ROAD to EQUALITY podcast

Episode 7 with David R. Maracle (Video, Audio & Transcript)


Well, it’s good to be alive and well and still here and still fighting the good fight. It’s been a long time in my life growing up in the midst of protests and unsettled land claims, and people coming as “angels” and “White gods” and all these different things, to come and help save the Indian, to save the Indigenous, to save the First Nations. Let me tell you one thing… We don’t need to be saved. We already know what’s what, we know that our mother is here to protect us and give us all the medicines we need, and to give us all those beautiful things as sustenance that keeps us going, that keeps our mind, all of us together…

Akwá:tsire, we’re family, we work together, we work the land, we work with our mother. Heck, during war we actually… Mother was used, and we pulled her up onto our body, and she protected us. The mother’s protection to her children… We actually pulled that camouflage right up onto our body, and that’s why today when we go out and we dance, we dance upon the earth, and we dance lightly and gently. Sometimes we have to… (DRUMMING) Stamp out the soreness. Sometimes we give her a massage, the women with their feet, Mother Earth, and dance to appreciation of life and what’s to come in our future… We know our future, we know where we’re going, we’ve been set on force and… To do the things that we need to do, and to protect the things that need protecting…

Justice system? Justice, “just us,” hmm… I wonder who came up with that word, “just us.” Those are the ones that are going to win, “just us.” So we get into trouble, we have to go into the “just us” system, and then we’re told that we’re wrong and that we can’t protest about these things… That was taken care of a long time ago in the “just us” system… Well sorry, but all you politicians, and politicians running these small little factions of… I guess military and police forces and stuff… They’re out to do your deed and, you know, I think the youth and I think a lot of Indigenous people are fed up with the treatment and the takeover of all the most beautiful spots in the country, and where our people are herded onto these little micro-territories with, you know, bad conditions and stuff, and these politicians, it’s just one politician after another, one president after another just in there to give lip service, and try to put icing on some kind of a cake or something that they didn’t even bring the ingredients to bake it with.

It’s like, you know… It’s funny. It’s funny how we have to live today and listen to them telling us how, when, why, when we can go… Heck, just going into a provincial park to be with your family, they want us to pay just to go down, sit by the water and be thankful with their family. Well I don’t think that’s right, that somebody should be making money off the earth that way. I think it should be for all of us to use, not to abuse… Just to enjoy, you know, and as we sit around, tell stories… That’s ceremony.

Somebody asked me, they said “You know what? You’re allowed to come here. You’re allowed to come here and sit on the land and get in for ‘free’ if you’re doing ceremony.” I said, “Oh, well I’m doing ceremony.” And I was asked what kind of ceremony… I said, “Are you serious? You want to ask me what kind of a ceremony? You wouldn’t even get it if I told you how simple a ceremony is.” It’s just being thankful for my very breath and that essence of life… And that essence of other human beings that are around me that understand the meaning of life, love and prosperity in different ways than what you look at it as. We don’t have to ever dig in our pocket to pull out money. We just enjoy the stories… That’s money right there, that’s wealth and knowledge in our mind, nonkwa’nikònhra… That good mind… And, you know, when we go to these waters’ edges and… We start building our sweat lodges and our sacred sites and fires and stuff… It means something because we’re with our mother, we’re with nature and all things natural, and that’s where we’re going to get our healing.

It’s been a struggle so far with all these people coming, feeling that they want to show their gratitude for the land and what they’ve had to work with and what they’ve had in their presence, and enjoying today the resources of this beautiful country we live in… Kanata, the village…Kanata goa, the large village… For that, I give thanks. Every day I give thanks for my very breath and I give thanks for the waters, o:neganos… Without the waters, we wouldn’t be here. We are water. But these things that we take for granted that are becoming polluted… The air, the water…

We put ourselves in predicaments in life like we are in today because of greed and people moving around too much. And now that we were able to fly into other countries and rape and pillage, and maybe take sacred things from sacred lands and when you’re told not to touch these things, people think, “Oh, well, it’s not going to hurt if I just take a little stone or a little pebble from that beach or that sacred site.” I think all these things over time will deplete the ecosystem, deplete the sacred ways that people look at certain things that are meant to sit there. So this is why it’s very important to put effort into your prayers. Don’t just sit on the chair, and before you go sit down to be thankful for a meal or thankful for your family… You need to put effort behind that. You need to know that when you’re giving thanks, that you’re able to drop to your knees or go to that special place and put that time in. The Creator wants us to show our gratitude for all we are allowed to have.

