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Our Home On Native Land

Posted by Noreen Kruzich on March 22, 2019 at 12:00 AM
I have a column in the Madawaska Highlander entitled: Our Home On Native Land. It is about people, places and things First Nation and Metis here in the Ottawa Valley. If you know of a good story - historical or current, please swing the idea by me. I am always looking for story ideas.

First Nation & Metis Status

Posted by Noreen Kruzich on January 21, 2018 at 3:50 PM
Over the last couple of years, many individuals and families have come to me to gain proof and establish their FN or Metis status. These individuals always have quite a journey in finding their roots. I hope to gather some of their stories and pull them together for a book in hopes that it will give others the strength, courage and stamina it takes to walk down this path. I find that Indian Affairs is still archaic in their thoughts on acknowledging First Nations individuals. The way to status is still flawed. On the other hand, Metis status has gained the attention of the government and although it takes a good amount of proof and research, many people are not only finding their Metis roots but are being acknowledged. The years ahead, I see First Nation's taking on a much stronger voice in both Canada and the United States. And isn't it long overdue- I dont think they will easily be crushed or hushed for they are now gaining their strength back individual by individual. My next book will be entitled BLOOD, PAPER & SPOKEN WORD


Posted by Noreen Kruzich on February 11, 2015 at 10:35 PM

Storytelling is ages old...what person doesn't enjoy a good story filled with memorable characters, enhanced with sensory images and told with an engaging voice.  A solid story holds just as well on the lips as it does on the paper and sometimes more so.  Stories fill out life.

I especially love something came to be or how things work in relationship to its we can learn from nature.  Do you know any good legends, especially about water?  I'd love to hear it.

Dreams can be powerful...

Posted by Noreen Kruzich on May 10, 2013 at 9:45 PM

Dreams can be very powerful as they sometimes can be messages from the Ancestors.  I don't have powerful dreams often but when I do, I know it as they look, act and feel strong and carry a strong message usually through symbolism... symbolism in the words that are spoken or the way things are portrayed--played out.  The dream as a whole is usually very vivid.

My grandfather came to me one night, and I told him I miss my father very much and he told me "the birds are carrying letters".

A moose came to me and he showed me around my new home and then he proceeded to show me that my partner would leave for another woman would be working beside him helping him do his work as a man dressed up to be a thunderbird.

I found myself one night on a battlefield.  It stank, and death and hot ashes filled the air.  I was a reporter among many reporters, finally the last to get an assignment...i was told to write on how to rid the body of morphine.    (one could relate that to allowing yourself to feel pain, not trying to cover it up or subdue it).

I'd love for anyone to share their powerful dreams.

A Dream

Posted by Noreen Kruzich on January 27, 2012 at 3:05 PM

A dream I had as I lay close to the earth in a tent along the shores of Lake Superior one summer’s night.

There I stood on the land. People all around me. An urgency in each one of them . A realm of chaos.

I instinctively knew that I stood at a site of significant historical importance—a battlefield of sorts. Assignments were being handed out. Living as a writer and reporter much of my life, I understood that this was the agenda here too. The assignment editor pointed at each of his victims and reeled off their tasks sending them off one by one. Until finally, I being the last to receive a story to investigate, upon being handed it I frowned for I thought it of little importance. My assignment—how to rid the body of morphine.

But the more I contemplated it, the more I recognized its virtues, the more powerful it became. It, I deemed, was a lesson from the spirit of all things—that to be able to show life, history as it is, you cannot hide the pain; you cannot suppress it, for it must be laid out on the page, as it was drawn out in history at that exact moment. Pain and joy must be endured by the reader.

I began to see the relevance of my assignment— History with facts and dates, measurements and pictures holds little relevance and meaning without knowing the emotional and spiritual motivation that would be behind it. This would be my guide.

The Ghost

Posted by Noreen Kruzich on January 5, 2011 at 9:45 PM

When I was about twelve years old, I awoke one morning to find a middle aged man, at the side of my bed, dressed in deerskin and feathered headdress, holding a staff in his left hand. I immediately knew he was a ghost. He eyes stared at mine, but he did not speak, nor did he move. I watched him and he watched me, and then I lost my eyesight for a few minutes until it came back.


That visit has haunted me my entire life. I often wondered why he chose to visit me and why my eyesight was taken and then returned.


I have now concluded well into my fifties that he wanted to make sure I remembered him when it came time to tell his story. I have remembered him, and I have tried to honour him with the book, The Ancestors Are Arranging Things...a journey on the Algonkin Trail.


Noreen Kruzich

How it began...

Posted by Noreen Kruzich on November 30, 2010 at 11:19 AM

In 2004, as a freelance writer for magazines I came across a story about a Indian legend of a rock nearby where I lived in Burnstown, Ontario along the Madawaska River. I had heard that some people believed a standing stone was shaped from an Indian maiden as she died wrought with a broken heart. She was an Algonkin Chief's daughter who had fallen in love with an Iroquois man, and the Chief would not hear of it. Legend has it, her father cast her out of tribe and into the wilderness on her own. Her lover was killed.


As I researched this legend, as legend are not founded in facts, I could only come by handed down stories. This is where I met with a woman who was mesmerized by the rock and by the legend. She was a local artist, and had painted the rock depicting it in various fashions and mediums. While in an interview with her, I felt the my story shift, change form...for I had learned her passion came from a greater scope. She had only recently, in her grandmother age, found out she was of Algonkin descent for she had always been told she was French. She told me her father lived and died and never knew he was Algonkin. This had a great impact on her, for she always felt a part of her was denied...but didn't really know how. After finding out about her heritage, it all fell into place--- her coarse black hair, her facination with native ways etc.


After speaking with her, I talked to more and more individuals throughout the Ottawa Valley only to find that they too were now uncovering their roots-- long hidden for fear of degradation. It pulled at me, and at the same time, the more I dug into the story-- the more I found. Most stiking, I found an Grand Algonkin Chief-- little know in history, if at all. While colonial fathers and explorers and loggers were being remembered, he seemed to be given no place in history. I couldn't let that be.


I was driven to tell his story...and seven years later it will be told.