker>Usually when you see one of them, there's going to be another one around. <v Speaker>Gonna be a cow around here. <v Speaker>Anybody count all of the points on it? Lewis, <v Speaker>how many points? 17, wow. [mouse noises]It's <v Speaker>Gordon's turn to cook, too. That was a deal, that was the deal. <v Speaker>Oh, he's going to be disgusted. <v Speaker>How close were you? <v Speaker>30 yards. <v Speaker>Oh, Just perfect. Just couldn't get the shot? <v Speaker>No, I couldn't get the right angle on it. <v Speaker>He was head on, wasn't he? <v Speaker>He was looking right at me. And then when he was quartered, he was quarted either away <v Speaker>from me and looking right at me, so.There's no way I could put an arrow
<v Speaker>in. <v Speaker>Could you see the hair on his back covered it up? <v Speaker>Yeah, salica was just drip right out of his mouth. <v Speaker>I think he wanted to fight. <v Speaker>He did. [laughter] Till he saw how big my rack was. <v Speaker>I tried to put it down, but I wanted to get ready for him, too, in case. <v Speaker>In case you had to jump on his back [laughter]. <v Speaker>Jump on his back instead [laughter] [music]
<v Speaker>Traditionally, the Passamaquoddy viewed the wildlife and the trees <v Speaker>almost in the same same way. <v Speaker>You don't go out and trap all the beaver, you leave some behind and <v Speaker>replenish themselves. And we view the trees the same way. <v Speaker>You don't go out and cut all the trees, you leave them <v Speaker>behind to replenish themselves. <v Speaker>So the tribe has a close bond with the trees and the wildlife. <v Speaker>The surrounding land owners of paper companies, <v Speaker>they have a different view. <v Speaker>Just like everybody else has a different view. They're run by a board of directors <v Speaker>that are interested in making money. <v Speaker>So they're doing that for a business. <v Speaker>We're managing this land as a community. <v Speaker>[water sounds] In
<v Speaker>this area, we have the, uh- the US Fish and Wildlife Service evaluate <v Speaker>the area for wildlife habitat that needs extra protection. <v Speaker>And we've walked it over with the U.S. <v Speaker>Fish and Wildlife to locate, trying to locate deer yards, which are real critical <v Speaker>in that area. <v Speaker>The winters are so severe. So it's real important for the- for the deer to have <v Speaker>an area to retreat to. <v Speaker>And we felt it was real important to do that. <v Speaker>The deer and the moose are feeling pressure from surrounding land owners <v Speaker>because of their cutting. <v Speaker>They need a place to retreat to. And I'm sure because of the limited <v Speaker>cutting we're doing here, they're retreating to tribal lands for wintering at least. <v Speaker>Nice wood in here. That's <v Speaker>a white birch. <v Speaker>Some people call it paper birch.
<v Speaker>Some people call it canoe birch. [laughter] The bark on that were used <v Speaker>to make canoes. <v Speaker>Years ago, a few people still make 'em. <v Speaker>But it's- it's great to find a tree that big and <v Speaker>that healthy. The tribe has had to stay right on top of <v Speaker>the technology. We hold our old culture <v Speaker>strong, and we don't want to ever lose that. <v Speaker>But we have to keep up with the modern technical culture or we'll <v Speaker>get lost in the shuffle. <v Speaker>There's about twelve satellites orbiting in the Earth for this <v Speaker>G.P.S. system. <v Speaker>For this to be accurate. <v Speaker>Or to even activate it has to hit at least 4 of them. <v Speaker>And from those 4 satellites, it gives you a triangulation <v Speaker>on this exact spot.
<v Speaker>We're practicing a different type of ?soil? <v Speaker>culture for this area. <v Speaker>It's called sustain/yield. <v Speaker>You have the harvesting crews. <v Speaker>They're only allowed to cut what actually growing. <v Speaker>So it's like a bank account where you're just taking your interest. <v Speaker>That's the forester thinking. <v Speaker>As a tribal member, you and this land, I want to make sure it's preserved <v Speaker>for my kids and their kids. <v Speaker>And a lot- a lot of people have the same feeling. <v Speaker>That's what bonds a community together, making sure that the land <v Speaker>is protected and the trees. [music].
