Saturday, February 25, 2012

Please help the Norwegian Wolves


I just signed the petition "Please help the Norwegian Wolves" and wanted to see if you could help by adding your name.

Our goal is to reach 5,000 signatures and we need more support. You can read more and sign the petition here:


Sunday, February 19, 2012

Genetically Modified Foods Change our Physiology

How GMO foods alter organ function and pose a very real health threat to humans A MUST SEE, YOUR LIFE DEPENDS ON IT:

Cree Teachings - Cycle of Life

I attended one of the first of many Cree Language Conferences in my home community last Thursday and Friday, Saddle Lake Cree Nation located within Treaty #6 Territory.  I was so appreciative of the opportunity to be apart of this conference.  Having it locally within the community made it all possible because I didn't need to seek sponsorship or pay to attend if it was elsewhere like Edmonton.  In addition, the majority of the presenters were local teachers, Elders etc..  This venue created an excellent opportunity and atmosphere for me to access valuable resource people on a personal quest to understanding me, my family, and community.

I walked away with so many valuable lessons and yearning to learn more.

One teaching I wanted to share is my interpretation and/or perception of what Elder, George Brertton shared with many of us while I attended his Medicine Wheel session.  He shared that there are 4 directions, North, East, South, West.  Within those directions are the 4 Elements that give life, Air, Sun, Earth (Land), and Water.  He said we all need these 4 elements to exist, all living things need these to live and survive.  Then he went on to say, without one means NO life and we need to respect these 4 Elements.

As he was drawing the circle on the board as his visual pictorial representation of the teachings, he added the directions; the animals in each direction; and the 4 Elements.  Then he proceeded to share the 4 Laws.  As he wrote the 4 Laws on the board, above the Medicine Wheel (Cycle of Life) it went like this:

Land (earth)

Then he circled the first letters of these 4 Elements to spell the 4 LAWS.

It was like a light went on in my head when I saw this.  I have always known this but it was uplifting to see it represented like this.  I felt excited because I could see how this teaching could assist me in teaching the Cycle of Life (Medicine Wheel) in the classroom.  However, another realization came to me as I began to study these 4 Laws and their place within the Circle of Life (Medicine Wheel) ~ I first looked at the Land (earth) in the south, then went to the element Air in the north, to element Water in the west, and finish with element Sun in the east.  As my eyes followed this sequence of all 4 Elements I could see a path forming and this path created the number 4.

The next day, I went home and created this visual representation of what I learned from the Elder:

As the Elder stated, we need all 4 Elements to ensure life exists, we destroy one and there is NO LIFE!
Please note, DO NOT GENERALIZE NATIONS as all being the same
the colours represented for each direction are commonly used in my area and vary among Nations and also families.  For instance families have their own colours.  nohkom (my grandmother) Roseanna once shared with us, her grandchildren our family colours being White (north), Yellow (east), Red (south), and Brown (west).  I have seen other Nations use Blue and Black in the west direction also.
At the end of the day, there are 4 directions and 4 Elements of Life.

Residential schools called a form of genocide - The Globe and Mail

 The Globe and Mail: Residential schools called a form of genocide: 
The chairman of Canada's truth and reconciliation commission says removing more than 100,000 aboriginal children from their homes and placing them in residential schools was an act of genocide.
Justice Murray Sinclair says the United Nations defines genocide to include the removal of children based on race, then placing them with another race to indoctrinate them. He says Canada has been careful to ensure its residential school policy was not "caught up" in the UN's the link to read more

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Canada Fails Aboriginal People in Education but help other countries of the students, a smart and popular boy from a reserve in northern B.C., dropped out this fall, it was an eye-opener for Pearson’s director, David Hawley. While the school provides special support for students from war-torn countries such as Afghanistan and Iraq, it never occurred to him that students from Canada, home to one of the world’s top-ranked education systems, would need the same consideration. He and his staff are now investigating whether they can provide first nations students with the same supports they provide international here to read more

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Our Legacy - The Face Pullers: Ch.3 images - Chief Ermineskin and Grand-daughters

(L-R) Alice Crandell, Chief Ermineskin, Amelia Crandell Chief Ermineskin with grandchildren

Our Legacy - The Face Pullers: Ch.3 images - Chief Ermineskin and Grand-daughters

nihkawiyis (my father's brother's wife) showed me this picture she came across and nohtawiyis (my father's brother) explained that the description says this is Chief Ermineskin with his two grandchildren.  Our family genealogical stories tell us that my great great grandmother was the step-daughter of Chief Ermineskin.  He took on a Cree wife from the Onion Lake or Saskatchewan area and she already had two children.  One of these children was given to European Quaker named John Crandell.  John Crandell got off a boat in Maine, USA in the late 1800s and went across the United States and ended up in Hobbema, AB area for a number of years.  There, he befriended Chief Ermineskin and was given one of his step-daughters as a wife.  This step-daughter had two daughters from John Crandell and named them Alice and Amelia.  Therefore, from the family stories, we can speculate these two grandchildren portrayed in this picture with Chief Ermineskin are John Crandell's children.

Years later John Crandell moved his family to the Whitefish Lake area in northern Alberta near the Whitefish Lake First Nations #128 reserve.  Alice Crandell married a Metis from northern Alberta with the last name Sinclair and Amelia Crandell had a child from Zachius Stamp from Saddle Lake Cree Nation.  This child was my grandfather, Joseph P (Stamp) Houle.  Amelia was given to Tom Houle of Whitefish Lake First Nation #128 and had many more children.

nimosom (my grandfather) Joseph P Houle married Roseanna Cardinal (Eldest daughter of Jonas Cardinal) of Saddle Lake Cree Nation.  nohkom (my grandmother) Roseanna had eight children and seven were from Joseph P Houle.  One of those children is nohtawiyis (my father), Jeremie James Houle.

As we track our family history, we have only stories to guide us because there is not much written historical information on Aboriginal people.  In addition, data was collected from a European perspective; therefore our Cree way of relating (family connections) is different from European kinship and this wasn't taken into account and can be misleading and confusing, at times.