This Changed Life

Information about This Changed Life

Published on March 7, 2008

Author: Freedom

Source: authorstream.com

Content

This Changed Life: A First Nations Perspective on Crossing Boundaries JSWEC 2006 keynote presentation Wednesday, July 12, 2006:  This Changed Life: A First Nations Perspective on Crossing Boundaries JSWEC 2006 keynote presentation Wednesday, July 12, 2006 Presentation Outline This Changed Life:  Presentation Outline This Changed Life Seven Stages of Life The Seven Fires The Great Migration Questions from the Seventh Fire- Crossing Boundaries and Aboriginal Social Work Education in Canada Seven Stages of Life:  Seven Stages of Life Spirit Life Fast Life Wandering and Wondering Life Truth Life Planting Life Doing Life Peace Life The Seven Fires Prophecies:  The Seven Fires Prophecies Teaching from the Midewiwin Lodge Seven prophets gave Seven predictions of what the future would bring Each prophecy is called a Fire and refers to a particular era of time We live in the time of the Seventh Fire The Seven Fires Prophecies :  The Seven Fires Prophecies In the time of the First Fire, the Anishnabe nation will rise up and follow the Sacred Shell of the Midewiwin Lodge. The Midewiwin Lodge will serve as a rallying point for the people and its traditional ways will be the source of much strength. The Sacred Megis will lead the way to the chosen ground of the Anishnabe. You are to look for a turtle shaped island that is linked to the purification of the Earth. You will find such an island at the beginning and end of your journey. There will be seven stopping places along the way. You will know that the chosen ground has been reached when you come to a land where food grows on water. If you do not move, you will be destroyed. The Seven Fires Prophecies:  The Seven Fires Prophecies You will know the Second Fire because at this time the nation will be camped by a large body of water. In this time the direction of the Sacred Shell will be lost. The Midewiwin will diminish in strength. A boy will be born to point the way back to the traditional ways. He will show the direction to the stepping stones to the future of the Anishnabe people. In the Third Fire, the Anishnabe will find the path to their chosen ground, a land in the west to which they must move their families. This will be the land where food grows on water. The Seven Fires Prophecies:  The Seven Fires Prophecies You will know the future of our people by what face the Light-skinned race wears. If they come wearing the face of brotherhood, then there will come a time of wonderful change for generations to come. They will bring new knowledge and articles that can be joined with the knowledge of this country. This new nation will be joined by two more so that the four will form the mightiest nation of all. You will know the face of brotherhood if the Light-skinned face comes carrying no weapons, if they come bearing only their knowledge and a handshake. The Seven Fires Prophecies:  The Seven Fires Prophecies Beware if the Light-skinned race comes wearing the face of death. You must be careful because the face of brotherhood and the face of death look very much alike. If they come carrying a weapon... beware. If they come in suffering... they could fool you. Their hearts may be filled with greed for the riches of this land. If they are indeed your brothers, let them prove it. Do not accept them in total trust. You shall know that the face they wear is the one of death if the rivers run with poison and fish become unfit to ear. You shall know them by these many things. The Seven Fires Prophecies:  The Seven Fires Prophecies In the time of the Fifth Fire there will come a time of great struggle that will grip the lives of all Anishnabe. At the waning of this Fire there will come among the people one who holds a promise of great joy and salvation. If the people accept this promise of a new way and abandon the old teachings, then the struggle of the Fifth Fire will be with the people for many generations. The promise that comes will prove to be a false promise. All those who accept this promise will cause the near destruction of the people. The Seven Fires Prophecies:  The Seven Fires Prophecies In the time of the Sixth Fire it will be evident that the promise of the Fifth Fire came in a false way. Those deceived by this promise will take their children away from the teachings of the elders. Grandsons and granddaughters will turn against the elders. In this way, the elders will lose their reason for living. They will lose their purpose in life. At this time a new sickness will come among the people. The balance of the people will be disturbed. The cup of life will almost be spilled. The cup of life will almost become the cup of grief. The Seven Fires Prophecies:  The Seven Fires Prophecies A New People will emerge. They will retrace their steps to find what was left by the trail. Their steps will take them to the elders who they will ask to guide them on their journey. Many of the Elders will have fallen asleep. They will awaken to this new time with nothing to offer. Some of the Elders will be silent out of fear. Some of the Elders will be silent because no one will ask anything of them. The New People will have to be careful in how they approach the Elders. The task of the New People will not be easy. If the New People remain strong in their quest… there will be a rebirth of the Anishnabe nation and a rekindling of old flames. The Sacred Fire will again be lit. The Seven Fires Prophecies:  The Seven Fires Prophecies It is at this time that the Light-skinned race will be