Our Name

oski-pimohtahtamwak otayisīniwiwaw (Nehiyawak)
oski pima ci-owat ici ki-kay-dam-o-win-ing (Nakawē)
wana oicimani tecawosdodyē uncumpi (Dakota)
they are into their new journey to knowledge (English)

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Interview With Taish Desnomie

by Sheena Koops

Twenty-five hand drums beat out the rhythm of another round dance song. I grabbed my daughters hands and shuffled onto the dance floor, side stepping with all three girls, who took the hand of their dad. Soon my cousin and her little girls joined us too. A second circle of back up singers formed as the song continued. Strangers smiled at us as we kept moving as a family in this community circle.

I saw a young man who had been a student of mine four or five years ago. We shook hands and sat down for a visit. When I learned he hadn't graduated yet, I said, "Hey, you should join my class."

I wasn't too surprised when, a few weeks later, the principal told me, "Taish Desnomie is enrolling in your class."

I asked Taish if I could interview him for our blog. Here's our conversation.

Sheena: What made you decide to come back to school?

Taish: I guess, just wanting to graduate and wear a tuxedo at the end of the year.

Sheena: What do you think it will take for you to be successful this year?

Taish: Just keep my mind towards school, keep attending, try and study hard.

Sheena: What are some of the barriers that keep people from attending and succeeding?

Taish: It's just like transportation. Some people have bad anxiety or they don't do well in crowds or just their personal lives and what goes on in it, or other problems. You know.

Sheena: What do you need from me, as the teacher, our school and your classmates to help you on this journey?

Taish: Just kind of help me get out of my comfort zone a little more. To be out there. Try and participate in any kind of exercise that we have. That's what I expect from you and my classmates. The school? I don't really know about the school. I guess the school already has a perfect environment for everyone to feel welcome. For example, how we come into the class and there are muffins waiting for us or coffee, stuff like that. Or, some of your family is attending your school, you know that everything is going to be alright.

Sheena: What are your hopes and dreams?

Taish: I don't know. I want to get into music or something, and if that doesn't happen, join the army. I think my first option would be to join the army and maybe go somewhere and fight. Considering all the stuff that is going on in the world. I want to fight for people who can't fight for themselves, who don't have that power and ability to fight for themselves with physical or mental barriers.

Sheena: Is there anything else that you'd like to tell me?

Taish: Well, I guess I'm happy to be in school. I have great classmates, people that look out for others, that we're always on time and listening to the teacher. I think we're all going to get along and all have a great year together.

I had never been to a round dance before, but I was so happy that the school could host the Memorial Round Dance for a family from Manitoba during the Treaty Four Gathering. Not only did I get to hear Skyler, a graduate from last year, sing, but I got to meet up with Taish and now he's one of the leaders I'm privileged to work with every day.

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