And I think people are watching, I think there’s spiritual beings watching us and they kind of take note of how we do our things when we put our spirit plates and we get out of our comfort zones… That’s where prayer helps the most, when we get out of our comfort zones and we go to those places that aren’t really comfortable, but we know that we’re doing it for a reason.

And yes, there are a lot of people watching, a lot of youth watching. You know, you can go to elders, but an elder doesn’t get that elder status until they can prove to us that they’ve walked that path and that they have things to share.

I was told to eat the fish and leave the bones… Eating the fish is like the words of a wise man. Swallowing the bones is like the words of a fool… That’ll cause you much discomfort in life, and nobody needs that. So pay attention to the things around you. You get sick… You can pick up a rock and chuck that as far as you can… Where that lands, you walk to that rock, and I bet you you’ll find the medicine there that you need to cure your ailments, because we’ve been made a promise to that we would be taken care of, but we have to use that mind, that good mind… Nonkwa’nikònhra, that mind that watches over us… And we have to use that in a good way. Not just to help ourselves, we should always be helping others. When we’re on a… Out here when you’re on a plane, you don’t take the mask when… If the plane’s going to go into a state of emergency and maybe even crash, you don’t take the mask and put that on your child. How’s your child going to take care of you? You put it on yourself because you’ve been given that ability to take care of what’s precious around you.

So we’ve all been given that ability to take care of those things around us, our family, our youth, our community, our crops, our waters, the air… That sky above us is our roof. You know, we all have to live under the same roof.

It’s funny, when I was in Pakistan… You know, I think I mentioned that the last time… But I told them, I said, “We’re all under the same roof, why would we want to quarrel under the same roof? Because when we fight under the same roof,” I said, “it’s a little bit harder to get away from it.” And that roof is huge, and it’s as far as my eyes can see, so we need to get along in this world…

Quit raping our land. Quit taking all of our natural resources, because you know what? There is going to be a rise up… And people are fed up. There’s too much bullshit going on, and… Yeah, I said that, right? There’s too much of that going on in the world, and we need to pay attention.

Look at the mess we’re in with this whole COVID-19 thing. It’s unfortunate that a lot of people are struggling today. A lot of people are having to close down business. A lot of people are told that they can’t travel anymore and do those things that they were accustomed to doing. Why? Because, well… Maybe, maybe something fell into the wrong hands… Who knows? I’m not a big conspiracy theory kind of guy, but, you know, it’s… I never… You know, I never look away from things and things that people are saying that could be true. So we have to really know that we can’t take things for granted anymore, and we know how precious life is. And when we have to wear a mask and travel around today, it’s like… That’s unfortunate. So yeah, it’s something that maybe one day we won’t have to do that. But right now, they’re saying we’re going into 2024 before we’re going to get over something, get over this issue, this problem we have.

And these people, these puppets that are being put in there and making all these promises to Indigenous people, especially the ones living in these remote communities that don’t have access to many things… My territory is pretty good to go, a lot of other territories I know… But I’ve been to territories where suicide is very high, and, you know, there are issues where they don’t feel that they have things to move forward with, you know? That when the TVs were brought in there, it showed all the things that they could be having, like beautiful red bikes, and red and green and yellow this and that, and all shiny objects, and if we don’t have that, then we’re less… Less people… Well that’s not true. We need to go back to the land and know that we have the beauty.

And everybody wants to go to these parks and these beaches and stuff. Why? Because the natural beauty is the best beauty we can have. All this man-made stuff is what’s getting us all into trouble. People buy too much and they go into debt, and then they go into bankruptcy and all these things, and they create headaches, and they create things that aren’t real… This is real, this land is real. Simplicity is real… Love is real… I love to love… Don’t hate. Love what you love, and be good at it… Be good at it. Be good at sharing it, you know?

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