<v Speaker>They shouldn't be uh clear cutting or anything 'cause the trees <v Speaker>are always been our protectors before all these industries came <v Speaker>around into this world. <v Speaker>A lot of industries are now causing a lot of people to get sick and <v Speaker>dying, landing in hospitals. <v Speaker>I think they should just leave the trees alone where Mother Nature intended <v Speaker>to be. <v Speaker>Well, this is cedar and <v Speaker>we use the green bars for ceremonies smudging. <v Speaker>And then after we use the ?inaudible?- We use <v Speaker>the stalks for stomach problems <v Speaker>and three cups a day. <v Speaker>will help you with just quick problems or if you over eat and that will <v Speaker>help you an hou before you have a big meal and
<v Speaker>45 minutes after you have your meal. <v Speaker>And that should take care of your stomach problems right there. <v Speaker>This tree here. You be out cutting the woods, ?wasting? <v Speaker>bubbles and apply to your wound. <v Speaker>While you're, if you can't get to your uh first aid box or out to your <v Speaker>vehicle in time to stop the bleeding, this will stop the bleeding. <v Speaker>[grass rustling] This is flag root. <v Speaker>The same stuff that I have <v Speaker>upstairs over the house. <v Speaker>[tearing root] It's got a nice
<v Speaker>odor to it. Nice and strong. <v Speaker>And there's one medicine now and it's <v Speaker>getting kind of stink because people are digging it up like- <v Speaker>like there was a big machine over there and just digging the earth right <v Speaker>up and destroying everything. <v Speaker>Certain roots, you just can't take all the root from it. <v Speaker>You just take what you need for the winter. <v Speaker>And I think I'd like to see that happen more <v Speaker>every year. Have someone just go and pick what they need <v Speaker>not to be greedy about it and not have nothing for next <v Speaker>year. <v Speaker>I usually have all these lines filled medicine. <v Speaker>But this year you know, I- I can't- <v Speaker>I can't- I can't give the creator hell for it because this was
<v Speaker>meant to be, but he was telling <v Speaker>me last year that which I ignored, double up on my <v Speaker>medicine for last year, knowing that there was a drug gonna be here. <v Speaker>So I just never, never listened. <v Speaker>But now, I'm going to listen when he speaks to me, I'm going to listen. <v Speaker>I do this all the time when I work with medicine. <v Speaker>I'm burning sage so I can purify the whole pedestal. <v Speaker>The spirits are coming up, real good smoke. <v Speaker>I call them my spirits. <v Speaker>Let me get some roots for this right there.
<v Speaker>And this is the fun part. <v Speaker>I just like helping old people, I guess. <v Speaker>I mean, it is our tradition. I mean, we ought to see if we can keep it up. <v Speaker>I mean, today's the 90s, but it's never <v Speaker>too late to start something that we started a long time ago again. <v Speaker>So. <v Speaker>OK. That's your medicine. [Off screen: Thank you] You're welcome. <v Speaker>On my days off, I'm out enjoying the elements of the earth, <v Speaker>taking my son with me to show him the most
<v Speaker>beautiful things on earth which can be destroyed <v Speaker>by society the way it is today. <v Speaker>[music] Georgia-Pacific <v Speaker>has given me independence, financial independence. <v Speaker>I don't have to rely on anybody or anyone. <v Speaker>And then that's why I go to work there. <v Speaker>Not because I love it, because I needed to be independent <v Speaker>right now and to survive in this society and <v Speaker>to give my family what they need. <v Speaker>When I first got there it was hard. <v Speaker>I get a lot of looks along, a lot of statements here and there about my nationality. <v Speaker>But I want them to see the real <v Speaker>me, that they were wrong in their judgments, that <v Speaker>I am a person of integrity, wisdom, and
<v Speaker>intelligence like they are. <v Speaker>And I was an equal. [music] <v Speaker>[speaking traditional language] <v Speaker>Naturally, they got to slow down on the reservation. <v Speaker>It's all gravel. [music]
