Opening Welcome for Winnipeg Folk Festival 2010
It gives me great honour to be given the opportunity to offer words that acknowledge Spirit. I begin by acknowledging the Higher Power of Spirit and request a blessing for a successful gathering that shares music. Music is a universal language that can nurture our soul and our spirit. For thousands of years Indigenous peoples gathered here in the Center to share dreams, song and prophecy. Prophecy foretold of the present time that we have just entered – a time of choice. There is an urgency for all of us to be reminded of our sacred responsibility to treat the Earth with more respect. What we are witnessing in the Gulf of Mexico is tragic. We must now join together in supporting a vision that will support a respect for all life, a vision that will support a respect for the Earth. We recognize that there is a spirituality that exists, that everything that has life has a spirit, and that the very essence of our existence is Spirit. In our human physical survival, we owe our existence to the Earth. Join me in acknowledging the Spirit that is within our reach, that is within us, and within our presence, that can give a vision that will unite us all. Spirit can give us direction in how we can treat the Earth and all life with more respect. I ask the drum to carry this carry this wish, this hope, in the way my ancestors depended upon song and drum. I will ask Carl to sing a traditional honour song as I do the prayer in my language, and after the prayer with the song and drum, I call upon rising star Shy-Anne Hovorka to share a song that can inspire us that change is possible. And the young girl that will accompany her, let us be reminded, all children represent the future. Let us join together in supporting a vision for change as we honour the sacredness of all life and the Earth.