by Gordon Pictou, Program Director, GHC & Mi‘kmaq Museum

This morning I burned sweetgrass and sage in an abalone shell and washed my mind, heart, spirit and body in the fragrant smoke. I led a prayer of gratitude for all that is provided to us so that we can be healthy and we can live. I prayed for our medicine to be strong, our waters to be clean, our families and friends to be safe and gave thanks for all the help that we receive from Oositkamoo (Mother Earth) and all our relations that share our world: the animals, fish, birds and even the bugs. Without everything we have, the natural cycles all of us depend on are threatened. Everyday there are less and less species sharing our planet and this is a time of great and rapid change. So as I do every day, I smudged myself and I gave Oositkamoo her due and reminded my heart to be grateful and my ego to be humble. I live a life of privilege. All life is a privilege! In NS the once plentiful marten, moose and lynx are endangered, our wolves and caribou are already gone, and many other recognizable species of fauna and flora are being extirpated and many lesser known species face the same fate. The Mi’kmaw diet is still comprised of a lot of wild game and sea foods but our ability to continue to do so is threatened. Lobster catches are decreasing, salmon rivers are fewer and fewer, and many of the places that once teemed with shell fish are no longer safe to eat.

How many times a year do you consider the extent of the environmental crisis our world is in?

Earth Day i ...

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