Greyeyes Family Connections ~

Over the past two years, we’ve become aware of our maternal Wyandot Ancestry. One of the most affirming aspects of this incredible gift is how completely and easily I feel I have merged with this information and how relieved I am that my spirituality locks into the spiritual paradigm and worldview, so easily. It’s as if I have come home to something known, but not learned, something understood but accessible perhaps by blood and collective memory;  moments of  dream consciousness perhaps revealed by a particular kind
of creative spiritual openness…this deep connection.

As a young art student, gazing upward in Walker Court at The Art Gallery of Ontario my eyes would travel around the names of the original Ontario Indigenous peoples mounted under the crown moulding in an installation by Lothar Baumgarten, honouring their history: Nippissing, Ojibwe, Tionontati (Petun), Attawandaron (Neutral), Wendat (Huron) …Algonquin, and they would always come to rest on both HURON and ALGONQUIN – they felt, sounded and looked like words I knew and understood. Although this piece has been challenged by Indigenous artist Robert Houle, I was unaware of the political issues with this work at the time.

Of course I knew of Lake Huron and that everything in Windsor and Michigan seemed to be named after the HURON and Wyandot(te) but I knew not why it filled me with such strange emotions, in fact I felt compelled to ride my bike down HURON street every day to go to school. I felt a stirring, as if my heart locked onto those words, though I knew not why.

One of my cousins, Margaret Greyeyes  {pictured left} was known for her good works and was a pillar of strength for the Ohio Wyandots, as they suffered eradication of their culture and the horrific Indian Removal. Although she converted, as many did to Christianity, I like to think that underneath the Christian wrap, was the indigenous reality hidden in plain sight  as was a common expression in those days…  I have already learned so much about my blood and Ancestors.

I have recently returned from Oklahoma where I journeyed to receive my clan name. Such peace and ‘connectedness’ are hard to describe ~  but after so many years of searching, I feel a great sense of ease.

Toronto 2012

Taǫmęˀšreˀ ižátsih
Hatiⁿgyáʔwiš ayeʔtarúʔtęʔ
Wandat ažáʔtuʔtęʔ

tižamęh, tiawenhk, thank you!
Catherine Tammaro
People of the Little Turtle (Clan)
Keepers of the Heavens, Carriers of the Fire
Wyandot of Anderdon Nation
Wendat Confederacy