napowrimo – niizhtana shi niizh

anishnaabeg say the earth is our mother. shkikimi-kwe provides all that we need to live a good life mino bemaadziwin. anishnaabeg always say miigwech for all of this. when we say miigwech we acknowledge these many gifts provided to all of us.

miigwech thank you

gii miizhyaan niibii for giving us water

gii miizhyaan aki for giving us the land

gii miizhyaan mtigoog for giving us trees

gii miizhyaan nasewin for giving us the breath of life

it seems so simple

this way of living in cooperation with all life

by acknowledging these ways of being

although this way is sophisticated by observing

it is a highly developed relationship based on respect

this is why clan systems offer organization

the seasons show us that change is inevitable and the importance of food security

this is why societies are the key to wellness

this planet is floating in perfect balance

over millions of years of evolution

from codes deep within each cell

spirals form at the spark of creation

fibinaaci is a mathematical sequence that anishnaabe understood

and is at the base of understanding that all life is connected

and this perfect balance is in jeopardy

as we play out this game of ego, illusion and dominance

as we hide behind religious fervour

as we hide behind a fear instilled since colonization began

there is a prophecy

that we are living right at this moment

it has something to do with balance

living in cooperation

acknowledging all life is connected

and integrating indigenous knowledge thought and practices

to protect this earth which we call shkimi-kwe

this is our home

if this does not happen

well you can see it happening everywhere around this majestic earth

poverty, colonization, genocide, climate change, consumption

will continue on the path

where humans are disconnected from the land

its time to connect with the earth under our feet

dig your toes into the earth like the roots from great trees

dip your fingers into the water feel how it gives you love

lift your head and face the wind and know that it carries our breath

sit in the sun and let if feed your skin like it does with all plant life

at night look up to the moon and stars

seize the wonder and fascination seven generations before and after us will also have

envision the earth as a living being just like you and me

and that the earth is an extension of each of us

dream this earth in the future

vibrant with life


8 thoughts on “napowrimo – niizhtana shi niizh

  1. Oh Vera, chi miigwech for your poem. I am an elder, working part time at a K-12 school in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. Our mother earth day was made extra beautiful because we had a drum come in the afternoon. Driving along Lake Superior on my way home, I could still hear the drum while connecting with maamaa aki’s heartbeat. I hope it’s ok that I just now printed out your poem (I’m at the public library), so that I can read it again and savor it while I’m home with the chickadees, extending this earth day/week,eh. p.s. Even though I have the book and have read it three times through the years, I checked out the sound recording (on cd) of The Birchbark House by Louise Erdrich to listen to on my 50 mile round-trip to town where I work. This is a good day!


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