by Helmut Enns
A group from Brighton’s United Church and a growing group of friends have been on a virtual walk from the Atlantic to the Pacific, and perhaps to the Arctic Ocean. Prior to the walk, and now, along the way, visits with First Nations communities are helping gain an insight into community life, community issues, and concerns for creation, concerns crucial to all of us. You are invited to join us on this journey, contact me for more information.
In February, DJ Fife, Park Warden at Petroglyphs Provincial Park, spoke to us. DJ has focused on recovering his Indigenous connections, through learning his language, a language born in relationship to all Creation. By spending every possible minute in nature with those that fly, those that swim, those that travel on four legs, those that sway in the breeze, yes, with all our relations, DJ Fife is learning to listen, and to speak about the concerns of creation.
In March, Anne Taylor, whose spirit name is Loon Feather, spoke of her path to a deep connection with the land and the language. Her Granny taught her to be proud of her heritage. Her Papa taught her about connecting with the land and the water and all those who dwell there. Anne challenged us to do everything in our power to assist Indigenous children in learning their language, to recover their heritage and teachings. We can all benefit from this knowledge, but for it to survive, we need to help restore it for First Nations Children, restore what we so effectively tried to destroy.
In April, from the shores of the Shubenacadie River, Mi’kmaq Grandmother Dorene Bernard implored us to love water, thank water, and respect water. One day, while visiting the Shubenacadie River, Dorene observed some heavy equipment at work, and soon discovered that a natural gas project was about to pollute the river with thousands of gallons of salt deposits, part of the process of cleaning salt caverns for natural gas storage. You can learn more by viewing the documentary, “There’s Something in the Water”, available on Netflix.
Fragile gifts of water, language, and a thriving environment go hand in hand. Mary-Anne Kechego says we will be very poor people if we do not do all we can to preserve heritage plants, preserve language, persist in our love and care of all life. With love, care, respect, and a lot of effort, each of us attentive to these fragile gifts can respond in ways that lead us on a path towards a healthy creation for the next seven generations.
by Helmut Enns