Sunday, January 8, 2012

Week 50 - The Elders Speak: Joe Chosa (Respect and Language)

Skabewis put this great video on YouTube with Joe Chosa talking about respect and the language.

We must always listen to our elders. This is very important. Listen to the elders and respect them.

Monday, January 2, 2012

MPR on the Ojibwe

A few years ago, Minnesota Public Radio did a GREAT feature on the Ojibwe people called Rekindling the Spirit: The Rebirth of American Indian Spirituality and it is in parts.

Please read it.

Rekindling the Spirit: The Rebirth of American Indian Spirituality - "They call the traditional life "walking the Red Road. "They believe old ways are bringing new hope to Indian Country."

Part 1: The Spirits Spoke to Him - "Bob Shimek believes the tobacco smoke carries prayers to the Great Spirit. The sage purifies his body and soul. Shimek fans the burning embers with an eagle feather. He cups the smoke in his hands and pulls it toward his face and body. The ceremony is called smudging. He offers a prayer in Ojibwe, and translates."

Part 2: The Seventh Fire - "The Ojibwe believe each plant has its own soul. A culture that believes plants have souls would not purposely destroy them. Plants are sacred beings. Each has an important purpose in creation."

Part 3: Christianizing the Indians - "Years of repression caused many Indian people to lose touch with traditional ways. Worship was illegal for generations of Indians."

Part 4: One Church, Two Traditions - "Acceptance and tolerance are part of Indian culture. But there are rifts among Christians and traditional Native people on Red Lake."

Part 5: Where Tradition Thrives - "The spirits might gift someone with a medicine, they might gift someone with a song. They might gift someone with, you know, the right to give names, and give them a whole bunch of Indian names to give to different people."

Part 6: Ceremony and Symbolism - "Ceremonies are the most visible part of American Indian spirituality. But there's much more to walking the Red Road than the occasional ceremony. Anishinaabe people say their spiritual beliefs influence everything they do, every decision they make."

Part 7: The Healing Spirit - "I can teach you about herbs and I can teach you a lot of different things. But what I do in that room over there, I can't teach you," says Sandman. "It has to come from a different place. Call it the spirit realm, dreams, God, the Creator, it has to come from him. To sit here and say I fully understand it -- I don't."

Part 8: Returning to the Red Road - "Some spiritual leaders call the resurgence a silent revolution. Indian people are quietly turning to the ways of their ancestors. Tribal elder Frank Dickinson is a believer in the prophecy of the seven fires. It foretold a rebirth of the Anishinaabe people. Dickinson says young people are the hope for a better future."

The Jewelry on American Culture - "Many American Indians are reclaiming their native spirituality. They are following traditional beliefs and ceremonies. Some of those ceremonies were illegal for generations of Indians. They were done in secret and carefully protected. Today, many American Indians fear their faith is once again under assault -- this time from people who want to buy spirituality."

Preserving the Language - "For more than a century, the Ojibwe language has been under assault. Generations of American Indians were forced into government or church-run boarding schools, where their native language and culture were forbidden. Today, only a few can speak Ojibwe fluently. But there are growing efforts to revive the language. Some say preserving it is essential to keeping the culture alive. The language is also a vital link to the old spiritual ways."