Garry Raven: Open Response

Posted on March 11th, 2010

Ahnee,

As an Elder and a pipe carrier the lands on the Eastside of Lake Winnipeg is sacred. It is the place where the Creator sits, where we get our teachings, hold our ceremonies, have our sweat lodges, a place to pick our sacred medicines and where we still hunt, fish, gather and trap for food.

For those of us, and there are many, on the Eastside of Lake Winnipeg who maintain and still practice our traditional ways it is our duty, given to us by the Creator, to respect, honour and protect the thing that sustains all life – Mother Earth. Simply put, for us the land is part of who we are as a people, as a nation and as a country.

The abuse Mother Earth is now suffering from in the name of so called progress is an affront to not only us but to all living things who depend on her to sustain life.

The four scared elements; Air, Water, Earth and Fire are all being heavily impacted globally in relentless pursuit of natural resources. Yet, we have forgotten where all this natural wealth has comes from – Mother Earth. What we do to her we do to ourselves.

“…it is our duty, given to us by the Creator, to respect, honour and protect the thing that sustains all life – Mother Earth”

I and many others have gathered over the years to smoke our pipes, hold our shaking tent ceremonies and to discuss the fate of the Eastside of Lake Winnipeg and it must be said, that Mother Earth does not belong to us, but that we have to care for and maintain the delicate balance of nature for the sake of the well being of our children and of all future generations.

It is our sacred duty as humans to preserve Mother Earth and to honour the intentions of our Creator. For if we respect the gifts given to us by the Creator, these gifts will last forever. But if we disrespect these gifts and if we destroy them then they will end and we will end.

Even some of our very own First Nations people have forgotten our traditional teachings and the responsibilities given to them by the Creator. They have gotten lost on the wrong path – a path of destruction.

As an Elder and a pipe carrier it is my duty to teach them of these responsibilities. And if necessary, we as traditional elders, as pipe carriers and as the keepers of our sacred knowledge will gather once again and meet with those who have lost their way and remind them of these sacred teachings.

What is needed now more then ever is to walk the path of reconstruction – it is a time for healing and mending of Mother Earth as she is gravely ill.

Miigwetch,

Garry Raven
Morning Star – Good Thunder Voice
Hollow Water First Nation