Search This Blog

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Religion has the seven deadlies? I believe in the seven sacred.

The traditional concepts of respect and sharing that form the foundation of the Aboriginal way of life are built around the seven natural laws or sacred teachings. Each teaching honours one of the primary virtues intrinsic to a full and healthy life. 

Each law has an animal that embodies the point that all actions and decisions made by man are manifest on a physical plain. The animal world taught man how to live close to the earth. The connection has been established between the animal world, and man has instilled respect for all life in those who follow the traditional Aboriginal way.

To feel true love is to know the Creator. Therefore, it is expected that one's first love is to be the Great Spirit. He is considered the father of all children, and the giver of human life. Love given to the Great Spirit is expressed through love of oneself, and it is understood that if one cannot love oneself, it is impossible to love anyone else.

The Eagle was chosen by the Great Spirit to represent this law, as the Eagle can reach the highest out of all the creatures in bringing pure vision to the seeker. Though the purveyor of the greatest and most powerful medicine, love can also be the most elusive of the teachings, as it depends upon the world that acknowledges the importance of spirituality.

The Buffalo showed profound respect, through giving its life and sharing every part of its being, it had for the people. No animal was more important to the existence of Indigenous families than this animal, and it's gift provided shelter, clothing and utensils for daily living. Native people believed themselves to be true caretakers of the great herds, and developed a sustainable relationship with the Buffalo resulting in a relationship that was a genuine expression of respect.

The Bear provides many life lessons. Courage is an essential teaching Bear offers. Bears integrate both "gentle" and "ferocious" making a unique consolidation of traits. Approach a bear cub and no foe will intimidate the Mother bear. The Mother Bear's lack of fear is a legitimate demonstration of courage. To have the mental and moral strength to overcome fears preventing us from living our true spirit journey as human beings is a great challenge. As humans faced with life's challenges, we can look to the Mother Bear's courage and emulate her vigour and intensity. Bear's example shows us how to face dangers to produce the courage we need neutralize our fears.

Long ago, there was a giant called Kitch-Sabe. Kitch-Sabe walked among the people. His presence was to remind humans to be honest, and to obey the laws of nature. The creator wishes humans to be honest to each other. Being reputed as honest and humble is a high honour. The saying, "There walks an honest man. He can be trusted." is an immense honour to Indigenous Peoples. Altruism and integrity are considered foundation virtues. Elders have said, "Never try to be someone else, live authentically. Be honest with yourself. Accept who you are the way the Creator made you."

The building of a community is entirely dependent on gifts Creator give and how people employ said gifts. The Beaver's example of using his sharp teeth for cutting trees and branches to build his dams and lodges expresses this teaching. If he did not use his teeth, the teeth would continue to grow until they became useless, ultimately making it impossible for him to sustain himself. As with Beaver is with human beings. One's spirit will become weak if it is not fulfilling its use. Proper agency of one's spirit and purpose in life contribute to the development of a peaceful and healthy community.

Recognizing and acknowledging that there is a higher power than man and it is known as the Creator is to be deemed truly humble. To express deference or submission to the Creator through the acceptance that all beings are equal is to capture the spirit of humility. The expression of this humility is manifested through the consideration of others before ourselves. In this way, the Wolf became the teacher of this lesson. He bows his head in the presence of others out of deference, and once hunted, will not take of the food until it can be shared with the pack. His lack of arrogance and respect for his community is a hard lesson, but integral in the Aboriginal way.

To know the truth is to know and understand all of the original laws as given by the Creator- and to remain faithful to them. It is told that in the beginning when the Creator made man and gave him the seven sacred laws, the Grandmother Turtle was present to ensure that the laws would never be lost or forgotten. On the back of a Turtle are the 13 moon, each representing the truth of one cycle of the Earth's rotations around the sun. The 28 markings on her back represent the cycle of the moon and of a woman's body. The shell of the Turtle represents the body real events as created by the Higher Power and serves as a reminder of the Creator's will and teachings.

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

America's Throw away Indian Project; A walking death

Artist: Davêd Joaquên
"Return of White Buffalo Woman"

I have walked by my computer a thousand times since I have decided and publicly declared to tell my story.  I walk by and look at the screen as if it is whispering my name and the keyboard is also whispering, beware, don't listen to it, don't do it.  I continue into the other room.  My fingers feel like a thousand pounds right now.  I have no way of telling my story without hurting someone.  Isn't that strange?

I am an adoptee and the only other people in the world who will understand me without another word is another Native American Survivor of the Adoptee program.  I do not write this for pitiful sake.  But it will illicit pity in you.  I don't want your pity, but a part of me does.  It is a little part deep inside me that says if you feel pitiful for me you actually heard me.  Because when you look at the stark facts of the adoptee program, it is truly a dark and ugly thing.   It is a walking death.

I want you to imagine your community you live in.  I want to picture your neighbors and their families.  I want you to imagine their homes and all the dinner parties you have attended at their houses, the birthday parties, the Chivas. I guess I need the reader to imagine any kind of gathering attended at another's home and in your own home for the purpose of this excercise. I want you to imagine all the children that are friends with your children.  How you have taken your children on play dates.  I want you to imagine your entire town, large or small and try to think of it as a tribe or better yet, your own tribe.  You have your own leaders, healer, hunters, bead artists, carvers, builders, gardens, everything, every talent, contained within your village.

