"the genocide that occurred on Turtle Island, that the Americans, the Brits and the Spanish will not admit nor apologize for. The 8th fire shall not be lit until more recognize and accept this truth"
My Reply is simple... The Lighting of the 8th Fire marks the time of Peace, Love, Joy of All People Living in Harmony with Each Other and the Earth. I'll translate that into simpler terms for the readers, it describes "Heaven on Earth" or "Paradise Earth." SOUNDS GREAT! Let's look at what we could ALL DO to help make this happen!
More compassion from all people is what is needed. Realizing that "Indians" are NOT no-good lazy drunks.... those who APPEAR to fit that stereotype, they are just struggling, living within cycles of dysfunction that they were born into.... this is not "WHO" the Anishinaabe people were originally, it's the result of the interruption, the ripping away of their Honor, Culture, Beliefs, Way of Life and Identity as a people. They learned they should feel ashamed of being "Indian." I've personally heard Native American people living on and off reservations openly state that they don't want to know anything about that "Indian stuff." Even the mixed blood people would hide within whichever side they could blend into the best.
Honestly, the Native Americans were told to live like the whites, but nobody took the time to teach them what that was like. They were forbidden to live the way of life they had been living, there was nothing wrong with the way they were living. Their children were taken away from them, raised in the mission schools. Whiskey was introduced to the Native Americans, trucked in to help numb their feelings of despair and loss.
While visiting with an older native woman, she shared her deep remorse, shame and sadness for spending her life as an alcoholic. When I asked when she began drinking, she shared that she was about NINE YEARS OLD when the Nun gave her the bottle of whiskey and told her stop crying. What was truly sad about this conversation was that she STILL had not realized that the Nun at Red Lake's Mission School should never have given her a bottle of whiskey in the first place!
Even children were handed a bottle of whiskey and told to "stop crying for your mother, drink this, you'll feel better."
How is this different than the way our own Soldiers who are forced to cope with shock and trauma immediately after a battle? The whiskey is trucked in then too! It's a way of escaping the harsh reality which they must continue to endure at that moment. Yet, why are people so offended when our veterans become stuck within cycles of alcohol dependency? They had not been taught to cope with those traumatic events, they learned instead how to drown those feelings with Alcohol.
Why should anyone be surprised that both of these groups of people are still suffering? It's NOT their fault this cycle began, their children are born into these cycles and now it's all they know.
When I realized that truth, it changed everything for me. I realized it's NOT THEIR FAULT, they were born into broken families.... they don't need more ridicule, shame or punishment. They just need more loving people offering encouragement, compassion and inspiration... showing them alternative choices to a happier & healthier way to live.
The 8th Fire is lit when people realize that BLAMING OTHERS or ACCEPTING BLAME doesn't fix anything. Continuing to argue and fight never brings Peace.
Recognize that something tragic happened which should not have happened. Pitch in to help those you can or donate to those who can provide the help which is needed. Compassionate people helping people reconnect with their culture & finding their TRUE SELF, helping to mend what was broken... I see that as the beginning of the BRIGHTER DAYS ahead marking the time of the 8th Fire!
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Miigwech (Ojibwe word which translates as: Big Thanks)
Article Written by: Jennifer Kruse, LMT CRMT