given a choice between two roads. If they choose the right road, then the Seventh Fire will light the Eighth and Final Fire: an eternal fire of peace, love, brotherhood and sisterhood. If the Light-skinned race makes the wrong choice of roads, then the destruction which they brought with them in coming to this country will come back to them and cause much suffering and death to all the Earth’s people. The Great Migration:  The Great Migration The Megis Shell Seven Stopping Places Along the Way Questions from the Seventh Fire:  Questions from the Seventh Fire What makes social work education at an Aboriginal institute unique? What do Aboriginal students seek when they attend an Aboriginal social work program? What are some of the tensions that exist between non-Aboriginal theories and practices and the re-emerging teachings that Aboriginal students explore at an Aboriginal institution? Questions from the Seventh Fire:  Questions from the Seventh Fire How do our emerging conceptions of social work education interface with prevailing national social work education standards? How does it connect to the spiritual renewal of Aboriginal communities in a decolonizing Canada? What opportunities do these teachings create for crossing boundaries? What makes social work education at an Aboriginal institute unique? :  What makes social work education at an Aboriginal institute unique? The Nature of Relationships The presence of elders The presence of children The centrality of ceremony A pervasive and urgent sense of responsibility The politics of learning What do Aboriginal students seek when they attend an Aboriginal social work program? :  What do Aboriginal students seek when they attend an Aboriginal social work program? Spiritual affirmation, Emotional support, Physical belonging, Intellectual rigour Development of an Aboriginal cultural identity Culture-based, culturally safe ways to relate to Aboriginal people and other peoples A balance of indigenous and mainstream perspectives (the nest) What are some of the tensions that exist between social work theories and practices and the re-emerging teachings that Aboriginal students explore at an Aboriginal institution? :  What are some of the tensions that exist between social work theories and practices and the re-emerging teachings that Aboriginal students explore at an Aboriginal institution? Duncan Campbell Scott’s ongoing work Take what is good and leave the rest Any Indian will do The contemporary manifestation of our ancestors How do our emerging conceptions of social work education interface with prevailing national social work education standards? :  How do our emerging conceptions of social work education interface with prevailing national social work education standards? The example of the two row wampum One canoe cannot pass The emerging spirit of interdependence How does Aboriginal social work education connect to the spiritual renewal of Aboriginal communities in a decolonizing Canada? :  How does Aboriginal social work education connect to the spiritual renewal of Aboriginal communities in a decolonizing Canada? The spiritual is political Intuitive lessons that whisper in our blood First Nations, Second Thoughts, Third World, Four Colours Slide21:  By reading our own footprints we could always tell where we had come from. But there were never any footprints into the future. In fact we had no future. In our language, the closest word we had to "future" was sort of an arc or circle. Slide22:  Our going was part of the arc of a circle. So was our coming: we were so dumb we didn't know that progress takes place straight ahead. We walked in circles I guess. Our footprints out of yesterday were also footprints into tomorrow (Wilfred Pelletier, “Dumb Indian”) What opportunities do these teachings create for crossing boundaries?? :  What opportunities do these teachings create for crossing boundaries?? An opportunity to shed the inferiority complex that has driven us to legitimize our profession in the mold of medicine, law, psychology An opportunity to re-manifest how some social work ancestors sought to change living conditions, political and social realities What opportunities do these teachings create for crossing boundaries?:  What opportunities do these teachings create for crossing boundaries? An opportunity to more consciously work with love, compassion, sharing, kindness An opportunity to more fully take up our roles as caretakers of the earth An opportunity to light the Eighth Fire Slide25:  We are a ceremony, sage coiled through loving hands into a sphere into a sphere smouldering from inside. We are an offering, beaded feathered stem fit to bowl in a prayer honest prayer Creator-thoughts that we send back. We are lusting ancestors, cackling stones make water sigh conceiving life this changed life and we watch their children grow. Slide26:  We are beckoning spirits, calloused palms rasp the skin of that drum that glistening drum a deep and thoughtful pulse. We are voices raised in song a timid and halting few call and response call to response each breath stronger and sure. We are certain sacrifice. Unclear days ahead say to follow our hearts these kind hearts humbly crawling to the light. But for now we are a ceremony bound and coiled though loving hands into a sphere into a sphere. This Changed Life: A First Nations Perspective on Crossing Boundaries JSWEC 2006 keynote presentation Wednesday, July 12, 2006:  This Changed Life: A First Nations Perspective on Crossing Boundaries JSWEC 2006 keynote presentation Wednesday, July 12, 2006

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