My way of life as an Anishnawbek, is not evil or bad, it is not witchcraft or satanic, it is merely misunderstood.
The Creator God made me an Anishnawbek and with that He gave me the teachings of our people and of our way of life.
I learned these teachings from my Elders, who learned them from their Elders, who learned them from their Elders all the way back to the Creation of man.
Our teachings are how to be a good person, how to be honest, loving, respectful, wise, brave, truthful and humble.
We are the caretakers of Mother Earth, the gift that God created for us to live. We are to use her resources respectfully and take what we need to survive as a human race so that we can continue to care for our mother.
We build a lodge which represents our mother’s womb, to give honour and praise to the Creator for giving us Mother Earth and for giving us life.
We pick our medicines which the Creator provided for our use and gave us the knowledge of how to use them, which again are passed down from generation to generation.
We smudge as an offering to the Creator as we say our prayers every morning. Which are carried by the smoke to God.
We honour the Eagle feather and the teaching it brings because the Creator carries us on Eagle’s wings.
We wear our moccasins so that we can walk softly on Mother Earth so as not to cause her any pain.
We honour our drum because she represents the heartbeat of our Creator which is why she is the center of our council. The circle represents life.
We give honour to the four directions because we know the Creator is everywhere and in everything.
We fast four times a year to have a closer relationship with God and to ask for guidance or growth.
We celebrate at the Pow-Wow to make new friends, get together with family and to give honour to the Creator for the blessings He has given us and to give us a chance to give something back to the community and guests.
We smoke the pipe to honour our Creator in prayer and to remind us of the unity and connection we have with the Creator.
We are taught our roles at a young age so that we know where we stand in our community.
Everything an Anishnawbek does has meaning and purpose, but above all we always keep our Creator God at the center of our life.
So again, I tell you, our way of life is not wrong, just misunderstood.
Wiiba Anong Kwe