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The Summer Solstice: A time to celebrate and give thanks

By Marie-Louise Perron, Knowledge Keeper
Indigenous Initiatives Service, Saint Paul University

It’s the Strawberry Moon! The summer solstice has arrived — the longest day of the year!

It’s a time of grand gatherings for Indigenous Peoples, of ceremonies where families and communities gather to give thanks to the Creator, to celebrate our cultures and our accomplishments. We also remember that not so long ago our gatherings and ceremonies were prohibited…

In this time of the COVID-19 pandemic, many people are — for the first time — experiencing constraints on their movements, as well as their social and spiritual lives. They should now be in a frame of mind to have some understanding of what Indigenous Peoples have gone through during decades of illegal confinement, prohibition of our gatherings and ceremonies on pain of imprisonment, and the loss of our relatives by decisions of the civil authorities supported by the churches.

This is a good time of year. When the warm weather calls us to relaxation, and we turn our faces to the sun like sunflowers, it is good to remember the teaching of the strawberry. This delectable little fruit serves as both food and medicine for the body. Its shape in the form of a heart reminds us to be kind with all our relations — not only human beings, but with all that exists. Because humans are by far the weakest of all beings; we depend on all of Creation to survive, whereas the rest of the Universe can continue to evolve in perfect hamony without us.

Be well, be kind with all our relations, and have a good summer!

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