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To the 7th Generation...

The heart of my Indigenous beliefs and values stems from our 7th generation teaching. In essence, it is a vision towards the future. The way I walk my journey now leaves a lasting imprint on the generations behind me. This keeps me walking with intent for it is not just about myself, but rather the greater picture: OUR children’s children’s children. 

It was a Sunday afternoon with my 4 year old goddaughter. After negotiating over what item she could leave the bookstore with, we ended up leaving with three! We found a coffee shop where we could park ourselves, so she could colour and I could ooh and awe over her masterpieces. In the midst of my “oohing and awing”, I found myself in a moment of truth, a moment of knowing the deep joy of this gift of the Creator right in front of me. I found myself in a moment of prayer and intercession, a profound wanting for her future that she would walk in the abundant life Creator has set before her. This was also a moment of lament, for the past and the present reality for Indigenous children. And a moment of anger, for why is it that I find myself wondering why Indigenous children’s rights and well being need to be fought for in the first place…

I wonder what kind of world she will live in 10, 15, 20 years from now. Will the red road* be easier for her to walk as an Indigenous young woman? Will the current statistics for Indigenous women (3x more likely to die a violent death than a woman of any other ethnicity in Canada), still exist for her? Will I as an individual, as a people, as a community with Indigenous and non-Indigenous people, help create a world in which she can live life abundantly and for her children’s children’s children. 

Children are the centre of our communities; it is of utmost importance that we create a better world for them to live. We must build and yes, sometimes fight, for their opportunity to thrive rather than be the statistics that show otherwise. We have to create opportunity in which equality is no longer questioned. So, it is no wonder why we are passionately pursuing the cause of education equity for our First Nations children living on reserves. 

In this season of Advent and of waiting…I also find myself in a moment of hope. When questions of injustice arise and flood my mind, heart, and spirit, hope resurrects again. Instead of becoming overwhelmed and fearful of the unknown for the 7th generation following me, I have hope in a good Creator who has set a path for all of us to live life abundantly. I have hope He will guide my path, my way, and my life so I may leave His love and His truth for the children…our future. 

* The Red Road means walking the good road. A lot of our people in this neck of the woods use this word to capture their sobriety, their return to their way of life as Indigenous person, etc.

[Image: Flickr user Sunsurfr]


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