There are many beautiful things in the world. Of those beautiful things are youth. How beautiful everything and everyone is when they are young. Children should not be made to suffer. It is so refreshing to hear the laugh of a child. We don't hear laughter like that in adults (except for Indian Women at Bingo). Adults do laugh and some laugh with abandon and it is great to hear and see. But Children, there is something magical in their happiness. A child has so much to offer with their knowledge. They see the world in all its greatness. They can understand the wonder of it all. There is a Teaching of the Spirit, "we are Spirits before we become beings and we go back to Spirits." Children when they are born still remember and see they are Spirits. So they are connected until they age up and this is to the point where the kids forget their Spirit. Don't believe me? I guess. Why do small kids see people we cannot see? Imaginary? It could be the make it up, but it could be they are still connected to the Spirits. Of course there will be older children who have imaginary friends, but those children have grown past the age of remembering their Spirit.
It is fascinating how anyone can provide knowledge to others. Little kids sharing with others, and nurturing their peers, or teaching, even to adults. When I was a younger husband and father, I was not the best, actually I was a jerk. I was ranting around the house, being angry at my wife, when my three year old took my wife by the hand and took her to the bedroom, as she is walking with her mom,, the three year old says to her mom, "I'm going to tell my Daddy to shut up." Thank the Heavens for small children. They are special gifts lent to the world. I have seen the kindness in children and have often thought, it is inside them and they show us. My youngest grand-daughter always wants to go to the playground at the school by our house. I take her and when the smaller grades are out there, the girls are always first to go play with my grand daughter-Noozhis. They hover, they hold, they hug, they encourage and they smile. What a world it is to be a young child. All that goodness and they are willing to share it. They share it with everyone.
For whatever reason we tend to lose those Teachings the Children have shared, when we get older. Even the old wisest geezer doesn't carry the Teachings of the Children. We bestow our old people with titles of Elder, Wise, Teachers, Experienced, and Knowledge Keepers. We hold in high regards the Old people. Which of course they (well some of them) deserve. Living a long life has to come with some benefits. After all they must have done some positive things in their lives. Maybe with acts of collecting knowledge, skills and passing on those gifts to others. It is not always the case, the Old ones, will hoard their knowledge, they will expect all sorts of rewards, benefits, financial gain for their knowledge. They abandon any semblance of a Child's generosity of Teaching and nurturing to all. The thing is, there are situations when the Knowledge Keepers should be compensated: seminars, academic arena, lectures and other public information events. Knowledge Keepers, Teachers, should be given respect for their accumulated experience. Giving knowledge to other is the work of the generous. Can you imagine a situation where an Individual keeps his knowledge to their-self? It is the Elder, the Wise, the Experienced, the Knowledge Holder who refuses to share and they should walk with shame. It is like the person who knows how to get the copier machine to make clean copies but doesn't want to show anyone how to do it. Why be like that? It is not the children's way. The Children are Knowledge Givers and old people are Knowledge Keepers.
The Awesome thing about people, young and old, there are Knowledge Keepers who are also Knowledge Givers. I am glad to know and have know many, have heard some of the Knowledge Keepers. You have knowledge so less hoarding and more sharing. Be like the Children, share with no expectation of rejection, reward, condemnation, commendation. Be a Knowledge Keeper who is a Knowledge Giver.
A DECLARATION OF SPIRIT Gathering of Indigenous Wisdom Keepers Sending A Message to the World May 24-27, 2012 Sagkeeng First Nation Territory, Manitoba, Canada "Out of the lodges of our Peoples we are being told we have entered a time of great change and opportunity. The cougar, moose and eagles recently came into the community in the Sagkeeng Territory where the Gathering was to take place, and asked us to speak on their behalf about what is happening to the land. Supported by the Grandfather Drum, the Gathering of Indigenous Wisdom Keepers sends this urgent and prayerful message to the world. We are the original free and independent Peoples of Turtle Island, extending back to the beginning of time in Spirit. In keeping with our Original Instructions given to us by the Creator we have a sacred responsibility to our ancestors and our future generations. We also have a ceremonial responsibility to the waters and to our traditional lands and territories, for the sake of Mother Earth and all living things. Everything has a Spirit. Spirit is the life force of every human being and lasts forever. When we rise in the morning we acknowledge the sun as a way of honoring and celebrating the Spirit of Life itself. Our spirituality is our life. Our traditions contain the knowledge and wisdom accumulated by our ancestors and contained in our languages. It is one of our teachings that the beauty of nature is the face of the Creator, and results in our deep and abiding love for the land and water. Water is Life. As humans, we are born through the water of our mother, and the women are responsible for the waters of Mother Earth. An acknowledgment of the sacred feminine is critical to the transformation needed at this time. It is one means of ending the epidemic of violence by men against women, and the neglect and abuse of children, which is destructive to our families, communities, and nations, and detrimental to our future generations. These symptoms are the result of a human spiritual disconnection from the land and from the healing comfort and beauty of Mother Earth. Now is the time to come to the understanding that we cannot respect the future without respecting what makes the future, and what makes the future possible, specifically, our women and children. Our healing wisdom and traditions continue to live on, carried and taught by our Elders, who are precious to us. Without the kindness and compassion of our Elders we would not be able to carry on our Spiritual Way of Life and our ceremonies, through which body, mind, spirit, and heart are more fully connected. Through our songs and ceremonies, sacred fires, our prayers and prayer bundles, and the Original Instructions of our Sacred Laws, we are continually reminded that all Life is interconnected, and that all the colors of the human family and all forms of life are relatives. As a result of the suppression of the cultures of our ancestors, the modern world has been prevented from understanding the wisdom to be gained from our ceremonial-based cultures and our Earth-centered traditions. Our children need to be returned to the center of our families, communities and nations. By mentoring our children, supporting rites of passage for young men and women, we affirm our sacred balance, health and well being. Because of the thousands of years of experience with Spirit, the First Nations and Peoples of Turtle Island have unique gifts to share with the world for healing what has been wounding the human spirit. The answer that every human being is looking for is within the Spirit in each and every one of us. We have always acknowledged that Spirit is a very significant element of our life. Spirit defines who we are. We are all bound by spiritual and natural laws. How can we collectively connect with Spirit? Acknowledge Spirit and show our gratitude. Join us on June 21, 2012 to fulfill our responsibility to honor all Spirit and Life. We invite people throughout the world to join us on that day by making an offering of water to Mother Earth with thoughts of love and thankfulness. This sacred act will invoke the Spirit to guide us to a good life, and will let Mother Earth know we have not abandoned her."
Elder Dave Courchene Jr.