Spring is usually a time of renewal. However, 2020 provided us with new opportunities to reduce inequities and augment all society (including Canada’s Indigenous Peoples) well-being in the next normal. It is our opportunity to reconnect to the ancient wisdom of the Indigenous Founders of Turtle Island, which contributed to Canada’s building nationhood.
You and I have likely met before. Sometime, somewhere, perhaps while I was exploring your metropolis Ottawa, the capital of Canada, or while taking a stroll in our region’s green space and oasis forest, or canoeing on the majestic Outaouais-Ottawa rivers.
This day I begin writing my thoughts on ancient teaching, wisdom and the Indigenous way-of-being, sharing traditional values with diverse Canada.
I am sharing human feelings and my emotional connection to Mother Earth, Turtle Island. My Indigenous Being.
My culture has taught me to learn and appreciate Mother Earth and her abundance: Mind, Spirit, Emotion and Body. The expressions of kindness, gratitude, joy and love for all creation. An appreciation for nature, winged birds that speak to each other, greetings and melodies from the crows, geese, seagulls, blue jays, homes for squirrels, bunnies and rabbits. I am always fascinated by them as they interconnect my “Indigenous Being” to living in the urban centre. My Creator’s Design.
In my backyard was the sight of destruction. Rooted deeply into Mother Earth’s soil were cedar trees fuelled by rainwater, and nourished with natural ingredients beneath the earth. One morning, several cedar trees were removed without kindness and laid bare across the cement floor. Instead of sending these trees to the dump, the Indigenous way would be to repurpose them as mulch or others. Perhaps, the branches would be used at a wake and or the burial of an Indigenous person.
I could not leave my relatives bare naked on the cement floor, alone and isolated. I returned to them with ancient medicine to rekindle human relations to the motherland, rocks, stones, pebbles and the cedar trees. I laid tobacco onto the soil to express my gratitude for life.
I have reclaimed my safe, creative space that links My “Indigenous Being” to relationships with the universe. All of my natures relations provide nourishment on Mother Earth. My inspirations foster positive energies. We have all experienced the present pandemic wave. It may be a sign from Mother Nature that we must pay attention to our environment’s future. Becoming stewards of the land as citizens of the world hold you and me as custodians of one global community in our neighbourhood. Let’s walk together towards our new way of life.
Canada is vibrant and distinct because of its diversity, cultures and immigration from many countries. The history of Turtle Island (Canada) is full of struggles, injustices and inequities. However, new immigrants’ arrival should help Indigenous peoples to become full participants in Canada’s socio-economic fabric.
This relationship with Mother Earth is my sacred connection to MY Ancestors and ancient wisdom knowledge system.
The article by Denise Anne Boissoneau called My Reflection on My Indigenous Being was first published in the award winning anthology COVID-19 Chronicles, Reflections on the 2020 Pandemic, which the Media Club of Ottawa co-produced with the Ottawa Ethnic Media Forum in 2020.
Denise Anne attended some of our meetings just prior to the arrival of the pandemic in 2020. She is an inspiring Indigenous artist advocate. An Ojibwe Anishinaabe Kwe from Manitoulin Island, and member of Garden River First Nation, Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, Canada. She is a Mom and Grandmother of three.