It is not documents that define us, but rather what is undocumented. Our ancestral values continue to exist and evolve through our spirits today. We have seen the resiliency of the Native people throughout colonization, but we must still appreciate, celebrate, and cultivate the indigenous cultures that existed prior to first contact.
For this reason we honor our traditions by living a life of gratitude, each day thanking the Creator for all our days, for all our laughs, for all our breaths, for all our relations. We honor our ancestors by asking permission to learn of our plight and purpose so that we may continue to follow the Creator’s original directions in an ever changing world. We honor our children by taking a long look behind us before taking a step forward. We honor our parents’ lineage by treating the body they created with the upmost respect and care. We honor our destiny by using all we know and sacrificing all we have to protect all we love.
We acknowledge that our existence in this period of history affirms the harmonious nature in which our heritage asks us to live, so that one day we can share with the future generations and tell them, “That, young sacred spirits, is Native pride.”
Jillene Joseph, Executive Director
Native Wellness Institute