The Spiritual beliefs, traditions, ceremonies, etc. are of the greatest importance to OCIP. That has been set forth in the UN (United Nations) Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and by the Government of Canada, in whom signed onto this declaration that “Indigenous peoples have the right to manifest, practice, develop and teach their spiritual and religious traditions, customs and ceremonies; the right to maintain, protect, and have access in privacy to their religious and cultural sites; the right to the use and control of their ceremonial objects; and the right to the repatriation of their human remains”. This has always been the highest calling of OCIP and its People both now and in the future.
But what is at the Heart of this Spirituality? Is it to find the divine in all we do like many other creeds or belief systems, or is it for the betterment of mankind that guides us? Perhaps it is better to look at a very basic idea at the core of all Indigenous communities and this is connection and its twin interconnection. We know that we are connected to the world all around us, so if the trees die, we follow and the opposite is true, if the deer thrive then we will as well, etcetera. But Indigenous Spirituality includes the idea of interconnection; we are interconnected with everything on Earth and therefore everything from it, also we are connected to the Great Spirit and beyond. So we share and add to each level of an Earthly things being. This is powerful because it means that we have the ability to add to or take away from every beings existence on the Earth. This then transcends just this world and effects the Great Spirit and beyond. This connection and interconnection is ever in play in all of our beings, for we cannot just maintain the goal of take all we can take. In fact it is more giving all we can give for within ourselves we know that the other beings will do the same for us.
A deer gives itself for our warmth, food, tools, etc. and as such as it moves on we can gives ourselves for other beings. There is always a very real part of ourselves that gives back to the Earth and beyond. This is shown in our offerings to Mother Earth as a gift. We allow the creatures and the Earth to partake in our bounty. Also it is shown by our not over hunting and preserving for the next generations. Some have called this good ecology, but it is from our Spiritual beliefs of Connection and Interconnection.
Also this one key principal shows up in our day to day dealing with each other. Some would worry only if they like the person and this gauges how much they listen or value them. But if we see that we are both connected and interconnected with every person around us, we naturally will listen to their counsel. This leads us to see children, youth, adults, elders as important and worth of care and have something to offer us. Then the respect only grows based on experiences learned or gained by that person. One would not ask a youth how to build a canoe. But one must ask them how to see the world with the open eyes and fire of youth. This follows us through our whole life for we must always ask or seek counsel of all around us because in the end we are connected to them and us to them.
This is the type of Spirituality OCIP attempts to build, the type that reaches into our being and causes us to want to help others to grow. So when the UN (United Nations) Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples puts forward the Idea of fostering Indigenous Beliefs it is because they see that the world needs this type of Spirituality in this world. As it amongst so many other things fosters a belief that if we work together then each of us will be enriched and will create a world that is better than this one. So join with us to find a deeper connection to our indigenous roots and Spiritual Beliefs.