In the mid-1600s, many great-great-grandmother ago, a respected medicine woman within the Métis tradition, encountered a white man. Her visionary pursuit of strengthening our blood lines sets the stage for a timeless tale we are about to unfold, a story that symbolizes the blending of traditions of respect for the land and has been narrated through countless generations.
"In the time when the wisdom of the land whispered through every leaf and the heartbeat of the buffalo resonated with our own, there stood my great-grandmother, a revered medicine woman. Her eyes, filled with ancient knowledge, watched as the pale stranger laid his paper offerings upon the sacred soil.
'This is the white man's trade,' she observed, her voice soft as the wind through the prairie grass, 'just as we, the children of Earth and Sky, trade with the skins of our kin. These pieces of paper are their buffalo robes.'
When the stranger had shown his offering, paper for the sacred land, my great-grandmother took a handful of clay, shaped by the Creator, and laid it upon the fire. It endured.
She then spoke to the newcomer, 'Now lay your paper upon the fire, and see if it holds as our clay does.'
The stranger's eyes wavered, 'No... my money will burn, for it is mere paper.'
With eyes as deep and knowing as the night sky, she replied, 'Ah, your paper cannot equal our land, can it? The winds will carry it away; the flames consume it; the water corrupt it. But our land is unbreakable.'
She continued, wisdom flowing like the rivers of our homeland, 'Your trade is weak. Our land will last as the sun warms and the rivers flow, nourishing life in all its forms. It was placed here by the Great Spirit; we cannot trade what is not ours.'
With a gentle smile, she offered the pale man a handful of sand from the river's edge, 'Count these grains while I count your money. You'll find our land more precious than your paper. It endures forever.'
The white man's voice trembled, 'I would not live long enough to count this, but you can count the money in mere moments.'
'Very well,' said my great-grandmother, her voice a soft melody, 'but only the Great Spirit can count the grains of sand and the blades of grass on these plains. We cannot give you the land, but as a token of goodwill, we offer anything you can carry with you.'
And so the wisdom of our ancestors, the lessons of the land, and the eternal connection between people and Earth were spoken through my great-grandmother, the medicine woman. Her words were a reminder of the impermanence of material wealth and the enduring sacredness of our lands."
And she finished the story with these final words.
When the blood in your veins returns to the sea,
and the earth in your bones returns to the ground,perhaps then you will remember that this land does not belong to you,it is you who belong
to this land.
In Loving memory of my Grandmother that escaped residential schools in Canada in exchange for indentured servitude to a wealthy family in the United States of America.
Spiritual Laws and guiding principles
Whatever happens is the only thing that could have happened
Whomever you encounter is the right person
Whenever something begins it's the right time
When something is over, it's over.
1. Treat the earth and all that dwell thereon with respect.
2. Remain close to the Great Spirit.
3. Show great respect for your fellow beings.
4. Work together for the benefit of all mankind.
5. Give assistance and kindness wherever needed.
6. Do what you know to be right.
7. Look after the well-being of mind and body
8. Dedicate a share of your efforts to the greater good.
9. Be truthful and honest at all times.
10. Take full responsibility for your actions.