Today and every day is this day in Turtle Island / Abya Yala as our communities reweave (even stronger) what was shattered.
This moment in history should be a reminder that calls upon us to bind together because the future of our Nation depends on our ability to Defend, Develop, and Decolonize.
These are the words of Rowan White, a guardian who helps to renew the seeds that are almost lost (The word Mohawk was replaced by Opata):
Today, we are honoring all our relations; tending and making offerings to our ancestor altar. We are bringing in more of the harvest before the rains, and celebrating our Strong Opata lineage of ancestors and treasured family.
Today as many celebrate Indigenous People's Day, we offer up our prayers and remembrance to the spirit of survival within people of all colors. We celebrate that we are all Survivors of all the heart-breaking experiences of the last 500 years...Our stories, our songs, our traditions, our ceremonies, our hearts, and our hope were stronger than the scorched earth policies and theft of our lands than the boarding schools and all the other tactics to take away our sense of collective connection to the Earth.
Today, we celebrate that we are here, bringing in the ancient corn and other seeds that will nourish our bodies and spirits through the winter.
Today, we are sending up our prayers to all those who remind us of our collective resiliency, that we are happy and healthy, and able to carry forward with hope in our hearts. To those mamas who travelled with their families to distant lands to keep them safe; to the elders who kept their indigenous seeds safe while traditional life-ways and food-ways were threatened; to those who sewed the seeds of their ancestors into their clothing to carry them safely to new lands; to the young people of all colors who continue to re-awaken the spirit of Corn Mother when they plant and sing songs in the gardens; to the honored Seed ancestors for continuing to sustain us; even my prayers go to the heart of those involved in seed biotechnology, may they see that their actions deeply violate their own humanity and their connection to the Earth.
Today our family will lift our prayers up to honor the ancestors who survived the unthinkable to carry us on to this day, and to the children who are with us and yet unborn, who will continue the deep work of forgiveness and healing by working in harmony with Mother Earth and singing the seed and heart songs.
My prayers go to each and every one of you today, we are all indigenous to someplace on this beautiful Earth.
This is a story of healing through many generations. A great-great-grand-daughter who is allowed to speak her language.
This is the story of a mother who sings the songs of the sacred corn to her children.
This is the story of children being proud of who they are, who they come from.
This is the story of my great-great-grandmother's dreams and wishes coming to life, in the beat of the water drum and the seeds of the rattle.
This is the story of intergenerational resilience coming alive to dance into another day.