Surging Sea


A Poem by Margaret Noodin written for Angelique Le Roy
Commissioned by Paul Druecke for Angelique’s Passage in 2015


Mamaangaashkaa Michigaming
Surging Sea

Mamaangaashkaa besho Michigaming
On the surging shores of Lake Michigan

gii animaa’an ezhi-bimaadiziyaang mewenzha
it drifted away, the way we used to live
animaa’ogoyaang zhowanong
we also drifted, south

maadaa’ogoyaang zhooniiyaashkaa.
on waves of silver.

Gii madweyaashkaa apii maajiiwiidigeyaang
We heard the swell as our life began together

gii ditibaashkaa apii abinoojikeyaang
the rolling tides of making children

niibina biboonan gii giniginigeyaang
for many years mixing

Ojibwe, Mamaceqtaw, Bodwewedami.
Ojibwe, Menominee, Potawatomi.

Mii gii biidaashkaa mii adaaweyaang
Then on waves of trade

mii aanjisemigad apane aakiing
the earth forever changed

miinawaa oshme zinagad ji-bawaajige
and dreaming is more difficult

waasa agwaayaashkaa ningaabii’anong.
on the other side of the western break.

Note: Angelique le Roy, was born in 1766, although the exact date is not certain. She was the daughter of Joseph and Maquerite le Roy and the granddaughter of Menominee leader, Ahkenepaweh (Standing Earth). Her uncle Onaugesa was the Menominee leader of the Potawatomis at Milwaukee. In 1786 she married Jacques Vieu, who was born May 5, 1757 in Montreal. He worked for the North West Fur Co. first in Mackinac and Madeline Island, then Green Bay.

With Jacques, she began a family and opened trading posts in gathering places west of the Lake Michigan shoreline. In August of 1795 they arrived in Milwaukee and were welcomed by Potawatomi and Ho-Chunk people living there. They settled in an area west of Milwaukee Bay. Together they founded the village of Milwaukee, later platted by their daughter Josette and her husband, Solomon Juneau.

In 1836, after witnessing a small pox epidemic she returned with Jacques to a farm at Green Bay. She was not in Milwaukee in 1838 when, following the 1833 Indian-removal Treaty of Chicago, the United States Army troops rounded-up and forced Milwaukee area American Indians to gather at the “Indian Fields” (near the present-day Forest Home Cemetery) and then journey in a caravan to Kansas and Iowa Territory.

Jacques and Angelique had eleven children. The oldest was Madeleine Thibeault, who is listed as Menominee and Ho-Chink and lived in Stevens Point, Wisconsin. Their son Paul, and at least four other siblings lived as members of the Potawatomi tribe in Kansas.

Angelique died in 1862 at the home of her son Joseph, in Lawrence, Wisconsin.

Gichigami Ikidowinan – Words of the Sea

  • Mamaangaashkaa – big waves
  • Animaa’an – it drifts on waves
  • Animaa’ogo – someone drifts away on waves
  • Maadaa’ogo – someone drifts on waves
  • Madweyaashkaa – the waves are heard
  • Ditibaashkaa – rolling waves
  • Biidaashkaa – waves arriving here
  • Agwaayaashkaa – distant waves

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