Now I want you to imagine the government barging into your home and taking your children from your custody because they just do not like the way your town lives, the way your language sounds, and they want to take all of your property and they do because they want to.  I want you to image your graveyards where generations of your loved ones and ancestors have been buried.  The most sacred grounds any culture has, the ground to honor it's past.  This government, they don't give a shit about your graveyard either.  The either build over it or maybe they dig it up in one hundred years and take the bones and put it in a museum for your grandchildren to wonder if it is you sitting behind that glass.  That adult grandchild who is himself a grandparent, knows in their soul that the bones behind that glass contain the same DNA that is within their own bones, but they can never return those sacred bones to their sacred grounds because what was once the place where your town was for hundred, maybe thousands of years is completely gone and a new culture of people are living on it.  This adult grandchild who is now a grandparent himself can not ever have those bones return to the family for burial in their new location of consecrated grounds because the law won't allow it unless one can prove you're a direct family member of those bones.

I can not write anymore.  this truly is the most difficult thing I have ever undertaken.  I have to describe to my reader how it feels to me.  In doing so, I have to walk through all of the emotions I have put to rest.  It stirs in me an anger, and a pain so deep.  I have to process.  When I feel inspired again, I will return.  But for now, imagine your children are gone and your property is gone, in fact, your whole town is gone and you are nowhere.  You have no idea where you are.  It might as well be the moon you are on. The only food you have is the rotten food the government is giving you and the only thing to drink is the alcohol the government is giving you.  You are on the moon, no child, rotten food, with only a poisonous substance to drink.  Stay there and look at the emptiness around you and try to imagine how that feels.  Now stay there every day until I write again.  Stay in that place until I return.

I may never return.


Thursday, June 1, 2017

An Achomawi Legend

An Achomawi Legend
Spider Woman

Sixty little spider children shivered as they slept. Snow had fallen every day for months. All the animals were cold, hungry, and frightened. Food supplies were almost gone. No one knew what to do. Blue Jay and Redheaded Woodpecker sang and danced for Silver Gray Fox, who floats above the clouds. Since Silver Gray Fox, the creator, had made the whole world with a song and a dance, Blue jay and Woodpecker hoped to be answered with blue skies. But the snow kept falling.
Finally, the animals decided to ask Coyote. “Coyote’s been around a long time, almost since the beginning. He might know how to reach Silver Gray Fox.” They went to the cave where Coyote was sleeping, told him their troubles, and asked for help. “Grrrrowwwlll…go away,” grumbled Coyote, “and let me think.” Coyote stuck his head into the cold air outside and thought till he caught an idea. He tried singing in little yelps and loud yowls to Silver Gray Fox. Coyote sang and sang, but Silver Gray Fox didn’t listen or didn’t want to. After all, it was Coyote’s mischief-making when the world was new that had caused Silver Gray Fox to go away beyond the clouds in the first place.
Coyote thought he’d better think some more. Suddenly he saw Spider Woman swinging down on a silky thread from the top of the tallest tree in the forest. “Spider Woman’s been on Earth a long, long time,” Coyote thought. “She’s very wise. I’ll ask her what to do.” Coyote loped over to the tree and lifted his ears to Spider Woman. “Spider Woman, O wise weaver, O clever one,” called Coyote in his sweetest voice, “we’re all cold and hungry. Everyone’s afraid this winter will never end. Silver Gray Fox doesn’t seem to notice. Can you help?” Spider Woman swayed her shining black body back and forth, back and forth, thinking and thinking, thinking and thinking.
Her eight black eyes sparkled when she spoke, “I know how to reach Silver Gray Fox, Coyote, but I’m not the one for the work. Everyone will have to help. You’ll need my two youngest children, too. They’re little and light as dandelion fluff, and the fastest spinners in my web.” Spider Woman called up to her two littlest ones. Spinnnnnn! Spinnnnnn! They came down fast, each spinning on eight little legs, fine, black twin Spider Boys, full of curiosity and fun. Spider Woman said, “My dear little quick ones, are you ready for a great adventure?” “Yes! Yes!” they cried. “We’re ready!”
Spider Woman told them her plan, and the Spider Boys set off with Coyote in the snow. They hadn’t gone far when they met two White-Footed Mouse Brothers rooting around for seeds to eat. Coyote told them Spider Woman’s plan. “Will you help?”
Sun began to warm the earth. Shoots of grass pushed up through the melting snow. Meadowlark blew her silver whistle of spring across the valley, calling streams and rivers awake. Coyote came out of hiding, raced to a distant hilltop, and gave a long, long howl of joy. The animals held a great feast to honor the rainbow, Silver Gray Fox, Spider Woman, the Spider Twins, Coyote, and the hard work everyone had done together.
To this day, after the rain, when the sun comes out, dewdrops on spider webs shine with tiny rainbows. This is the spiders’ special reward. You can see for yourself.