<v Speaker>To me, I've always known to be Passamaquoddy <v Speaker>when I was growing up because, you know, a lot <v Speaker>of people from the outside would oh, we don't have anything to do with them people. <v Speaker>You know, when that's how we grew up. <v Speaker>They'll talk to you, they'll you know do <v Speaker>a lot of things for you. But stay on your side. <v Speaker>You know? Don't enter my barbershop, you know, like like they used to have in Princeton. <v Speaker>You know, these guys- these older guys know what what it was. <v Speaker>Well, my mother was the one that <v Speaker>took ?Alford Scorby? down there. <v Speaker>You younger fellow, younger than I am. <v Speaker>And she took him down to see if he could get a haircut, you know, and the barber <v Speaker>refused him, and they was going to have him arrested. <v Speaker>But afterward, I guess he came to his senses
<v Speaker>and started cutting Indian's hair. <v Speaker>But that took a long time. <v Speaker>It took quite a while. It took quite a while. <v Speaker>But it happened. <v Speaker>He had to go to Callas to get a haircut. <v Speaker>Yeah. <v Speaker>But they wouldn't mind studing your bulls or anything else. <v Speaker>You know, one hour to get drunk on. <v Speaker>And you. <v Speaker>When my sisters, as you know, my age, when they were going to school downtown here, to <v Speaker>Princeton, the white- white kids would make fun of me cause, <v Speaker>you know, they- they- they all say something like, gee, you know, <v Speaker>we smell sweetgrass, you know, because the Indian girls just make sweetgrass <v Speaker>baskets, you know. Indians- Indian girls would say we smell horse manure. <v Speaker>[laughter] My sister <v Speaker>was telling me that awhile back. I laughed, you know. <v Speaker>They used to get into fights once in a while. <v Speaker>You know, girls, Indian girls and the white girls, you know. <v Speaker>But I guess after they get a little older, a little different, you know, they <v Speaker>change to some degree.
<v Speaker>There's still problems. <v Speaker>[talking over each other] Last summer. <v Speaker>Yeah, they were having fights right on the bridge. <v Speaker>Yeah, right on the line. <v Speaker>Down by the dock in Landon. <v Speaker>Same thing in East Point. Pleasant point. <v Speaker>That's all. <v Speaker>Some things will never change. <v Speaker>No. No change ever came. <v Speaker>But it must it must have been hard back in the 30s and 40s. <v Speaker>I went to school on 3 reservations ?inaudible? <v Speaker>And on pleasant point. But here we had non-Indian teachers <v Speaker>on the strip. She was well liked. <v Speaker>Her name was ?inaudible? And she'd never let us speak Indian, you know. <v Speaker>Yeah, it's taboo. <v Speaker>You know, if- if-if she hears you, then you're gonna get a slap <v Speaker>on her hand with a ruler. <v Speaker>You know, umpteen feet long [laughter] <v Speaker>They used to do that to me too on Pleasant Point. <v Speaker>That's when I was little one. <v Speaker>That's all I spoke was Passamaquoddy. And I had a hard time speaking English.
<v Speaker>Oh, they beat it out of me and you know it's hard to get it back. <v Speaker>I can understand it real good, but it is- it's like it was beaten <v Speaker>out of me. <v Speaker>[children speaking together] Birch Bark. <v Speaker>Masquemus. <v Speaker>[children speaking with teacher] Masquemus, birch tree. Pilasq, paper. Kchik, forest, ?kuwisk? pine tree. Kuw, <v Speaker>white Pine. <v Speaker>[drumming and singing] <v Speaker>Go, go, go, go. You go ahead.
<v Speaker>Ready? <v Speaker>[singing] <v Speaker>All I gotta do is walk around till big toe starts quivering [muffled talking] [chainsaw noises]
<v Speaker>I've always raised kids, my aunt- my aunts, kids. <v Speaker>They all always running around family drinking until 9 times out of 10, I was their <v Speaker>babysitter. So I've always- I've always brought up kids ever since I could <v Speaker>remember. <v Speaker>When you and Cindy got married, that's when you started adopting? <v Speaker>We had kids before that. <v Speaker>Oh Did you? <v Speaker>Yeah. <v Speaker>We were only together for about a year when we got our first one, April. <v Speaker>Mm hmm. <v Speaker>She's 20 now. <v Speaker>3 months old when we got to her. <v Speaker>3, 4 months, three months old when we got her, Cindy she <v Speaker>was only 17, 16. <v Speaker>I was 17 then. <v Speaker>I never had a father being raised. <v Speaker>When I was younger, mostly my grandmother and my mother and my sisters. <v Speaker>So I said in my mind, when I have kids, I'm going to make <v Speaker>sure I set a good example for them and be there for them. <v Speaker>That's my main goal. That's why I'm real close with my kids.
