OCIP Provincial Elder
It has been said that Chiefs are to lead the tribe and the Elders are to guide it. This certainly is true in these hard days, for We as Indigenous Peoples struggle with this every day. We are in a place between worlds. One of stark reality, where the individual is always seeking power and once reached is always striving for more, where ones identity is based on status and influence. While the other world is one of connectedness between us, the Great Creator, Mother Earth & its inhabitants, the world in general. It is one where the Spirit of us can soar, but still remains rooted to those around us. Power has no place and in fact is of no consequence. These two worlds are so diametrically opposite to each other that the powerful of the past felt it was easier to destroy the seemingly lesser people or idea. Yes some would argue that it was resources, but we know these were only the spoils. Ideals were at the root of this battle.
It is into this long fought battle, we enter. But how do we find the way back, How do we live, who Guides us? It is our Elders, for whatever our beliefs they are connected to the great Creator or perhaps better put “The Great Mystery”. They listen when others talk, they contemplate when other act, they are open when other are closed. These Elders are not seeking anything save the way forwards. They know that knowledge and wisdom is revealed not the proud, but to those humble enough to seek it. For what is the first step in asking any question, it is admitting to yourself and the world you don’t know the answer and you need it. This is what most Elders did long ago, they asked questions and learned how to listen for the answers.
This is what we need today, we need these guides that ask and receive the messages of the way forwards. These great Women and Men do not have all or perhaps any of the answers we want to hear, but these Great Guides know how to find then and have the determination to give us what we need instead. For they know we need is far greater than what we want every time. After all this culture of power and greed says get what you want and forget the rest. But they know that taking what you need leaves enough for the next person and there will be something leaf nine generations from now and beyond. So know that gifts not used up are as important as the gifts given. These Elders further know that We all have gifts within us and it is important to nurture them in us all, so their mission of guidance for all is their gift to all the Peoples whether Indigenous or not and regardless of if they listen or not.
So start to grow your own Knowledge/Wisdom, just listen.
Provincial Elder Jim Smith is ever seeking to hear the Knowledge & Wisdom the Great Creator has for OCIP and its Indigenous Peoples.
Please Contact Him.