September 27

Respect The Elders

I like many of our community grew up in a broken family, with a not so good relationship with my parents an immediate family. I had a closer relationship with my grandparents and grand-aunties. I received my traditional name from my grandfather,grandmother,& great uncle Frank Bush. I had always hung out with the elders rather than kids my own age. I learned our stories and ways of life from them. Growing up they were the ones who encouraged and supported me to do the things I wanted.
At the age of 11yrs old my grandmother had a heart attack the day before my birthday and took the sacred journey 3 days after my birthday. My grandmother was my best friend besides my elder an my biggest supporter.
Likewise for uncle Frank and many of our leders in the community who had always been my grounding force to be a good kid and youngman.
It is because of them that I have the respect I do for our elders in the community as well as those outside the native community as I was raised to respect them as if they are my biological family as they all have teachings that will help the young ones to grow and learn the good ways of life. My elders I mentioned above have all walked on and every day I set out to make their spirits proud of the man i've become over the years thanks to their teachings.
I was later adopted by Joe H. Kellwood - Navajo CodeTalker - USMC among many many others because of the teachings I recieved and the respect I have for our elders.
It is because of these elders I am able to have this life because without them I would not exist to this day because of the sacrifices they made for our generation to be here as well as pull me back into the good ways as I had attempted suicide a few times as a teen and young adult due to severe depression and feeling like an outcast in the community. It is because of them and the warriors of our nations that I returned to our sacred circle to dance for our relations who are unable or no longer on this journey with us physically.
It is vital that our youth learn to respect our elders and listen to the teachings they have to give us all. As they have endured many hardships and survived the toughest conditions that we today take for granted.
They did not have a modern healthcare system, They did not have public schools, they did not have a system to protect them from the oppression of the colonial government who seeks to destory our cultures and lifeways handed down for generations, they had to endure the harshest of treatments and survived to tell us about them so we could learn and not have to be in those situations. They endured this to carry on our traditional ways to ensure the next 7 generations could be here today. It is our responsibiility to carry their stories and teachings on for the next 7 generations to know our elders were warriors of the people and carried our traditional teachings through hell to share them with the youth of today.
So when you see your grandparents, your grand-aunties, grand-uncles and other elders within the community show them the respect they deserve for they have endured a great deal to be here to teach us the good ways of life.
Tell them you love them cherish them and their teachings because you will never know when they will take that sacred journey and you will no longer be able to hug them,hold them or tell them how much you care for them.
I give thanks daily for the spirits of our elders who have walked on and made me the man I am today without them I would not be here. Remember them always and share their stories so the next 7 generations can learn and grow to be on a good path in life and walk the red road as our creator had intended for our people as did our ancestors. - Ahau  

By Kagakshi Obwandiyag (Raven Pontiac) Nswe Shkweden Anishnabek

Gchi Anishnabekaa ii'w niiwing inaknakeyaa ogitchida (All Nations Warrior)


Tags

All Nations, Anishnabe, Bode'wadmik, Chippewa, Elders, Kagakshi Obwandiyag, Odawa, Ojibwe, Ottowa, Raven Pontiac, Respect, Teachings


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