In the days before institutions and brick buildings, our people lived in ways that were interconnected with the land, the natural world and our relatives. As Métis people we remain the children of two peoples, unique in nature and the world, with the responsibility to care for both. Today we are fully immersed in a new way of life, but it doesn’t have to mean disconnection.
The first step to re-connection with nii maamaa la tayr is gratitude. We identify the earth as mother because everything that we need to survive comes from her. Consider all that your body needs in a single day and the way in which it is provided for you. In our world the water comes through pipes, the food in packages and the warmth at the touch of a button. But each of these things finds its life in Nii maamaa la tayr.
In fact, we may be interconnected today in ways our peoples could not ever have imagined. The cloth for our clothes is woven in India, the fruit we eat – grown in South America and the technology that sustains us – created in China. Yet we allow ourselves the luxury of thinking that our money negates the need for gratitude and the distance between us widens.
Think through the gratitude necessary to thank each life taken for your benefit, the backs bent to create for your pleasure. Imagine the plants, animals and other organisms that work to live and then are sacrificed so that you may survive. Then think through the people that have come together to create the things that you use every day.
In the time before institutions and brick buildings, we lived in relationship, connected to the life and aware of the sacrifices. When we value all life we move towards interconnectedness, which by necessity is a life of humble gratitude.
This is part of a series of mindfulness prompts that are based in Métis teachings. Each weekly post has an image specifically designed to fit the lock-screen on your phone. The idea is that you can make mindfulness easy, effective and beautiful all at the same time. Placing each new image on your lock screen serves to keep it in the front of your mind while the week allows you enough time to lean into the learning.