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“The beauty of this time of year reminds me why it is so vital to honor my ancestors by keeping the traditions that have been passed down through the generations, and by keeping alive the skills they passed along.”
“Today, Indigenous people are reclaiming our history, knowledge and teachings and owning our narratives so that we may uplift our communities and pass on our legacies to the next generation of leaders.”
“And so I offer you — graduates of Antioch — advice grounded in my Anishinaabe teachings of a way forward in all four directions. East is the direction of beginnings, and the teachings from the east remind us that all life is spirit — the wind, earth, fire, and water, all those things that are alive with energy and movement.”
“Two-hundred-and-fifteen children’s bodies were recently found in a mass grave at an Indian boarding school site. When I heard the news, I fell to my knees, sobbing. Beautiful Indigenous children who were discarded, hidden and never to be heard from again. Until now.”
“I ask myself — has there ever been ‘normal?’ In my own perspective, there have always been waves of coming in and going out. A reverence for the care of the community and the care for our planet, our land and our waters, is an Indigenous way of being.”
“The people who created the original lies about the Indigenous, the colonists, aren’t alive any longer, but the system they left in place favors a few, and not for the benefit of the many — certainly not for the benefit of future generations.”
Today we know the future includes us, for we are the Indigenous people. We are meant to know our languages, our plants, our medicines and our traditions. We are meant to be in relationship with this land.
Colonization has devastating effects on Native people. It is the concept of taking something that does not belong to you, establishing control over it, and trying to profit from it. This is the goal of these so-called Native images, and we cannot sugar coat this reality.
The ancient lesson for today — and for our village — is the lesson of the way of the wolf. This ancient teaching of humility imparts strength to us all. It is told that the wolf is indeed strong alone, but it finds its greatest strength and power, and its natural preference, as a part of a pack, a community, a group and a society.
“In a thousand years from now, our stories will not be about creating the United States; they will be about surviving them.”