I am a Cree born in the boreal forests of northern Quebec. I have lived and worked in Montreal for over thirty years. I speak three languages. I am a survivor of the residential school system. Yet I still speak my language, practiceand keep my traditions to this every day.
The voices of my elders and the lessons they thought me, stay with me every day of my life. It is not the rituals, nor the ceremonies that will guarantee our survival. It is RESPECT, of oneself and others. Lose that, everything else you in LIFE is just for show, a charade. Many have forgotten that very vital lesson.
For several years, I worked with my people as the International Liaison For Human Rights and the Environment. I travelled extensively in the United Stated and in Europe in our struggle to save the Great Whale River which they wanted to build another series of dams to produce electricity for southern consumption. I told many a audience they were being lied to and the need to build was unfounded. The proponents of this project were all just greedy investors who had no idea what was truly at stake. Lehman Brothers who floated the bonds to finance this project went under with a bank debt of over 615 billion dollars. And I was the liar, the one who was against job creation? I wonder how many people lost their jobs that day? I shed no tears nor do I rejoice in this fact.
Lehman Brothers executives were warned on several occasions by their employess who were then demoted. Not one listened. Greed tends to lower your hearing. And it's the same story all over Wall Street, Bear Stearn, Enron, Worldcom and so on. Mr Madoff?. Apparently he madoff with 50 billion dollars with other people's money. And Wall Street is still rewarding its executives with million dollar bonus! for what? This has happened many times. Does anyone hear the voices of the past?
Wall Street will never learn what RESPECT is. The culture of GREED is well ingrained in their psyche and daily lives.
Learn RESPECT, then the rituals and ceremonies and all the components of our people will have a deeper significance and deeper impact in your four parts of being-heart, body, mind and soul. But people will count their well-being in terms of how much they have in their bank account and trust greedy, snake oil salesmen people like Mr. Madoff.
"When you have cut down the last tree, killed the last fish and killed the last river, only then will you learn, you cannot eat money". Bon Appetit!
Cree Nation of Waswanipi