<v Speaker>Being a father to me is the most <v Speaker>fun challenge, challenging things I possibly have because I never <v Speaker>really had a dad. <v Speaker>No role model really. He was in and out and most of the time he was out. <v Speaker>And when he was home he was very abusive <v Speaker>mostly and all that stuff. <v Speaker>So I didn't learn much there. I mean, I learned a lot of negative things probably about <v Speaker>those most- The hardest things ever could be that. <v Speaker>Because I know I- when I stopped drinking I want to stop that cycle of <v Speaker>abuse and history. <v Speaker>And I wanted to do something different <v Speaker>for my kids. <v Speaker>I felt bad because I didn't have a male role model to look up to <v Speaker>because I missed out on a lot. <v Speaker>But a lot of kids in the community didn't have that role model either.
<v Speaker>I still don't. No. <v Speaker> Even when they did, you know, your father wasn't home much. <v Speaker>My father- my grandfather was a good role model for me. <v Speaker>But he was never home that much. <v Speaker>You know, he was always too busy at work. <v Speaker>And when he is working- when he isn't working. <v Speaker>Being the wood cutter- cutting wood for the women. <v Speaker>So he wasn't hardly ever home. <v Speaker>You know, my father was- my stepfather was always running around drinking, <v Speaker>running around with a woman. And I was you know, I still cared for him. <v Speaker>And he looks after me today. <v Speaker>But we don't have much of a relationship because I think of his guilt that he felt <v Speaker>what he what he put us through when we were younger. <v Speaker>I would like to have him part of my life, but that's his choice. <v Speaker>I mean your going to be a grampy pretty soon. <v Speaker>Yeah. <v Speaker>April- April's pregnant. <v Speaker>Yeah. She looked like she was ?inaudible? . <v Speaker>40 years old and I might be old already. [laughter] Time to retire.
<v Speaker>?Tom? is a grandfather too. <v Speaker>Extra responsibility, but it's a good responsibility. <v Speaker>Yep. <v Speaker>Yep <v Speaker>I was brought up with other siblings, my brothers. <v Speaker>I have six brothers and two sisters and it was really hard. <v Speaker>We were poor. <v Speaker>We've lived on the reservation and lived in an alcoholic home. <v Speaker>My mom was an alcoholic and my stepfather was an alcoholic.
<v Speaker>It's kind of hard being brought up in a home like that because there's a lot of physical, <v Speaker>emotional and verbal abuse. <v Speaker>And we were brought up that way and were brought up not to feel our feelings <v Speaker>and we did feel our feelings with, um. <v Speaker>We sacrificed being spanked for beaten for <v Speaker>showing our emotion. <v Speaker>I drank my first beer and I know I was, you know, something that I <v Speaker>could be addicted to. I didn't know what addiction was back then, but I knew it was <v Speaker>something. <v Speaker>Give me that glow and all and I like that feeling. <v Speaker>And what I'm doing is medicating all the hurt that I had inside because I was never <v Speaker>taught to express my feelings. <v Speaker>I always was taught to hold them all in and medicate. <v Speaker>That's what they taught me. You know, as I was being brought up, I remember <v Speaker>walking back and my- my grandfather's house, and it was right by the <v Speaker>long lake. And I remember feeling that connection.
<v Speaker>Like, I feel like a presence around me ?inaudible?, <v Speaker>taking care of me and that connection I had with the Earth. <v Speaker>I don't think I would survive without. There was a lot of times I didn't think <v Speaker>I was going to survive because of the hurt that was inside. <v Speaker>But actually, it was covered up by anger. <v Speaker>Anger was a person you see coming out. <v Speaker>I had bought them when I physically slammed my girlfriend against <v Speaker>the wall and my little boy was standing there and he was scared and <v Speaker>I went in as she was crying. I went to pick him up. <v Speaker>He was just about 1 1/2 years old, 2 years old <v Speaker>looking up at me with big brown eyes, and that innocence in his eyes and <v Speaker>it almost broke my heart just to see him. <v Speaker>Cry and looking up at me, you scared me. <v Speaker>And I went to go pick him up. <v Speaker>He didn't want nothing to do with me. He was scared him of me. <v Speaker>It broke my heart. It hurt me just to do that. <v Speaker>They have me to live to go through that same cycle we went through when we were kids.
