Canada | Opinion

Dave Courchene: Spirit Tour aims to inspire us to walk together

Dave Courchene. Photo from The Turtle Lodge / Facebook

Dave Courchene of The Turtle Lodge shares the inspiration for the Spirit Tour that will become a part of the Canadian Museum for Human Rights:
As the Original free and independent Peoples of this land, we have the distinction of being the roots of our homeland. This positions us with the responsibility to be the true leaders and the voice of our homeland. Derived from the original domain of Spirit, we present Mikinak-Keya – Trail of the Turtle – The Spirit Tour, as our gift to the Canadian Museum for Human Rights and all people of the world.

For the Original People, Mother Earth is the face of the Great Spirit. In our belief system, everyone and everything is governed first by Spiritual Laws – the values that connect us to a Higher Power and inspire us to have a spirit of Kizhay Ottiziwin – Beings of Kindness. For the Original People, human rights do not come from paper – they are not man-made; they come from the Great Spirit. Everyone and everything is held together and governed by Spiritual Laws and Natural Laws – laws that are woven into the fabric of Creation and written upon the Earth. We refer to this as the Great Binding Law of the Great Spirit.

The Original People continue to live in an environment of imposition and marginalisation, which has denied our inherent right to be an autonomous and self-determining People. In our language the term Ki ongonaa – ‘the burying of a way of life’ – the genocide and the suppression of a people and their sacred teachings through colonization, secular legislation and ignorance, describes our recent and continued experience.

Get the Story:
Dave Courchene: The Trail of the Turtle (Indian Country Today 12/26)

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