MNN. FEB 3, 2013. The “words that come before” is a dedication to the coming faces that we do every day. We place ourselves within an interdependent relationship with the natural world. We remind ourselves that we are equal with all elements of nature.
The Indigenous women are the progenitors of the soil of this land. It is held for the coming generations of our people yet unborn. Sovereign power is exercised to remind us of our way of life based on the Kaianereh’ko:wa, the Great Law of Peace. The natural world is the perfect reality. At every gathering, the “ohenton kariwa’tek:wen” is said so that we may gather our minds together as one.
First, let us pay our respects to the people and remind ourselves of the necessity of good relations between ourselves in order to be productive and happy. So be it in our minds.
Let us extend our respect to our Great Mother Earth, and how the functions of the women parallels the role of the earth. The immunities and medicines we inherit come from living on her. So be it in our minds.
Let us extend our thanks for our cousins, all the waters, and to the contents of the waters – the fish, plant life and other things. Food and medicines needed to live healthily come from the waters. So be it in our minds.
Let us now extend our respect to our sisters, the plant life, such as corn, beans and squash, strawberries and other foods. So be it in our minds.
Let us give our respect to our brothers and sisters, the animals, insects and birds, who are also beneficial to the people. So be it in our minds.
Let us give our thanks to our grandfathers, the four winds and thunderers. They help renew nature for the peopleSo be it in our minds.
Let us now give our thanks to our grandmother, the moon, which regulates all female life. From her we learn the best time to put seeds into the ground and pick medicines. So be it in our minds.
Let us now give our respects to our eldest brother, the Sun, who is the example for the men to follow. The sun supports the earth by warming it so things can grow. He gives support and reinforcement to the people. He beautifies everything that has been put on the earth. They protect and support the people, particularly the women. They help raise the children and ensure their well-being and continuation of life. So be it in our minds.
Let us now give respect to our distant cousins, the stars, who have a lot of knowledge and strength when we need them. So be it in our minds.
Let us give thanks to our teachers who pass on the language, culture and messages from our ancestors. So be it in our minds.
We give thanks to all our relatives of the natural world, to all that helps human life, to the “Kasasten’sera’kowa sa oiera”, the great natural power, which is the power that produces them. We place ourselves in an interdependent system of relationships of all elements of nature, which are equal. We shall never know the face of this power, nor the name of this power, nor where this power dwells. We know it is logical, neither male nor female. So be it in our minds.
We, the people have the duty to rescue this earth for the faces yet unborn, who are under its surface and will be released to us. We work together to create an environment that will give them a good life on earth. So be it in our minds.
We, the people, work together for the continuity of life. Saving humanity and the earth is through exercising the power of the Kaianereh’ko:wa. If there is anything in the great natural world that we forgot to thank, we add it here. So be it in our minds.
Now that we have given thanks and respect to all elements of Creation, we are ready to deal with the matters at hand.
Song: We ask here for the silence, to sit still and block everything out so that we can only hear the Earth spinning.
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