Ishpakweya​-​Little Girl Outlaw

from by GHOSTRAIN 3000

/

about

Ishpakweya is an Algonquin phrase that means Stand of Tall Trees.

Here's the initial email that started the process of writing the songs:
----------------------
Hi,

I was thinking on your question last night about trees etc and the conversation I had with my grandmother this summer came to mind. I was telling her about the dance and the video with the school and all the kids and the focus on residential schools. Our casual conversation halted as my grandma got quite, furrowed her brow a bit and was listening intently. She was surprised to here about this project, but not shocked or upset but more like, "wow". It's hard to know her feelings on it exactly cause my grandma is a bit out of this world with old age, however she proceeded to tell me the following story:
------------------------
She said, "you know I went to a residential school museum one time."
I said, "Oh yeah?"
"I could hear their voices and see them... those kids." she meant their ghosts.
I asked, "grandma, did any of our family go to residential school?"
"Oh sure. My mom and her sisters went." she said matter of fact.
"Oh." I said.
"They would sneak out to visit their parents." She said.
"Then they would go back?" I asked.
"Well, they ran away and hid in the bush." she concluded.

Its hard to get details of where and when cause of my grandma's age, but I gather it was around 110-120 years ago (if I subtract my grandmas age and my guess as to when her mom was a student), I think this all happened around Pikwakanagan/Golden Lake then years later they ran away up to Tamiskaming. I can try to ask my great uncle Rod. He's older but is more with it.
------------------------------------

Anyways, I thought "Wow! Escaping Residential school and hiding in the bush...", Sort of protected by or rather, using the trees as cover... Pretty great for our purposes.
My grandma (my moms mom) is Algonquin so I have a good library of words for "tree" to choose from!

Examples that I like -
mitig : tree ...
mitigòns : saplings: 1. a young tree.
panigàkozi : fallen tree whose leaves continue to grow ...
wanakong : top or tip of tree, crown of tree ...

Link to Algonquin dictionary for words related to "tree"- www.thealgonquinway.ca/English/search-results-e.php
-------------------------------------
A song is already forming in my subconscious!
In the coming days I will compose a simple song (like a three line haiku) with a primal melody that the students can sing/recite. I'll use the seven classes. Each with a simple step of the composition. Foot stomps, hand claps, wood sticks, shushing sounds, voice work as we discussed.
I will send for your input before the week is over. 👍🌲

lyrics

Ishpakweya (Stand of Tall Trees)

Ish – pak – way – ya,
Ish – pak – way – ya,
Ish – pak – way – ya,
Oh Ish – pak – way – ya.

Ish – pak – way – ya
Is an Algonquin phrase
That means
“Stand of tall trees”.

The Ish – pak – way – ya
Helped my great grandma
Escape
Residential school.

The seven above,
The seven below,
The seven among us,
The seven we know.

CHORUS -
Run away, run away
Run away great grandma
Little girl, outlaw
In the Ish – pak – way – ya.

The Ish – pak – way – ya
Is sacred because
It holds
The seven teachings.

Oh Ish – pak – way – ya
We love you because
You care
For all generations.

The seven above,
The seven below,
The seven among us,
The seven we know.

CHORUS – X 2
Run away, run away
Run away great grandma
Little girl, outlaw
In the Ish – pak – way – ya.

Ish – pak – way – ya,
Ish – pak – way – ya,
Ish – pak – way – ya,
Ish – pak – way – ya.

credits

from Orange Shirt Songs, released October 3, 2019

license

all rights reserved

tags

about

GHOSTRAIN 3000 Toronto, Ontario

Sweaty bio pic is Ghostrain 3000 aka Luke Gustafson, cuttin' tracks since '94.

contact / help

Contact GHOSTRAIN 3000

Streaming and
Download help

Shipping and returns