” I am saying that the real reason most Onkwehonwe (Original People) endure unhappy and unhealthy lives has nothing to do with governmental powers or money. The lack of these things only contributes to making a bad situation worse. The root of the problem is that we are living through a spiritual crisis, a time of darkness that descended on our people when we became disconnected from our lands and from our traditional ways of life. We are divided amongst ourselves and confused in our own minds about who we are and what kind of life we should be living. We depend on others to feed us and to teach us how to look, feel, live. We still turn to white men for the answers to our problems; worse yet, we have started to trust them. There are no more leaders and hardly a place left to go where we can just be native. We are prophetic Seventh Generation: if we do not find a way out of the crises, we will be consumed by the darkness, and whether it is through self-destruction or assimilation, we will not survive.”
Wasase: Indigenous Pathways of Action and Freedom
Seventh Generation. I was told that each of my choices today will have an impact on the lives of the next seven generations. A long time ago (7 generations) it was foretold that the seventh generation will begin the shift towards healing and wholeness. A resurgence of traditions and revitalized culture will emerge. It is exciting to be a part of this period of renewal and I see the change within my home community. However I do share Taiaiake Alfred’s urgency, that this must take place and we are to fulfill our duties as modern-day warriors and fight to keep what is ours.
When you don’t know what to do, pray. Go and lay down some tobacco and pray earnestly and whole heartedly. Talk to the forests and let them hold your secrets and carry your pain upwards towards the light. Work on your own journey and connection with Creator and prepare yourself for the collective journey ahead. Your community needs you. Your nation needs you. We are all connected… even I need you.
The Grandmothers and Grandfathers are with you now. You come from Indigenous seed and ancient forests have laid roots deep beneath your feet. You are walking on the bodies of those who came before you. Do not ever feel unsupported or alone, that could not be any further from the truth.
I want to clarify that I am not trying to draw a definite and endless line between all Europeans and myself. I do not roam about secretly seething and holding ill wishes for all non Indigenous people. Reverse racism got struck off the “cool list of things to do when you’re oppressed” a long, long time ago. It is not the answer. My Grandfather was a white blue-eyed man from Montana, decorated with prison tattoos and language of a sailor. However he did spend a lot of his life on the reservation with my Grandma and could build a lean too in the blink of an eye. He was one of those, “brown at heart”, kind of guys.
If we choose to be a proud people who acknowledge the truth of our history, seek to change the errors of the present, and believe in our original teachings while rejecting modern-day European beliefs and values… we are not being radical or racist. We are just trying to be ourselves, the way we were meant to be.