Most of our Elders live in the States. We want houses and a clean, safe community for them to move back to. In the 1940s & 50s, our relatives went south looking for work and escaping the destructive grasp of the residential school. We need them home to be our role models.
Let us put our minds together and see what life we will make for our children.
— Chief Sitting Bull
Words from Norma Aldridge & Francine Adams
One of the things that keep us from getting together is transportation. We need better ways of getting up to Shxwhá:y Village. We want better ways of getting picked up state-side and driven up here.
We want better communication between Council and membership whether here or State-side.
We want to hear the goings-on on a regular basis. We would like a newsletter that keeps us up-dated 6 times a year.
Lack of Elder housing is a big reason for us staying State-side. When we come up here we would like to do things such as activities that represent our interests.
Language is important; we hunt & fish; we want to teach about food, how to knit and crochet, canning, jam-making.
Words by Sxwoxwiyam
Our Elders are integral to our community.
Our Elders are part of our identity,
our link to our ancestors,
our connection to our past,
our culture and spiritual traditions.
Our Elders are a reflection of who we are,
where we have come from,
and where we want to go.
Our parents, our grandparents, our aunts and uncles.
Our Elders are role models for our leadership and our youth.
The world through our Elders’ eyes is hard for us to comprehend.
The old ways of doing things.
Living in parallel worlds… one of them not of their choosing.
the Indian residential schools,
foreign diseases and other peoples’ Wars.
So much lost,
yet so much learned.
Through our Elders we are connected to our past,
to our history,
our ancestors and our spiritual ways.
Our Elders are there for us.
Through observation: practice, and by listening, we can learn.
We just have to take the opportunity.