Uncovering a mysterious black leather envelope in a old chest belonging to his mother, Derrick Whiteskycloud; Psychic, Medium, Spiritual Healer, Paranormal Investigator, U.F.O. expert, writer, teacher and director of the Michif Historical and Cultrual Preservation Society, discovered documents validating his descendancy to Pocahontas (baptised Rebecca in 1613).
"Pocohontas is related to me on my grandfather Robert Henry Rolfe's side," acknowledges Derrick. "I didn't know anything about this prior to finding the information. That's where it all started."
Beaten at school for having native blood, Derrick reflects, "When you're in a white society back in the 60's, you weren't accepted. Dating back thousands of years; generation to generation; Native American Indians had much shame placed upon them. We were told it's wrong to be Indian. Those teased used to hide who they were, saying, 'I'm French; I'm Scottish; I'm Ukranian.' Much has changed, yet there are still so many children today who carry that shame because their parents told them to. We're trying to teach them to jump up to the plate and appreciate who they are."
"Really good people live on the reserve," declares Derrick, illustrating reservation life as a very strong, supportive community where few are against one another. "A small village; we live in houses. Nobody lives in a teepee anymore unless they are camping. That's a luxury for us. The lifestyle is laid back. There's traditional hunting and fishing; survival skills. I try to help communities whenever they need me. I travel to Northern Alberta, working on the reserve in different places such as Sucker Creek, Drift Pile, Slave Lake. I'm usually there for 5 to 7 days per month working as a counsellor; helping them to heal from something they're struggling with.
"Living in a small little town, not everyone has cable t.v., a satellite dish or radio. Some live the old pioneer ways; hunting, fishing. That's their way of life. Even as a kid I enjoyed the traditions," reminisces Derrick. "Teepees, where people lived many generations ago, were made from a variety of spruce (depending on the territory) or tree cover; even buffalo hides. The men would hunt and bring back the food; the women would put up the teepee. If you ever go camping, and come across high winds, a teepee can withstand 125 mile an hour winds."
"Muscrat, Beaver Tail, Moose Nose, Bear, Deer and Elk", Derrick tells us, is the most frequently foraged meat. "Considered 'survival foods', beans and corn are easily grown, and are a staple that can survive the whole winter. You don't have to freeze them. Dry them out; dehydrate them; they last for months. It's the same for salmon. After fishing, you can dry out your salmon by hanging it in the sun. We make Pemmican by mixing drytec meat with berries; drying it out and using it as a source of food. Salt Pack is a mixture of crushed meat with a lump of salt, made very dry. If you need to chew on something nutritional, you can use that to survive in the bush."
"In the late 1600's/early 1700's, when the French first set ashore on Native American land, they saw red okra-covered indians," imparts Derrick. "Wearing red okra clay wasn't just their identity; it was a way to protect them from the red hot sun. Believing the colour red represented the devil, the French considered the natives evil."
"Growing up in Manitoba, I witnessed my first pow wow (a celebration of life) at 5 years of age. One of the elders walked up to my mom and said, 'Your son will do great things when he grows up to be a young man. In his 30's, 40's, he will lead the people.' I didn't pay much attention to it. I wanted to dance. A priest came up, calling me the 'heathen child'. "Stop this devil-worshipping dancing. This is evil." The RCMP sent everyone back to their homes."
"That's the problem in our religious society. People misconceive we're bad because we don't pray to God. A priest came to town one day as a bunch of us were loading supplies in our vehicle. He didn't like the idea we were working on Sunday. 'Sunday is a day of rest; not to work. It's a day to thank our creator,' he said. 'You're supposed to be out there praying. Why are you working on Sunday?' I replied, 'We pray every day; not just on Sunday.' His mouth dropped open. Exasperated, he walked away saying, 'Oh you people!'"
"Brother, you say there is but one way to worship and serve the Great Spirit. If there is but one religion, why do you white people differ so much about it? Why not all agree, as you can all read the Book?"
Sogoyewapha, "Red Jacket" - Senaca
"The Great Spirit is in all things. He is in the air we breathe. The Great Spirit is our Father, but the Earth is our mother. She nourishes us, that which we put into the ground she returns to us..."
Big Thunder (Bedagi) Wabanaki Algonquin
"The Great White Spirit is the creator of all living things; everything around us including the spirit world. It's not based on religion. We are loved every day by our creator." With so much love around us; in all that we see and do, why do people continue to live their lives in fear? "People are so worried about what can happen next in this world. My mom taught me, 'never worry what comes in front of you, or what's placed before you. If you worry about that all the time you won't have a life. You have to take chances.'"
"There are people in this world that depend on psychics all the time," observes Derrick, who devotes his life to helping others through spiritual healings, paranormal investigations and mediumship. "I don't expect people to depend on me all the time. They have to depend on themselves. We're here to give guidance. You need to push yourself to make it work. We all have to make mistakes. These are considered 'learning lessons'."
Calling on the Great White Spirit for guidance is not limited to Native American Indians. "Seeing an eagle fly above us, we give prayer. We ask the eagle spirit to send a message to the creater. We see the Eagle fly as high as it can, leaving the Earth's atmosphere; transforming to an angel; a messenger. The animals relate to us as messengers, to show us our path of where we're going.
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