CANADA GAMES OPENING CEREMONY – REMARKS BY THE ELDERS
Boozhoo Aniin, Dinay maginitook! Nii Gaani Aki Inini N’Dizhnikaaz, Kinew Dodem.
Today we are gathered at the centre of the continent we call Turtle Island.
I would like to begin by offering words of humility and gratitude to the Great Spirit, and to Mide Aki – our Kind-hearted Mother Earth – for her abundance and generosity.
I ask the spirit to come within our presence, and to inspire us all to feel and act with love, kindness and respect.
We are taught that all people were given original instructions on how to live as human beings in relationship with the earth.
The earth is alive, with a sacred fire in her core. The fire sparks the memory of our original instructions and brings this message:
Life is about giving and sharing. Make your way to your heart and find the memory of your purpose. Everyone has a purpose. Everybody has a gift. Find your gift and nurture it. Be honest with yourself and find the courage to use your gift to make a better world!
We all carry a universal purpose to bring peace and kindness into our world. Make peace with each other. Make peace with the Earth.
There is a doorway in our hearts that needs to be opened. Mother Earth can help us open that door. We can feel the peace in nature if we listen carefully to the wind, the birds, the animals, and to the trees that speak directly to our hearts.
May I wish you all the best that spirit and nature can offer you, as you compete with kindness and respect for each other.
One of the most sacred elements that needs our respect is water. Water unites us all. The women of our nations have been given the responsibility to offer gratitude for this sacred element through words and songs.
I now introduce Grandmothers Florence Paynter and Mary Maytwayashing. We present the Water Ceremony.
Opening Remarks on behalf of the Elders by Nii Gaani Aki Inini (Leading Earth Man) – Dave Courchene, Anishinabe Nation, Eagle Clan, Founder of Turtle LodgeRemarks by Grandmother Florence Paynter, Anishinabe Nation, Bear Clan in video. Water Song by Mary Maytwayashing. Ancestor Song by Red Shadow Singers. Click here for more info on the Indigenous torch runners and water carriers. Click here for more info on the lighting of the Sacred Fire and the Canada Games torch at the sacred site of Manitou Api.