An Elder’s Message to the Youth
In November 2017, Dave Courchene (Nii Gaani Aki Inini – Leading Earth Man), Founder of Turtle Lodge, was invited to do a keynote at the FNCCEC (First Nations Confederacy of Cultural Education Centres) Cultural Expo 2017 at Ottawa City Hall in front of hundreds of school children, as well as speak to youth at the Chiefs of Ontario Youth-Elders Gathering on Climate (Reconnecting with Mother Earth) in Thunder Bay. Here are some excerpts of Dave’s message:
“We are the Original free and independent People of this land. We are the true leaders of our homeland.”
“The youth of today face many more challenges than past generations because humanity has done so much damage to the Earth and walked so far away from natural law.
The youth have to be strong as true leaders, to bring back a way of life that supports spiritual and natural laws, guided and mentored by the Elders.”
“Young people… Never shut that door in your heart to love. Because your love is going to change the world.”
“We all make mistakes. That is one of the ways some of us learn. Instead of judging each other, we should be reaching out to each other to help each other.”
“The greatest sickness we face as a people is that we have become great imitators, and denied ourselves the freedom to be who we really are.
There is so much time and effort spent on trying to convince external influences to let us be who we are.
We need to just be who we are, supporting the voice of the Grandmothers and centering the children in our lives.”
“Natural laws are not negotiable. They require our compliance, for our own benefit.”
“We have the power to make the decisions to change our life. I cannot judge. I can choose to love, and I can choose to be kind.”
Grandmother Priscilla Simard
“Women are the voice of the Earth. You carry that great power, that gift of persuasion. When you have children, you will have the gifts to correct and discipline your child, based on love and kindness.”
Dave Courchene (Nii Gaani Aki Inini – Leading Earth Man)
“Anger is like a dark spot. If you let that into your life, it will spread fast.”
“Natural law will prevail. Don’t waste time in protest. Go to our sacred lodges and learn our ways again. Restore the memory of our sacred duties and responsibilities. We have much work to do.”
“The Grandmother Turtle leaves us a trail to follow – 7 Teachings that can lead us to have a better life.”