Untangled Thought (1997)

By Nuxilhtimut (Melvina Mack)

1 above all others; chief; supreme
2 supreme in power, rank, etc.
3 independent of all others (a sovereign state)
n. a monarch or ruler

1 the status, rule, etc., of a sovereign
2 supreme and independent authority

We, of the Seventh Generation feel the memories stir deep within; coursing through our veins the need to reaffirm, to reclaim the voice too long silenced and most importantly to be proactive rather than reactive to the challenges that face our people today; this course of action will be the reawakening and standing firm within our beliefs, values, traditions, songs and stories which connect us to each our own, Manaquays the Creator. Only from this connection will our people again transcend the path which was originally laid for us.

I believe there has always been the common thread which binds us to the Creator. However; with the arrival of the `other' people and their ways, the thread stretched into obtuse proportions, even severed in some cases, but not forgotten. The challenge to gather the rich remnants in order to again forge ahead; as was meant to be, is becoming clearer to many indigenous peoples. We hear on the radio or television stories, success stories of the transition from Band Council systems to Traditional Governance which takes into consideration all the people rather than select few families thus moving away from nepotism, which can and does tempt deception and corruption.

We as a people must fine tune and refocus a vision, the vision that the first peoples passed onto us. This task will not be an easy one because of the many distractions and adopted values which have become a way of life for the majority of our brothers and sisters. Materialism along with many other isms thrives and maintains a frame of mind that hinders growth: chokes all senses: leads us down a path of destruction and needless disharmony. We must bring into view, a future which is not tagged with dollars and cents, to one that reveals the larger picture of the give and take of the land, remembering always our responsibility as Caretakers.

History reveals itself in the eyes of our people, lost in the maelstrom of a skidrow. History is drowned by alcohol and drugs. History is lost in the name of Christ. History commits suicide, rapes, murders, abuses and weighs heavy the eyelids to any kind of bright future. But. History also echos survival! Do you hear? Survival, despite the many tests we as a people have failed, overlooked and ignored. We make History today by choosing to recognize where we have come from; to accepting where we are, sharing and moving on.

Yes, I know it sounds simple and it is not, nor is it all complicated! The shackles of colonization will not be shed so easily for we are still bound by the Indian Act which we all know is paternalistic.

Paternalism: the governing in a manner suggesting a father's relationship with his children.

But listen: How are we bound to the Indian Act? Only by acknowledging it; are we bound by it. The Indian Act is not our way. It is not our way of governing ourselves, plain and simple. Only until we make a stand against paternalism can we truly stand with our heads to the sun.

We must assert ourselves and manifest our own destiny. Shake loose the shackles which take away our responsibility and dignity as truly indigenous people, Nuxalkmc. It is time for the people to take back their responsibility as Caretakers of the Land. This momentum whispers life into the smouldering embers of the once blazing fire fed by our ancestors. The momentum sparks life in the songs of ceremony, lightens the step in dance and if you listen very carefully you'll hear `your' heartbeat become one with the land.

The land. The land. The land is sacred just as life is sacred. We eat of the land: roots, medicines, fish, meat, berries, grains, and more. Our connection to Her is through Her, we are one. How have we wandered so far away from our responsibility; to where we now condone and neglect our duty. We know. I know. You know!

We have become loyal, instead, to the demands and values of a culture alien to us, instead of to each other and to the land. We have lost sight of who is feeding us, we are own tail and don't realize when, why and what for. Out of focus, the horizon is out of focus, the music is lost in static and the larger picture we no longer see. We have become predictable puppets to a society, not able to assimilate us, but, continues to thrive and maintain control over our lives and the natural resources. Question Loyalty, Question Authority. We have a choice!

Listen. Feel. Touch. Live.

Listen to your heartbeat, beat as one with the land

Feel your connection to all living creatures, to the land

Touch with gentleness all living creatures, plants and beings and the land

Live with and accept with humility the gifts given by the Creator Manaquays.

Shed the cloak, the tattered cloak of the Indian act which breeds paternalism. Take instead the thread of commonality and spiral on the path as laid out by the Creator and transcend; sing and dance to the music of life, speak the language of our ancestors, eat the food which feed the soul, let thanksgiving be your guide and prayers disperse in the winds of time to each their own, Creator.

The key to the shackles lay within the folds of spirituality; reach in reach out reach through the written history and open the path to true and pure potential; let manifest for future generations atonement with the land.


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