Native American Heritage Month: ‘Where I am From,’ a Poem By Turtle Mountain Seventh-Grader Trevis LaRocque
When given the assignment to write a poem in his seventh-grade English class at Turtle Mountain Community Middle School in Belcourt, North Dakota, Trevis J. LaRocque, an enrolled member of the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa, chose to write about where he was from—the Turtle Mountain Indian Reservation.
Travis LaRocque, Trevis’s father, said his family is proud of him and that Native American Heritage Month means a great deal to all of them.
“Native American Heritage Month gives my family and myself an opportunity to be thankful that many of our traditions, culture, and identity as Native Americans has thrived through many, many generations of hardship. From annihilation and genocide, to assimilation, to alcoholism and disease, poverty and despair…Native Americans have and will continue to find a way to survive and carry with them their identity, traditions, and culture,” Travis told Indian Country Today Media Network. “It's a testament to the human spirit, the strength and belief that Native Americans carry in their genes that has been passed down from generation to generation for thousands of years and will continue to be passed down from generation to generation. My family and I are proud we are Native Americans and [proud of] where we are from.”
Where I am From:
I am from gravel roads, To the hills of the rez, I am from the country, It is my homeland for now and forever.
I am from the tastes and smell of gullet and popcorn, My grandpa would make every time I went to his house, I am from the taste of apple pie and brownies, My mom and grandma would cook.
I am from horses, I would ride everyday, I am from pictures and imagination, I am from scary stories, We would tell most nights.
I am from riding bucking ponies, To riding a steer, My grandpa telling jokes, Every time I went to his house.
I am from saying things like, “stop making Buddha and quit hanging your bubbins,” I would get told when I go into trouble.
I am from dogs, To cats, I am from hunting with my grandpa, To fishing with my friends, I am from Belcourt ND, My home forever.