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Articles About Little Thunders
“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.”
This November 26, as you sit down to your meal, I have a message for the young people because they will understand better than anyone else: There is no need to shy away from the truth.
Whenever I hear an Elder speak our traditional Ojibwe language, known as anishinaabemowin, my eyes fill with tears. I become overwhelmed with emotion. I’m told that tears are the ancestors coming to visit and wash my vision to help me heal from historical trauma.