<v Speaker>And I had to stop that cycle with them. <v Speaker>I couldn't go on the way I was going. <v Speaker>I just couldn't do it anymore. There had to be way out. <v Speaker>I didn't know any other way other than suicide <v Speaker>or something, but I had friends that had been in recovery before, <v Speaker>counseling. He was a good friend of mine, and he mentions <v Speaker>things about it and all and that those foreign to me recovery. <v Speaker>I had no idea what it was or anything. <v Speaker>What I was gonna get into. I was scared, and I was frightened. <v Speaker>So I did get into that. <v Speaker>And that was one of the best things I did in my life is to turn my life around. <v Speaker>I prayed to God, God or the Great Spirit that- give me something. <v Speaker>Some kind of sign that I'm on the right road and all that. <v Speaker>And he did. Every time I dealt with something, He gave me this freedom. <v Speaker>Unbelievable freedom. It might be a little small, but it was something.
<v Speaker>It takes a while to heal all these different things in your life. <v Speaker>I live the life of dysfunction for 30 years, destroying <v Speaker>myself. Seeking happiness- I was looking in all <v Speaker>the wrong places, had to look within myself and within <v Speaker>the earth. [music] <v Speaker>We pray that God will bless us with an understanding of his word, <v Speaker>that we may live it in our daily lives. <v Speaker>We pray to the Lord, Lord hear our prayer. <v Speaker>We pray for those who lead and guide us in faith, that they know <v Speaker>of the promises of God and repeat them to us.
<v Speaker>We pray to the Lord. Lord hear our prayer. <v Speaker>We pray for our community in a special way. <v Speaker>We pray for those who are hunting in this season that they do so <v Speaker>in safety. We pray to the lord, lord hear our prayer. <v Speaker>[music]
<v Speaker>I really enjoy the quietness <v Speaker>of walking up the river and setting traps. <v Speaker>You just hear some birds singing <v Speaker>different animals here, different animals and stuff and just looking for spots <v Speaker>to trap. <v Speaker>[rustling with tools] I remember my grandmother and grandfather. <v Speaker>They used to make, uh- my grandmother used to make baskets. <v Speaker>And I remember they had a little double- they never had motors back when I was a kid. <v Speaker>They had a double end canoe.
<v Speaker>And every once while when they have a bunch of baskets, they- <v Speaker>I used to go down the shore line and watch them when they leave. <v Speaker>That little canoe would be great full of baskets. <v Speaker>And then when they- when they come back in three, four hours later, their canoe would <v Speaker>full of food, fresh vegetables and stuff. <v Speaker>They wouldn't go and trade the baskets for food. <v Speaker>Muskrat house. <v Speaker>They build that for the winter. It's made out of grass and mostly all <v Speaker>grass. <v Speaker>We used to have a picture hall. <v Speaker>Where they show movies down Princeton, <v Speaker>and they used to have a place for tribal members, just sit to watch <v Speaker>the movies. The white side and the Indian side. <v Speaker>Now, back then, I didn't understand what was going on.
<v Speaker>We just- When we go to the movies, we know where we always sit. <v Speaker>But they used to- they used to call them <v Speaker>names and stuff. <v Speaker>Challenge him to a fight. <v Speaker>And, you know, there wasn't too many tribal members that turn a fight down, <v Speaker>but that's like today. <v Speaker>Just the teenagers doing that now. <v Speaker>[motor starting] But there's still a lot of discrimination. <v Speaker>That will never go away. [Off camera, man: Why do you think that?] <v Speaker>I don't know it just the way they were taught, I think. <v Speaker>[water sounds, barking]Well,
<v Speaker>back in the old days, there was a lot of alcohol abuse. <v Speaker>But since we had the land claims settlement that's turned <v Speaker>round, that's turned around 90 percent. <v Speaker>[Off camera, man: Why do you think that is?] Well, I think there's more jobs, more jobs <v Speaker>for the men and women and <v Speaker>they have responsibilities now. And so now, now you don't see all the- all <v Speaker>the drinking and stuff like I did back in growing up. <v Speaker>[water noises, heavy breathing] All the <v Speaker>old tribal members, they used to go out and get their own medecine that they need. <v Speaker>[rustling and heavy breathing] And,
<v Speaker>uh, even <v Speaker>today, there's still few that goes out and get the- they get the flag <v Speaker>root. <v Speaker>They say which is good for colds and stuff. <v Speaker>'Cause back in the old days at my grandmother's, they used to <v Speaker>make tea, ?ball? tea, and <v Speaker>on a woodstove, they always had a pot of tea going. <v Speaker>And there was always another pot for flag root. <v Speaker>You cook that like tea, too. <v Speaker>And they used to have that in most of the houses <v Speaker>starting in the fall through the winter months, and you just <v Speaker>sometimes you go over there, and they'll give you a cup of flag root. <v Speaker>[water noises]
<v Speaker>Sometimes I just take my wife, we just travel the river and just be peaceful. <v Speaker>You don't worry about nothing. You just enjoy the scene. <v Speaker>And it makes you feel good. <v Speaker>[boat motor sounds] <v Speaker>Ok, Francis, throw it up there. [kids talking and shouting] There you go. <v Speaker>Go ahead Mo. Feed the ducks, honey. <v Speaker>You almost got him in the head. [laughter] Uh-huh, don't throw any rocks. <v Speaker>. <v Speaker>Don't throw anything else. Let him get closer. <v Speaker>OK. <v Speaker>I have grandchildren. They do have Indian names. <v Speaker>We've got Nipawset which is the moon that you see early in the morning.
