Noo Halidzoks

Shannon Thunderbird, Gisbutwada Clan of the Coast Tsimshian Indigenous People, Canada.

Speaker, traditional teacher and singer-songwriter, celebrating "Turtle Island’s" Indigenous Peoples.

(Submitted by the author and originally published in 'The Art of Living')

At the root of all Native teachings lies a reverence for The Land. Noo Halidzoks, or Mother Earth, gave the Red People a special gift of Turtle Island, or North America. We were charged with the responsibility of being caretakers of this vast land and were given much wisdom and knowledge with regard to its care and preservation.

As an Elder once said, “We are the environment and the environment is us. We deal with all of nature as equal members of the Universal Family. We go to the mountain, we go into the mountain, we become the mountain - never trying to overcome it, but always being part of its energy.”

How can we sell what we do not own?
There was a fundamental misunderstanding in the early dialogues between First Nations Peoples and the Europeans who sought to purchase our land. My ancestors were mystified by such negotiations, because The Land was not something to be bought and sold. The Land was the lifeblood of The People: its inherent sacredness lived in the souls of every member of the Red Race. It was to be kept in a good way, nourished and loved. In the words of Chief Sealth (also known as Seattle), “How can I sell what I do not own? It is only owned by that which created it in the first place.” The rest, as is said, is history, as The Land was then simply taken from the First Peoples, and quickly became a marketable commodity by which great riches could be gained, regardless of the global devastation that ensued.

As human beings, we need to look around, and into our hearts and learn from this. Balance and harmony were built into the original world and it was never the intention of Noo Halidzoks for The Land to have no meaning except for financial profit.

Walk the Earth Walk
We need to embrace Noo Halidzoks, our Mother Earth, with pureness, dignity, peace and constructive energy so that together we can save what is left of her. When we ‘Walk the Earth Walk’ with the twin elements of knowledge and courage - the knowledge of the importance of The Land to our living world, and the courage to save it - all things will be possible. All My Relations.*

*For indigenous peoples, ‘All My Relations’ signifies: ‘All my relationships with all living beings.’



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