A Red Lake Story of Fasting for Power and Knowledge
A 1926 story told of the power of dreams.
In the story, a young fellow (about 20 years old now), in Ponemah dreamed and fasted in hopes that the Manitou would grant him power. He climbed up a tree and sat in it for 4 days and 4 nights without anything to eat. He was granted vision and thereafter claimed to have a special knowledge.
One day when annuity payments were made, a woman found upon arriving home that her 90-dollar payment had been taken from her. Her husband went to the dreamer and asked him if he knew who took it. The fellow went away and sang and pounded a small drum, and when he returned he told the man that a certain woman had the money and had not yet used any of it.
“Go to her and tell her that she has your money and that you want it.” He went to the woman and in a gracious manner said to her, “You must have taken my wife's money by mistake.” She admitted that she had the money and handed it right over to him and said she had not spent any of it.
Not long ago that same dreamer came across the lake with some young men. These fellows thought they'd try him out and bet with him that he didn't know who the first Indian would be whom they would meet at Redby. He remarked that he did (naming the man), and sure enough it was he. He is the only one around this vicinity who can do that. This young man often goes to the Ponemah Point and stays there for days. He doesn't eat, and no one knows what he does there. My neighbor's youngest brother went to dream for power, some 20 years ago. There was an old man near here, too, who had the same power; but he died last winter.
from Hilger, M. Inez (Mary Inez). 1951. “Chippewa Child Life And Its Cultural Background.” Bulletin. Washington: U.S. Govt. Print. Off.
A collaborative effort of members of the Ojibwe and Metis communities