#SAITstory: “When people have a problem understanding our spiritual relationship with the land, I ask them, ‘How many of you have mothers? How well do you look after or care for your mother?’
That is why we call the land Mother Earth ― the life-giver. It provides for us, it nurtures us. It gives us life, food, air. It’s where most of our medicines come from.
That’s why we smudge and that’s how we honour the land on which we walk. For example, when we go into an area where we are picking berries, we always go in there with a bit of tobacco and put it back into the ground to say thank you for the berries.
Everybody has to think. I challenge people to think of your mother … Would you just knock her down and walk all over her? Or would you show her some respect?
My question is, how would you demonstrate your respect for the land?”
Sykes Powderface, Stoney Nakoda | SAIT Chinook Lodge Elder in Residence | Advisor, Indigenous, Aboriginal and Treaty Rights
Editor’s note: Sykes Powderface is from the Stoney Nakoda Nation in Morley, Alberta. He has devoted much of his life to raising awareness for Indigenous peoples and closing the gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous groups in Canada. He will be speaking on Canada’s Treaty history this evening, Tuesday, Nov. 15, from 4 pm – 6 pm.