Being Anishinaabe is our Identity

Many of us were brought up through Christianity I was too. Our people had no choice but to accept Christianity because it was against the law for Anishinaabe to practise their own traditional belief. Missionaries were sent to enforce the law even Hudson Bay Co. worked for the government. The Elders today who might be in their 80′s -90′s were never exposed to Anishinaabe spirituality or ceremonies. It was outlaw already when they were born. Some families did keep the teachings underground. But some of the traditional teachings like the spiritual responsibility of taking care of animals we kill for food were passed on. I learnt a lot when I was hunting and trapping with elders.. Anishinaabe spirituality is unique it’s based on God’s creation the land, animals, earth and universe…we don’t pray to a human being like Europeans do or to anything created by human being faith… many times you hear people say “those people who practise Anishinaabe spirituality pray to a bear or eagle”…it’s not true. We pray to Creator for he gave us life and gave us a reason to come live in his garden. I was scared of Anishinaabe spirituality too because I didn’t understand it and nobody ever taught me traditional teachings when I was young..so don’t be afraid to learn your culture. Creator made us Anishinaabe it was the Europeans who converted our people to Christianity.. It was part of colonization process so they can take our land and resources. That’s why we are living so poor in Indian Reserves government and missionaries put our people there. We need to empower our people to being Anishinaabe again living the traditional way of life which gave us our identity and purpose in life. Too many youth are killing themselves because they are not proud of themselves of being Anishinaabe.

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