Proud to be a French Ojibway living in Canada!
Proud to be a French Ojibway living in Canada!
“The Creator does not need money.. actually “man” does not need money to exist on this earth either. But the greed of man and the need to be the best with the best has over run 3 simple needs… respect.. the barter system and inner peace. Today’s greed has made it pretty much impossible many to live off the grid. And just be happy waking in the morning, tending to the earth around them, so the earth awards us with food and water.. what does any person take with them to the grave? Not one thing.. nothing… you come into this world empty handed, you leave this world empty handed.. it’s time to appreciate the, “pause” , and respect life between those 2 life events… birth and death. The more I look into my culture and ancestry of Ojibway, the first peoples of Canada, how beautiful life was back in the beginning.. until religion came knocking at the door, on the shores.” – Snowy Solomon
I have been on a spiritual path for 11 years now. I did not know till I was a teen that I am half ojibway native on Dads side and half French from Moms side.
My father did not talk about being a native man when I was growing up, I did not see, as a child, single out, a native child in the neighbourhood. As a child, to me, we were just all people. I did not know what my father went through as a native child in northern Ontario Canada.
One day, still in my teen years, he presented me with a laminated card that stated I was a native in the eyes of the Canadian government. When I asked him what was the card for, all he said, was, if you want a higher education or need medication, it will be covered. He told me that I was going to sit before a group of native people on the First Nation and asked questions about what I want from this firstt nations and what could I bring to the reservation. I recall that day very clear, still not clear on what I was doing there or what was about to happen. I was brought into a room with a large table and there were native elders sitting around that table. With quiet voices, I was spoken to in what was the ojibway language, I was asked questions, in the language. There was an English speaking person who repeated the questions quietly to me and I answered what I thought was right answers. I was lost.
For years, to my knowledge I belonged to the reservation according to Dad, cause that is where he and his father come from.
At that time in my life, I did not feel any different or did not know if I was, because I was not talked to about my heritage by anyone on Dads side, nor did we participate in any FN events. I was lost.
11 years ago, I started a spiritual path and I found a lot of the native teachings were working for me. I learnt the majority at a place I worked at, I started to understand but knew there was so much still to learn.
So with each new thing I learnt, I shared through out my writings. The beliefs got me through so much hardships over the years and I began to feel like I was an ojibway man’s daughter. I was and am proud to be my fathers daughter. But life is funny, recently I am questioning my faith once again. And it was more evident when I was told I am half breed, and that my French heritage seemed stronger than my native heritage.
I have always seen my native heritage as being the kinder part of myself, it is the spiritual part that made me feel whole.
I don’t know if I would be alive today if it were not for my native spiritual self.
I gained a new respect for my father, I began to understand who is was as a child many years ago to the adult he grew to be.
I may not speak the ojibway language or live on a first nations community, yet I try to respect the teachings when I am presented with them.
There is a bit of a tug of war going on within me now that I was called a half breed, but again, that is just a label.. I am me, I am a child of the Creator, I am my fathers daughter at the end of the day and no matter who may criticize the native man, woman or child, there is no one that can take away, who they are, who I am, mind, body, soul and spirit.. I shall feed my wonder, my inner peace with the grace of the Creator, as He sees fit.
As a human race we have evolved in many great ways and not so many great ways. Technology has come a long way, to the point, everything gets video taped. There is no more second guessing what may have happened when someone breaks the law, it will be filmed, even when it is the law who is breaking it. No one is safe from getting caught red handed. But there is just as many who do invade the privacy of others with that technology, from young people posting pictures on social sites of a girl who in the heat of the moment may have trusted a guy, was using her heart instead of her head and that heart felt moment for her turns into heartache. .she commits suicide because the world sees what 99% of people did at some point in their life, trust someone, and she was taped and shamed. Then you have people who abuse women and children. Twenty years ago or more, women and children were abused behind closed doors, nothing was said by the abused when they left that home, afraid of retaliation if they did. Suppressed and belittled, that woman and or child endured years of abuse. And the sad part of that one is.. IT IS STILL HAPPENING!!!.. In this day and age, that abuse is still happening, even with all the technology, warnings and help out there, the abuser is still abusing. And that woman and child are still suppressed and made to feel shame. This has to change. We need to evolve to where that abuser will think twice before raising that hand or voice, we need the abuser to fear what will happen if he does, we need the abuser to be suppressed and feel shame. Then I think about how much abuse and suppression has happened to the indigenous people in this great country. If only we had today’s technology back in those days, to record the abuse of this country’s indigenous nation. But it is no secret, it is written, somewhere, for all to read. It is just we have become mind lazy. If we don’t see instantaneously, what did or is happening, we tend not to believe or take the time to understand. I am a daughter of one of those native children put in a residential school. No I was not there at the time, no I never seen film footage of what my father went through as a child. But I know for a fact how he felt, not only as a child, suppressed and abused, but as an adult who’s dignity and self right was stripped from him. I know for a fact the shame he felt at the hands of the white man, the priests, because I was at the receiving end of my father’s hand for many years and as a child had no idea what I was doing wrong to warrant such abuse and I am not going to speak for anyone else in our household, because every one has their story. Every child has a story to tell when they grow into adults, IF and that is a big IF, they live long enough to realize they did nothing wrong and begin to heal and forgive. Don’t get me wrong, I love my father with all my heart. I understand my father, even today, after he has passed over, the wrong that was done him as a child, as a native child and I have forgiven him because of what he shared with me. However, that little boy and little native girl from back in the day, is and are still being abused and taken for granted, the offspring, the great grandchildren of those children, are still being suppressed and made to feel like they are not worthy of protection from abusers and killers. Their mother’s and fathers are being told that their child’s death is not a priority to this country’s government. And once the house burns down, killing 2 native babies, once the smoke settles, ashes to ashes, the silence is deafening… no one is hearing the cries of the women and children of indigenous heritage..
