Nii Gaani Aki Inini (Anishnabe Nation, Eagle Clan) Shares Opening Remarks at Launch of Prairie Climate Atlas – Winnipeg, May 13, 2016

Posted in: Elder Messages
IMG_2711Nii Gaani Aki Inini addresses the public and press gathered at the Richardson College for the Environment at the University of Winnipeg on Friday May 13, 2016, offering opening remarks to the launching of the Prairie Climate Atlas by the Prairie Climate Centre and University of Winnipeg.

Opening Remarks by Dave Courchene (Nii Gaani Aki Inini – Leading Earth Man)

Launch of Prairie Climate Atlas

Richardson College for the Environment, University of Winnipeg

May 13, 2016

As Indigenous people, we have been watching with interest and concern the discussion and the evidence that the scientific community is sharing regarding the issue of climate change. It occurred to me that working on climate change without working on a paradigm change would be a grave mistake. We need to reflect on the root causes that have contributed to our current reality regarding climate change. As an evolving species we are beginning to recognize that we cannot continue down this path where we do not honour and respect the Earth. We need to change our behaviour. Real change cannot happen out of fear or anger. What is needed is a vision based on hope, values and positive action. Much of what we are witnessing in today’s world: the wars, the sicknesses, destruction of the land; is simply because of disconnect – a disconnect from the Earth. If we are ever to understand our true purpose and meaning as human beings, we must make the journey to reconnect with the land. As Indigenous people we want to be full partners on this journey, sharing this love we have for the land. From the land we feel a profound connection – the connection of a child to its mother, as the mother shares her love, her abundance and her values. We must teach our children of today how to be true stewards of the land. This should become a priority in the education of all children. We must create an environment of hope that our children should have, as they rebuild our world with values that support life, and respect the Earth. It is our connection to the Earth that defines our duties and responsibilities. Being connected to the land is not an entitlement. It is our responsibility and also a gift. Our Great Mother the Earth operates on the principles of balance and harmony. We owe our life to her. She is a living entity that deserves honour and respect. Taking care of her is ultimately taking care of ourselves, and our children. We are witnessing many signs of change. With this change comes opportunity – an opportunity where we can embrace the values that can act as a foundation to serving life and to having a much closer relationship with the land itself. Out of the Earth come teachings that can guide us through her natural laws. We were given original instructions that had sound values. These values have never changed. It is our values that have always kept us strong and allowed us to survive no matter what the challenges before us. These values will help us again today, to restore the balance and harmony that we need. We need a vision that brings hope. We need a new national identity, one that includes our contribution as Indigenous peoples. This national identity should be one that defines our universal purpose – to take care of the Earth and each other. This national identity will set an example to the world how we have been able to join, united in our stewardship. This vision becomes our hope. It is a vision of peace. Our purpose as humanity is to serve and support life. We ultimately will determine our own destiny, living that spirit of peace towards each other and the land. Nature operates on the principle of supporting life – supporting balance. Are we supporting life? The question we need to ask is: Are we supporting our children to ensure that they do have a future? Nature always hears the cry of the child, and reminds us of our responsibilities to ensure the children are provided all that they need to live and survive, which comes from the land. It is the Earth’s influence that we need most of all. The Earth has withstood many changes in the past and has always survived, so again she will survive. Our concern should be our own survival. That which destroys will destroy itself. That which supports life will give birth to life and ensure our survival. These are laws of nature. Our continued survival will be determined by our willingness to change, and to lay a foundation of values that are positive and in alignment with the laws of Mother Earth. Mother Earth will always protect those that are an expression of love, respect and kindness. We cannot be driven by fear of doom, gloom and disaster. The right motivation for a truly sustainable future should be based on love and reverence for the Earth, and our hope for a long and beautiful future for all our children.   Nii Gaani Aki Inini (Dave Courchene), Anishnabe Nation, Eagle Clan is the Founder of Turtle Lodge.
1 Comments for : Nii Gaani Aki Inini (Anishnabe Nation, Eagle Clan) Shares Opening Remarks at Launch of Prairie Climate Atlas – Winnipeg, May 13, 2016
  1. Reply

    Excellent introductory comments.

Leave a Comment

Welcome back to the Turtle Lodge!
If you have trouble signing in, please send an email to