Dominic's Story

The Quiet Legacy of a Shadow Warrior

My friend and brother, Dominic Polchies, was a shadow warrior. He led a quiet unassuming life, but he contributed greatly to our community. He was an incredibly talented artist, his paintings and carvings can be found throughout Wabanaki territory, in our homes, offices and museums. He was also a gifted drum maker. Almost everyone I know has a drum that was made by him, myself included. And, he always spoke the truth, even when no one wanted to hear it, and even when people were unwilling to listen. These alone are great contributions, but they aren't his most significant. The most powerful thing that he did was to sing our young men home, with his drum. He brought a lot of troubled young men to the drum, in a way that no one else was willing to do. He didn't turn anyone away. In doing so, he gave these young men a family, and forged connections for them between their communities and cultural traditions. That alone helped move many of them away from a far more dangerous path, and in some instances may have saved their lives. He taught them their history through song and conversation around that drum, and he taught them about respect and honor and honesty. His contributions have not been given their due, because they went under the radar, and because he was dealing with a population that is often ignored. Despite that, he never ignored any of us. He was always there for those who needed him. He was the first to show up for community events, with his drum, and to support the activists that were speaking out for the Tribe and the Earth, and he never asked for anything in return. Though his contributions to our community may have been overlooked by many, to those that were paying attention, they meant the world. We are going to miss him greatly, but we know that those he led to the drum will continue to honor his legacy by continuing the quiet work that he began. Kci Woliwon, nitap. Komac koselmol. May he not be forgotten, and may his legacy continue to live on through all those he has touched and the many contributions that he has left behind.

Written by Dom's dear friend, Sherri Mitchell

Dom leaves behind his children, Marlene, Doming, David and Michael; sisters, Erlinda, Priscilla, Frannie and Mary; brothers, Robert, Jerry, Terry and Rey; grandchildren, Cyra, Lilliana and Aubrey; many nieces, nephews, uncles, aunts, cousins, friends, and his drum, his brothers of Alamoosic Lake.

Memorial service will be held noon July 28, 2016, at his camp. For questions or directions, call Cissy (207) -817-0372.
Published in Bangor Daily News
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