Elder Dave Courchene, founder of the Turtle Lodge in Sagkeeng First Nation, opened a meeting of Manitoba business leaders with Minister Mary Ng, Canadian Minister of Small Business and Export, at the Winnipeg Chamber of Commerce, on January 22.
He opened with a prayer in the Anishinabe Language, followed by this statement:
“Let me begin by offering gratitude to the Great Spirit and to Mother Earth. As we offer gratitude to the Spirit, it invokes the Spirit to come within our presence – so that we can be guided and inspired to live and act from the heart.
We have entered into a time of significant change and great opportunity, to set a whole new narrative in this country. It will require a change of heart.
As the Original People of our homeland, we have a responsibility to share what we believe are the rules of conduct for living in our homeland.
Our ancestors lived by following sacred laws. This fulfilled our roles as beings of kindness in expressing the spirit of giving and sharing.
Today we are faced with the challenge of climate change. We need to share the values that support spiritual and natural laws.
Whatever we create should have a foundation that reflects our moral and ethical responsibilities toward each other and to the land.
We are challenged more than ever to use our individual gifts to create a better world for the collective.”