Today, while I mourn for this continuation of an ongoing 500+ year war, I give thanks. To give me a pause and to remember in case I have forgotten.
I give thanks to the creator and the holy people who have given me the teachings to walk a path of peace and balance with the world around me.
I give thanks to my ancestors, who have fought and continue to fight against a society committed to erasing and killing us after they failed to exterminate us.
I give thanks to the mothers and the women in my family and in Native & Indigenous communities who continue to be on the front lines of injustice, protecting and defending the sacred.
I give thanks to the fathers and the men who are cleansing themselves of the violence within their bodies, minds, and spirits while struggling with what it means to be a Native & Indigenous man.
I give thanks to my siblings who identify as neither male or female, and who are the ones recovering and reclaiming the traditions and knowledges that were hidden from us after being violated and pushed to the edges of societies.
I give thanks to my nieces and nephews, and children for lending us the earth and reminding us that a future awaits for all of us. They provide us the strength to fight.
I give thanks to all the solidarity and allyship from those who have been and still are marginalized/oppressed. I acknowledge and notice all of you surviving and thriving under a system that wants us to fail, while I also give thanks to the contributions that each of you has made to fighting injustice.
Even on this mournful day(s), even after knowing and being aware of centuries of violence and oppression, I am thankful. I am thankful because I am hopeful. We are what our ancestors have hoped to be, and they are thankful for their children’s and their children’s children to be where they are to be – teachers, healers, warriors, leaders, survivors, believers, listeners, and reclaimers to their knowledge, their stories, and their voices.
Ahé’hee’ shik’é, shik’is dóó shidine’é – Thank you, my family, my friends and my people.