But! I hope and pray that as this world evolves, in time, so does the understanding, no matter your race, religion or color of your skin, your life does matter to your neighbour, to your government. And that the need for healing is so great. But to heal, the non-native needs to take the time to read, to talk, to listen to what has happened to their indigenous brothers and sisters and stand beside them, not in front of them and no child is left behind in shame or alone in the darkness of being misunderstood, because a little light was always shining, but made brighter with the empathy of ALL the peoples of this great country, we call Canada!
“I learned from what The elders say along the path of my healing journey. Wounded people often learn to become the wounded healers because they develop empathy for the suffering of others. ‘The longest road you’re going to have to walk is from your head to your heart.’ But they also say you can’t speak to the people as a leader unless you’ve made the return journey. From the heart back to the head.” ~ E.Morgan
~White Buffalo Calf Woman talked with the women of the village that they might remember their great importance and role in the life of the tribe, for it was the women who sustained the tribe…she also talked to the children, reminding them that they were the future of the tribe and must prepare themselves in a good and sacred way…the Sacred Pipe was entrusted to them, however, the trust was not for them alone, but for …all the People…~ ~~American Indian Prophecies~
This tragedy started behind closed doors of every home on the Cul de Sac. And it will continue to spin out of control with a sour long term result because of a few individuals acting independently serving their own self interest. Yet at the end of the day they will be the only one losing the game they play. It’s been a tug of war for so long, the lack of understanding when it comes to the history of condemnation of the native peoples. There is a constant phrase in the air, “Get over it – it is done. We are not responsible for what our fore-fathers did back in the day.” That is correct, but today is not yesterday and the colors of the forefathers shine bright in the family tree, when comments such as below are made and are heard by the native young, trying to live in a new world, that is still thinking like the old world.
“These damn Native kids, they’re always getting stuff for free. They don’t care about anything. Just like all the other Natives.”
It is time for non-natives to speak out against such racism in the world today if there is to be any peace in the neighbourhoods for their children and grandchildren. Don’t let history repeat it self. What is not taught in the history books in your children’s school, should be taught at home. Stop leaving your child’s moral education up to some one else. Enlighten them first on the tragedy, when it began, how it keeps an ebb and flow. It will always have an ebb and flow but it is about making the flowing back of your teachings, knowledge, as they return into the ocean of life.
In Canada alone, of the three Aboriginal groups, First Nations 851,560 has the largest population, followed by Métis 451,795, and Inuits 59,445. Yes our numbers are great and for this country we can make a difference in the future of our children. Teaching them to stand up and for each other as individuals when it comes to their different heritage and culture, to them as a group of people, no matter their race.
The peace of our children’s world will have to be pledged by the mother’s of all children from the 4 points of this country, Canada, the village. It is time, time to teach, time to learn and time to embrace all that we are and all that we can be with pride and the only sacrifice made will be ignorance.
Its not always easy to understand another persons heritage or culture, why they do the
things they do with regards. I believe ignorance plays a big part when anyone comes to their
own conclusion thinking they know another persons culture, coming across as very critical.
We all come from somewhere, someone and no one should be discounted in any way.
There is a new wave it seems with regards to the native culture and non-natives. The non-natives
are wanting to experience the native culture, which is a great thing, but what part are
they wanting to experience? I think to some degree they are not sure themselves, but sense
something great about the native man/woman/child. The beauty of the native person is their
spirituality, this is what I think is the magnet to non natives.
This is all my personal thoughts with regards and don’t speak for any other native or non-native.
Being on the internet there is no shortage of definitions with regards to spirituality,
native or not and just like you can’t believe everything you are told, we should not believe
everything we read either. I guess one could say you’re on a vision quest, you need a
change in your life and or you’re wondering what you should do with the rest of your life
which can be so confusing most of the time. The road is never a straight and narrow one,
things are always changing, most of the time it is an uphill battle and we ask the question
I do believe any vision quest does not end till we are well into our adult hood, having
experienced so much of life, and live to tell about it. There are times when we meet up with
someone that we do not consider to be an elder yet they seem so wise and that is usually
because they have been through a lot in their young lives, sorted it out, learnt the lesson and
is able to relay the answers to some questions more easily than others. We are all born with
the ability to create meaning for our own lives and it does not happen over night, it is a
process of growth, first physically, then spiritually through coming of age.. so the vision quest
was and still is in the defining moment in a persons life when they come to terms with all that
has happened, can honestly say, without regret, and have a peace of mind spiritually.
I do believe in a Higher Power, something greater than myself and I also believe that any hill
I climb in my life is so I can relate to another who has climbed the same hill, so I can have a
greater sense of empathy, maybe I am wrong and this is just my way of not going crazy
when things don’t go smoothly. I told a friend not long ago, now when I am in pain, I begin to pray, at times in tears, I don’t ask ‘why me?’, anymore in prayer, I ask for healing.
That is a part of my spirituality, a part of who I am, because I know that
there is someone out there in greater pain than I and I don’t have to watch television to see it
or hear about it on the radio, there are people in some sort of pain around all of us daily. We
can not fix the whole world but we can help a friend, a family member or a neighbor, making
changes in our own world and in doing so, others do the same and on and on.
I am so proud of my native heritage and even more so, I am proud to be ME, native or