Ever since Columbus set foot in North America over 500 years ago, we white folk have been systematically destroying Native peoples and cultures. While we are not as likely to slaughter Natives today (we stopped doing that decades ago), it was less than a generation ago that we were herding Native children into Christian schools, where they were literally whipped into submission to a god that was not their own. They were stripped of their culture and their self-respect.
Today we try not to take the direct route with Native extermination. Today, we build freeways through Native reserves, tearing down forests and scaring away wildlife. (The City of Calgary can’t understand why this plan has been voted down by the Native community. We must have progress, right?)
After centuries of murder, abuse and cultural obliteration, North American Indians (a.k.a. Natives, or First Nations) have a long way to go just in terms of recovering some form of self-respect and cultural survival.
And what is needed is far more than that.
Having had a look at Shamanism, which is based in North and South American Native spirituality, I can see the rich spiritual heritage that American Natives have to offer us. Not just us, locally, but us, as a human race.
After centuries of Christianity dominating the North American landscape (and doing a sub-par job of it), it’s time for Native leaders to take a huge leap forward, not only pulling their own communities out of poverty, but recovering the rich spiritual wisdom of the elders, and leading the entire planet forward in spiritual evolution.
My challenge to the Natives in Canada: Get up off the street corner. Stand up. You no longer have the time or the luxury of staying victimized. We need you to step up and lead us. We need the rich wisdom that your elders have hidden away from the destruction of the descendents of Europe. We need your help. I know we don’t deserve it, after all that’s happened, but we do need it.
Now is the time.