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Sunday, December 9, 2012

nehiyaw weyeswewna (Cree laws) - say doing something, the spirit worldlistens...

By Sylvia McAdam Saysewahum

WARNING: this is a long post FOOD for Indigenous Thought

“The bravest man was the man who could make peace, who could carry the oskitci (pipe stem).” I wanted to share some few nehiyaw thoughts and teachings with all of you, my relatives ..ahpisis. I don’t say I know a lot, I only know a little bit and this what it is. What I say here is in our law of tahpewin (truth), do not be offended. The words I share here are from Elders, not mine personally as a human being. As we go into this “resistance”, we can no longer be silent - its not an option. In Canadian law, acquiescence means you comply, your silence is consent. We must not be silent with what is happening, it is not a far fetched statement when we say we are under attack and so are the lands, resources and our children. I’ve heard many of my relatives say “yes, I will be there” but they don’t attend the rally/event/gathering/ceremony etc. Perhaps the reasons are legitimate, however in our nehiyaw weyeswewna (Cree laws), when we say we going to do something, the spirit world listens, your keepers listen and our ancestors listen. When we say we are going to go “support”, we mean “e we ni towh setohks ka ke yak”.. this term means we are doing more than supporting, our keepers, spirits etc are going too, so the ones that are listening will begin to “pave” the journey there for you so you may arrive safe and unharmed. When we don’t follow through with our plans, than our keepers will have set the path for that journey for nothing. When a person does this far too many times, than you are “e pah kachimayak”, which means “to purposely mislead, dishonest, unsupportive..” this word is difficult to translate into English. This action is contrary to nehiyaw weyeswewna therefore you are breaking laws when you do not follow through with your statements to support. After a while, the keepers and those that listen will not listen to you anymore or are hard pressed to trust you. Those times when you do need them, it will be harder for your keepers to listen. Keep this in mind as you go about your life. As well, before you attend this “teach in” or rally, I would suggest that you smudge and pray or just pray in your own way. What we are doing is invoking the warrior spirits of our women and men. Not to fight but to defend. In our laws; this is “e na tah maw was sew yak” which means “defending the children/generations “. We are not only defending the human children, it is all of the plant relatives, tree relatives, animal relatives etc that we defend. This is a nehiyaw law, it is invoked in times of great crisis. See that statement above about the pipe? The Elders say, anyone can make war & violence. The greatest achievement a warrior women or man can do is to create peace during a time of crisis. It takes great skill to negotiate and accomplish what needs to be done in a peaceful manner. Lets gather together peacefully but make a powerful stand. Lets us not be silent. Ekosi, kinanaskomtinawaw for reading this.

BY: Sylvia McAdam (founding member of "Idle No More")


  1. here is my support - I hope all supporters will copy this letter and replace my name with theirs -

    from Canadian Citizens to all Senators

    December 09, 2012

    The Senate of Canada
    Ottawa, Ontario
    Canada, K1A 0A4

    Dear Senators,

    As Canadian citizens and also supporters of the Indigenous First Nations Peoples we too are also part of the grass roots movement happening across Canada titled “Idle No More”. Along with them, we too are holding teach-ins, rallies and protests in numerous provinces, and we have petitioned the House of Commons regarding the Omnibus Bills, and specifically Bill C-45. But it seems as though none of you are hearing us on both sides of the two row as we as citizens are demanding that you respect your positions and duty to both the citizens and the Nations who have graciously accepted us and whom were ready and willing to live with us upon their lands through the mutual respect of all Treaties and especially with the two row, the silver covenant chain and one dish - one spoon Treaties.

    We too, are also aware that the lack of consultation regarding the changes to the Indian Act, as well as the changes to land and water protections on First nations lands are unconstitutional. Section 35 of The Constitution Act, 1982 clearly states that “government of Canada have a duty to consult with First Nations people in Canada”. Not only are they unconstitutional to the First nations, but these bills and this government’s ethics are also unconstitutional towards WE, the Canadian citizens. Your entire process of functioning is also immoral and illegal which reflects badly upon me and all Canadian citizens.

    The specified and required consultation process has not occurred and as a result The Chiefs from The Assembly of First Nations marched on Parliament at 1:00 pm on December 4th, 2012. As well, this lack of consultation defies the First Nations rights entrenched in the United Nations Declaration on the Rights on Indigenous Peoples, which the Canadian government signed and endorsed on November 12, 2010.

    We urge the Senate to stop the recent Omnibus Bill that was passed through the House of Commons until there is legitimate consultation with First Nations leaders and communities. This movement will continue to grow as we educate the public regarding the imminent and grievous threats to democracy, The Treaties, Indigenous rights, and environmental protections emanating from the process of passing these Omnibus Bills on both sides of the Two Row and all other treaties defiled by this and prior government bodies who have misrepresented the citizens of Canada must be stopped.

    The corporation/government of Canada will always remain illegal until the day that we, the Canadian citizens launch our denied decolonization referendum along with the Nations as everything done within parliament since its creation and the neglect of the First Nations treaties has always rendered all within the Canadian government null and void.

    Nicole Lebrasseur



  4. It's time to MOVE,people!! Get going with these letters!


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