Reflect on thanksgiving for spiritual well-being

Central to Haudenosaune tradition is the responsibility of giving thanks. Typically it is done through a prayer called the Thanksgiving address or Ganohonyo’k.

These are also called, “the words before all else” because it is believed this prayer would set a persons mind back to the beginning, back to our responsibilities that the Creator laid out for us. Back to the natural state of goodness and the right order of things.

Much has been lost in translation into English – and to print the traditional speech word for word in a newspaper would be stepping outside of traditional protocols. However for the benefit of bringing our Haudenosaune traditions into your personal development time this week here is a short prayer and poem in English inspired by that good feeling of thankfulness within the Ganohonyoh’k and in the spirit of retuning to our responsibilities.

Today we have been given the responsibility to live in balance and harmony with all that surrounds us and with each other. Be thankful to our Mother Earth for everything she provides for us. Always continue to care for her as the Creator has asked us to.

Creator has provided us with water, and the water is life. Water sustains us. It quenches our thirst. It carries the fish and the fish nourish our bodies. Always be thankful for the water and acknowledge all its gifts.

Creator has given us plants and trees for our medicine, our food and our shelter. All living things draw strength from the plants of the earth, just as they draw strength to grow from the earth itself. They have been instructed from the beginning to grow, each according to their season and follow their original instructions since He gave them life. When you are gathered, with one mind offer thanks for all the plants and trees for following those instructions. When you are gathered with one mind, offer thanks to our Creator for always providing us with the things we need to be well.

We have been blessed by the Creator with the animals who gave their lives for our people to survive. And for the birds of the sky – ever singing their songs to lift our spirits higher. Be thankful to the Winds, the Thunders, the Sun, the Moon and the Stars for keeping the world in its proper order and guiding our way.

Always and continually offer thanks and acknowledgement to the Creator for giving us all things to live a good life on earth. Whenever you are gathered, bring your minds together as one – and always remember to celebrate the peace and love among us to show thanks.

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