Monday, August 18, 2008

NAIG - North American Indigenous Games A day of joy...



We need more joy in this world...

Lives are broken and smashed by trauma - racial, physical, emotional...

This day was a celebration of success...

The North American Indigenous culture was suddenly traumatized - much like an individual who suffers a stroke or serious injury - when the European settlers landed on these shores. As ReBuilding is where my mind is these days, I was obsessing about the similarities between trauma to an individual and trauma to a whole Nation...



This was a day for the First Nations...
No mistake. A real celebration. It was also wonderful inspiration to all those who have suffered severe trauma of all kinds...








I've never seen so much hi-fiving in all my life!...







I felt gratitude, being able to applaud strong, young athletes... Taking over my generation's struggles 'to overcome' the past, with new energy and in such positive ways. They do it with apparent ease and grace...






Tribal journeys - which is a fantastic 'Outward Bound' kind of program that takes an active approach in attending to internal problems within the family/culture - had taken place all week with longboats arriving in Cowichan Bay from all over North America and Canada...


I was hoping and praying that the crowds would turn out for the celebrations planned for Sunday. As a Caucasian who is anything but comfortable with her race's history, I want so badly to create new history - a fabulous 'today' - founded on unity and hope and goodwill.

As it happened, thousands of people turned out on this hot, sunny day to cheer the four-and-a-half THOUSAND athletes in the North American Indigenous Games - teams from Alberta and Arizona to New York and Nova Scotia...



I was delighted! The choir that I sing with, One Human Family Gospel Choir, were there, helping to line the route. Here our director Eric (below), is being shaded with a parasol...





Along with the thousands of participants and spectators was a craft fair...

Again and again I saw a lovely blend of tradition, present and future.


This was a mom-and-daughter business making herbal creams in the traditional ways but marketing them in today's way - on the internet...


TheHul'qumi'num group was there promoting education about this land and its First Nations and history.

Representatives from the police force, Canadian Forces and Government offices were recruiting and a great example, to me, of the old and the new in perfect harmony was a beautiful 'today' black silk business-woman's suit with traditional First Nations markings...

The best story of all I discovered on Saturday...

A handful of experienced security men and women have been volunteering their services for First Nations events - including this one...


Supported by local business interests, these guys had been training with First Nations people to provide their Morning Star security for all their events.

They were delighted to show off the beautiful thank you gift that they'd received for all their hard work - and fondly remembered their founder, Lumpy Joe.


To me it was one more example of a community ReBuilding - taking the present and creating the future...

Real and respectful co-operation between people of all cultures.
The feeling of unity and love and an accepting generosity... (I appreciate this, even though the injury to the First Nations people was years before my birth)

I believe the secret of the future lies in unity...

As the great example we were shown here, we can learn from and respect history, seize today and embrace a new future... I pray that the future-builders - our sons and daughters - will be much wiser than our ancestors were and forge the future in peace.

ReBuilders must do the same thing...


I hope the day will come soon when there will be unity in the world: complete harmony, equality and acceptance between men and women of all colours and faiths and histories.

I keep finding examples of this these days - there's a feeling of goodwill and it's spreading!