The First Nations of Jamie Poole
Recently I watched the movie Prey, which is described by IMDB as: The origin story of the Predator in the world of the Comanche Nation 300 years ago. Naru, a skilled warrior, fights to protect her tribe against one of the first highly-evolved Predators to land on Earth.
The movie is making history as the first film dubbed in Comanche and the first time a movie has premiered in an indigenous language alongside the English version. If you haven’t seen Prey, I’d recommend it. It is a prequel to the Predator movies which starred Arnold Schwarzenegger.
Representation is important in books and movies and other forms of art. Our world is changing…or is it our understanding of our world that is changing? Neil Gaiman’s The Sandman is currently streaming on Netflix. It has received some criticism from the fanbase because certain characters were changed to diversify the cast. Some wanted to see the characters as they appeared in the comics. Gaiman has defended that his casting decisions
better represent the way the world looks. He is not alone in this, as other shows are making similar decisions. As another example: Doctor Who is including roles for handicapped people which are roles not specifically written for the handicapped. Before we go further, this isn’t intended to be a political post. Not really. We’re talking about people. We’re talking about our neighbors. We might even be talking about ourselves.
We sit between two significant indigenous holidays—International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples (August 9) and National Day for Truth and Reconciliation (September 30). I felt it appropriate to provide details of the indigenous or First Nations peoples in the Jamie Poole lore.
When writing Jamie Poole, the storyline takes place in different countries and times throughout history. This has allowed the story to become naturally diverse. There are Karelians, Nubians, and an unknown people Jamie comes to realize are her ancestors. There are five unique First Nations peoples scattered through the story arc. I want to
call attention to this because in the story I really try not to point arrows at characters and intentionally and laboriously give a full bio on their race or sexual orientation or anything else. (I do enjoy pointing out some quirks.) My intent is to let the characters introduce themselves naturally. Normally I’m more into showing the characters and not labelling them. But as we are reflecting on indigenous peoples with these holidays, I’m breaking my own rule.
Let it be said: Jamie is of mixed race. She is a descendent of Chief William Anderson, who she states in Resurrection of the Druidess was named Delaware chief born Kikthawenund. Anderson was his English name. Two hundred years ago he was a diplomat between the Delaware and other nations, and he was highly regarded among many peoples. The town of Anderson, Indiana, (located in Delaware County, if it matters) near where Jamie lives is named in his honor. Her mother's family is named Anderson. They are decedents of some of Anderson's children who remained in Indiana after the Trail of Tears moved many indigenous people, including him, further west. All of this is historically accurate.
In Tome of Tubal-Cain Jamie and a group of students excavate a T-Rex in Montana on property owned by Shawn Marshall. One night over a campfire, Shawn entertains the students with stories of the Blackfoot people who once lived on the land. Jamie realizes as he tells stories and sings songs, these are his people. Then he tells a legend of a supernatural gathering of horsemen who rode out of an unnatural storm. Riding with the horsemen was a woman. As he described her, Jamie was certain he described Eliyana. Why was Eliyana riding with such a group some two hundred years in the past? She would come to find out sooner than she expected.
The book The Courtship of Brett Poole is dedicated to a man named Ronnie. He descends from the Lumbee nation. And while the Lumbee are not included in a storyline, it was while I researched Ronnie’s genealogy that I learned the history—and a few legends—of Kikthawenund and Anderson, Indiana, which are in the storyline. Ronnie’s family is related to Kikthawenund through marriage.
In Sisterhood of the Sword, Jamie and Lenore visit Nick Fagan in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Nick gives a brief history of the area and mentions the Mi’kmaq nation who lived where modern Halifax now stands. Halifax, also known as Kjipuktuk, is unceded territory of the Mi’kmaq.
Lastly, the Haida Gwaii nation will be featured in Doyle Dalton’s Diary, which is presently for pre-order. Because this book is not yet released, I will say no more about the Haida other than to say that their story is one of the more complex First Nation storylines in the series.
Each of these nations are unique with customs and languages as diverse as they are. Keep an eye out for Kikthawenund. Jamie introduces him early in the series, but—and here’s a spoiler—he will make an appearance somewhere in the series.