Fieldnotes and Boarding Schools

Carol A. Hand

Fieldnotes and boarding schools
Both tools of colonial control
One freezes culture
The other freezes soul

Emotions come to the surface
As I travel through the past
Perhaps sharing these stories
Will unburden me at last

But there are so many more stories
That still need to be told
As my fingers click the keyboard
Past suffering and resilience unfold

My task is just the telling
Sometimes using colonial tools
They form the foundation
Of the things we teach in schools

May we learn to value life
In its many wondrous expressions
May the words I write today touch hearts
And leave lasting impressions

Listening with loving intention
Can help heal broken hearts
Peace and joy are possible
Knowledge and compassion are the place where it starts

norma 2

Photo: My Mother (After Attending Boarding School) – Lac du Flambeau Ojibwe reservation

 Copyright Notice: © Carol A. Hand and carolahand, 2013-2016. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Carol A. Hand and carolahand with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.


About Carol A. Hand

What matters are not the titles I’ve held or university degrees I earned or the size of a house or bank account. It’s really what I’ve learned from ordinary people like me whom I’ve met along the way. They taught me to live with gratitude and give thanks for each new day.
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20 Responses to Fieldnotes and Boarding Schools

  1. Powerful opening lines, Carol. I look forward to reading your memoir. Keep writing through the tears and pain.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I appreciate your thoughtful comments and encouragement, Rosaliene. Please forgive my delay responding – writing everyday makes it difficult for me to keep up even though comments (and posts) like yours are often what keep me inspired.


  2. Thanks for this Carol, always real and powerful!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Very beautiful, Carol.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. hsampson says:

    Brilliant Carol. – No words but Thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Yes, Carol, you have named our task. I do hope I can get better at it.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. As Derick Jensen reminds us in Endgame, the only way Europeans can steal the resources of indigenous societies is to destroy their culture.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. AshiAkira says:

    A prairie sunset
    Ground squirrels call it a day
    Dream of tomorrow

    Liked by 1 person

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