<v Speaker>And then we have Tihtiyas who is a bluejay, and then <v Speaker>we have Mihku. That's a squirrel. <v Speaker>So every one of us try to pick, you know, names that suits the child, and <v Speaker>they supposed to reflect from the clans. <v Speaker>And they're doing it more now than ever before. <v Speaker>They're trying to, I guess, bring back all the traditions that we have lost over a period <v Speaker>of years, which is gonna be nice. <v Speaker>The only thing that we're still missing right today is what we <v Speaker>used to have years ago, where if you came into my house so, no <v Speaker>matter if you're live 5 or 6 miles or 100 miles from here, you're welcome. <v Speaker>And if we were eating supper, you sit down and you eat with those people. <v Speaker>That was a good tradition. Everybody was good to each other. <v Speaker>[singing] [talking and laughing]. <v Speaker>Looks good. Hope you guys are hungry! [laughter].
Our Stories
Healing Woods (Indian Township, Maine)
Producing Organization
Maine Public Broadcasting Network
Contributing Organization
Maine Public Broadcasting Network (Lewiston, Maine)
The Walter J. Brown Media Archives & Peabody Awards Collection at the University of Georgia (Athens, Georgia)
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Episode Description
"Healing Woods takes the pulse of the easternmost tribe of Wabanaki people and finds hard working men and women trying to break the cycle of abuse in their community. The viewer meets two neighbors and their extended families; humble brothers of the tribe who have experienced the painful social consequences of yielding their 'woods' to a dominant society which has a very different concept of man's relationship to nature. Healing Woods brings the viewer on a moose hunt, on a canoe trap line, out with a medicine man, around the elder hunting circle, into a church congregation, and into the living rooms of the Passamaquoddy people of Indian Township, Maine. Never before has a documentary of this depth been filmed in Maine. Healing Woods excels at capturing the issues the Passamaquoddy deal with on a daily basis, in their own words, without expert analysis or omniscient barrater. The more candid and personal the interviews become, the more the viewer realizes that it is only the spectacular scenery which separates the viewer from the universality of the stories. In a very natural and human way the participant's stories become 'our stories', the series name of which Healing Woods is one of four episodes."--1998 Peabody Awards entry form.
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Copyright Holder: MPBN
Director: Smith, Brad
Executive Producer: Arno, Katherine E.
Producer: Smith, Brad
Producing Organization: Maine Public Broadcasting Network
AAPB Contributor Holdings
Maine Public Broadcasting
Identifier: cpb-aacip-4ed989722de (Filename)
Format: DVCPRO
Generation: Master
The Walter J. Brown Media Archives & Peabody Awards Collection at the University of Georgia
Identifier: cpb-aacip-37b7d0a79f5 (Filename)
Format: U-matic
Duration: 00:56:37
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Chicago: “Our Stories; Healing Woods (Indian Township, Maine),” 1998-05-12, Maine Public Broadcasting Network, The Walter J. Brown Media Archives & Peabody Awards Collection at the University of Georgia, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed June 26, 2022,
MLA: “Our Stories; Healing Woods (Indian Township, Maine).” 1998-05-12. Maine Public Broadcasting Network, The Walter J. Brown Media Archives & Peabody Awards Collection at the University of Georgia, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. June 26, 2022. <>.
APA: Our Stories; Healing Woods (Indian Township, Maine). Boston, MA: Maine Public Broadcasting Network, The Walter J. Brown Media Archives & Peabody Awards Collection at the University of Georgia, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from