Kotchv Humoti Statement on Idle No More:
The Elder was asked to give a talk to many different races, which include many Aboriginal people on the movement called, ‘Idle no More.’
He began by stating, ‘it is important that you understand the statement, ‘we are the land’ in order that what I have to say makes sense. What I mean is that Creator chose us to be Stewards or caretakers of the land. Being Stewards of the Land is a sacred responsibility, one that we have taken on since the beginning of time. Some people have mistakenly taken being Stewards of the Land means that the land that belongs to one side of a border is our only responsibility, while others understand that the land is not separated by borders that man has created. In our world view, we are related to all of creation and believe that everything has spirit.
We are a chosen people, charged with preservation of the land and cultural beliefs for the next Seven Generations, and each generation that arrives is also charged with the same care for the next Seven Generations and so on; this means that we are Stewards of the land for all time. Lately, we have seen a rising of our people, a movement where we declared that we live on purpose as Stewards of the Land and keepers of the culture, which states that we, the Aboriginal peoples of Canada, shall be ‘Idle no More’.
Our Ancestors passed the sacred responsibility of Stewardship and keepers of culture to us, but we must remember that as a result of European contact we lost up to 146 million of our relatives due to diseases, relocation by military rule, and wide racially prejudiced laws which all contributed to the mass loss of our people’s lives. Sadly, we are still subjected to the same racist treatment today, for example; we continued to be denied clean water, we live in poverty, overall we are subjected to horrific third world conditions although we live in one of the richest countries of the world.
Regardless, our people remain sacredly connected to the land; and as a result, we feel we represent the land we belong to, and we proudly proclaim and acknowledge our symbiotic relationship with the land. We have come to understand that the very treatment of our people is in direct proportion to the land; it too is dying because of the disease, relocation (excavation), and laws that are creating mass loss of the land.
Many of us experienced disconnection from our communities for various reasons, including: lack of housing, lack of employment, incarceration, and there are still others who left because they were forced into residential school, or were put in foster care or were adopted out. As a result of the movement, many of those who were seemingly past caring, those who appeared holistically powerless, those who appeared to have given up, those who have abused themselves or others through substance use, violence or in many self defeating ways; have awoken. They are seeking strength in the culture; they are seeking themselves through spirituality, they are returning to be Stewards of the Land. I
n the excitement of the movement and as people return to our traditions and a sense of belonging, there would be those who would exploit this movement causing lateral violence, which may be in part because of the disconnection to the community, as a result; there are those who work towards perpetuating violence because this is all they are capable of at this moment. We must pray for them. There are those who want to make a positive difference however, they are just beginning their own healing journey and therefore, they believe that only harmful behavior will work, because this is all they are capable at this time. We must pray for them.
It would be easy to become angry and join with those who would perpetuate violence, perhaps the same violence that is being leveled against our people however, using violence against one another is a harmful cycle that continues to until someone decides to break it. We must pray for ourselves. We must remember that it is in light of our awareness of the devastation and destruction of the land and our culture that we have returned en masse to our strongest traditions of our people. The movement has brought together the seekers, those who never seemed to find a sense of belonging within our culture, and those who felt excluded; in fact this movement has brought us together as Aboriginal peoples across the lands. We must pray for one another.
There were those of us who have lived outside the community; however, we never forgot our roots. Separately we worked for the betterment of our people, waiting for the one who would be the voice for many. She (Chief Spence) has come to the people; like the White Buffalo Calf Woman; she requests that her people rely on their spirituality as their strength. She asks that we rely on the power of the pipe, the round dance, the circle, the drum, our sacred voice, fasting and our ceremonies as a peaceful way to create awareness of our people’s plight and for our the plight of the land. The Elders stand witness to the movement and are incredibly proud of our people.
We ask that the people don’t lose sight of their purpose of this movement and the fact that we have been charged with breaking harmful cycles created by system barriers. We ask the organizers of the different events to keep in mind the safety of the children and the Elders as they join in the movement. We ask our people to consider that if a sign is put in a child’s hands; that the first placard they hold is one that speaks to the love of the land, the love of the people, that speaks to the love of spirituality and culture; not one that perpetuates hate, violent or racist views.
We ask that the Elders physical limitations be taken into consideration. We must remember we are people of culture and in our cultural views that children and Elders are sacred gifts and are holders of the wisdom of our culture and will ensure the continuation of our culture for the generations to come.
As we stand ‘Idle no More’, we are rising up with One Heart, One Mind; a gathering of spiritual beings, a gathering of cultural warriors; it is beautiful movement, it is the lighting of spiritual fire of the Seven Generations; our Ancestors are watching and their spirits are dancing. This movement is reflective of our sacred responsibility as Stewards or caretakers of the land, which is a peaceful endeavor as nothing grows in violence, except more violence and as our world view is that we are related to all of creation, all races and all peoples, we must remain peaceful.
We are chosen people we are charged with preservation, care and nurturing of the sacred land for the next Seven Generations. May Creator bless us in our sacred work. (ejh)"
IDLE NO MORE OKLAHOMA
Sunday 1/20 in Tulsa, Utica Square @ 2 PM
Monday 1/21 in OKC, MLK Parade, NW 7th & Robinson @ 1 PM
Saturday 1/26 in Tulsa, Creek Community Center @ 7 PM
Saturday 1/26 in Durant, Choctaw Casino @ 7 PM
Monday 1/28 in OKC, Oklahoma State Capitol @ 11 AM
Sunday 2/10 in OKC, Downtown Public Library @ 3 PM
ONE VOICE - ONE FIRE- ONE SPIRIT