ISE Member Beckee Garris was born on the Catawba Indian Reservation in Rock Hill, SC. She is the granddaughter of former Chief Albert H. Sanders, Sr. and the great-granddaughter of former Chief Samuel Taylor Blue. She shares with us a poem from her not-yet-published book. She wrote this poem, titled You Don’t Look It! after hearing this one time too many. She adds: Native People come in all different shades from dark to fair skinned; some even have blue eyes and blonde hair.

Hahayere – Hah-hah-yay-ray- (You laugh)

Útniyere- OOT-nee-yay-ray- (You say to me)

Erathayere- Eh-rah-thah-yay-ray- (You believe me not)

Nieyę nƐnire- Nee-ayang neh-nee-ray- (I am Indian)

Nieyę mąyire yačé- Nee-ayang mong-yee-ray yah-chay (Indian not looking like)

Yę į čutčre mą pehakpąhe tuhare- Yang ing choot-chray mong pay-hahk-pong-hay too-hah-ray-

(Indians in little box)

Yę á èutère m¹ dat kuèimut sáure dáêreáʔhêʔ-

Yang ing choot-chray mong daht koo-chee-moo-too sah-ooray da-ang-ray-ak-hangk

(Indians different from the West I do not look like)

Katapά yêp¹ʔáʔre- Catawba yang-pongk-ak-ray- (I am not full Catawba)

Detidukanahiré yamągere- Day-tee-dookah-heeray yah-mong-gay-ray- (I am of no account thinking)

Himbá, Nanena iskąé- Heem-bah, Nah-nay-nah eeskong-ay- (Yes, my father white)

Yashuna Kataba tareh- Yahk-shoo-nah tah-reh- (My mother Catawba I have)

Namę Kataba- Nah-mang Catawba (My heart Catawba)

HiisáƐre niiyániαʔre-Heesah-eh-ray nee-yah-nee-ak-ray (I am sorry you see me not)

Hindáyane mundá nątire- Heen-dah-yah-nay moon-dah moon-dah nong-tee-ray- (In the mirror I look)

Kataba dikαčƐčure- Catawba dee-ka-cheh-choo-ray- (I am a proud Catawba)

Dehare – Day-hah-ray- (It is me)