What teachings do pipe ceremonies offer you, related to treaties as covenants - kihci-asotamâtowin [Keeh-TSI-us-SOO-tu-MAA-toe-win] - Sacred Promises to One Another, the Treaty Sovereign’s Sacred Undertakings? (refer to the assigned reading in the Treaty Elders of SK book). How do you understand spirituality as part of your treaty-identities miskâsowin? note: spirituality doesn’t necessarily refer to religious practices, i.e. Christianity, but these could be included as well as considering yourself as a whole being - mental, spiritual, emotional, physical.
Spirituality as part of my treaty identity I see as being mindful. This would take place in multiple strands of my identity and relates to each of the 4 strands of this course. Within miskâsowin, I should be mindful of where I come from and my own histories. Respecting myself and the ones around me is important; “respect is an essential pillar in which good relationships can be brought about (Cardinal & Hildebrandt, p. 22). Within tâpwêwin, I must be mindful of what I speak about and consider if I could do so with even more precision and accuracy. Within miyo-wîcêtowin, be mindful that participating in our circle discussions, and ceremonies, allows me to mindfully make good relations with others. Lastly, within wîtaskêwin, being mindful of my relationship, as a settler, with the land, and the rightful owners of the land that I use.
The pipe ceremony, and discussions surrounding the ceremony, offered me an opportunity to be mindful. By doing this I am doing my part to listen and take in the knowledge of Elder Alma as well as appreciate that I am able to participate in a pipe ceremony. I thought about when ceremonies, such as the pipe ceremony that I participated in, was banned. The impact - mental, spiritual, physical and emotional - on a person would be tragic. I view covenants as promising promises and kind, but when they are put in the context of treaty, this does not stand true.
Cardinal & Hildebrandt. (2016). Treaty Elders of Saskatchewan.