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Natural Awakenings Sarasota / Manatee / Charlotte

Sherri Mitchell on Indigenous Wisdom for Our Times

Oct 30, 2020 09:30AM ● By Linda Sechrist
Author of Sacred Instructions: Indigenous Wisdom for Living Spirit-Based Change, Sherri Mitchell (Weh’na Ha’mu Kwasset) has been an attorney, spiritual teacher and indigenous rights activist for more than 25 years. Born and raised on the Penobscot Indian Reservation, she draws upon her ancestral knowledge to address environmental protection, social justice and spiritual change, offering a set of cultural values to help preserve our collective survival for future generations.

Why is a deeper understanding of the foundational laws of creation so important now?

What people really need to understand about the laws of attraction and manifestation, which are foundational laws of creation, is that humans have been manifesting the reality they’ve been living in for a very, very long time. Connected by the laws of entanglement, whatever we are giving life to, whatever we are thinking, speaking and breathing out is creating the current that is manifesting the storm we are currently living. We are co-creators of this reality, and it is time to move beyond the kindergarten-level of the law of attraction and take conscious responsibility for what we are actively creating, whether we intend it or not, because we are creating and putting things into motion all the time. We, as spiritual beings having a human experience, need to begin taking grown-up responsibility and move beyond the childlike dependence that colonization has imprinted within us.

Human beings have set in motion all the ideologies and beliefs that are currently governing and manifesting the reality that we step into, moment-by-moment. According to the law of motion, this is going to stay in motion until it meets with an equal or greater force. That force is us. We need to stand in the path of the energy we have created and actively stop its movement. We need to transform the energetic pattern of it and shift it in another direction.

What is colonization?

It’s difficult to talk about colonization in sound bites because it’s a complex subject. With regard to history, colonization was about taking over lands occupied by an indigenous population. The romanticized myth of colonization, the settling of the Americas, was unsettling. The language surrounding colonization makes it sound as if it was a wonderful thing, when it was actually disruptive, destructive and filled with violence and domination.

Moving into and taking over an already occupied area to gain and maintain control over resources is an act of conquest and domination. We are not living in a post-colonial era. Colonization, like capitalism, reaches what appears to be an end point, and then it turns around and begins cannibalizing itself. For example, we’re seeing colonization of the commons—companies taking control of the majority of the Earth’s drinking and potable water and making a statement that human beings don’t have a right to that water. Water should be part of the commons and available to everyone equally.

Cannibalization by ongoing colonization is also happening to our air through the Paris Agreement. Trading for shares of clean air through a carbon credit program is the greatest smoke-and-mirrors scam of our time. We are in the midst of the “Dance of the Cannibal Giant” with colonization and capitalism as key players.

What is the Dance of the Cannibal Giant?

It’s an indigenous extinction story for the human species. There are a number of them relevant to the times we are living in. In the Wabanaki tradition, Giwakwa, the cannibal giant, lives deep in the forest and only awakens to the Earth mother’s distressed cry. This lets Giwakwa know that humans are consuming faster than she can produce and harming her faster than she can heal. Awakened, Giwakwa plays music on his flute that dances people into frenzied, mindless, faster and faster consumption until they consume themselves off the planet, giving Mother Earth the opportunity to heal and renew. These indigenous extinction stories are active now across the globe.

The only way to put the cannibal giant back to sleep is for us to wake up fully to the fact that the Earth is being damaged at a rate far greater than she can heal herself, and that there are many species on the verge of extinction. We are one of them. People must be incredibly discerning now. They must get grounded in their center to listen and heed the direction of their inner compass that will guide them in a right direction.

Linda Sechrist is a senior staff writer for Natural Awakenings.

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