Can a sacred fire be discredited? Can a grandfather rock resting in the centre of the purification lodge be discredited? We honour these things and are humbled in their presence. Chief Spence can no more be discredited than can a moon signalling the arrival of great changes about to take place on the land. Because of her fast, change will occur and nothing will stop it. She is peaceful. She will not allow the hatred so many Canadians have for our people to slow her down.
Ed Azure, an Elder from Northern Manitoba in the “Mother Theresa Caravan“, who had travelled nonstop for over 40 hours with 15 other supporters of Chief Spence, shared a teaching at the sacred fire on Victoria Island. This is what he said as I remember it:
“When we make a commitment or a promise which is meant to be everlasting, we say, ‘This will be done for as long as the waters flow’. The waters of which we are speaking are not the waters of the mighty rivers of our territories. The waters we are referring to are the waters which flow when our generations are born. It is for their benefit and well-being that the commitment or promise is made. For however long the women of the First Peoples are giving birth, the promise we made on their behalf will be kept. It is a sacred obligation that is impossible to break without bringing harm to yourself in the spiritual realm.”
Ed also shared that Chief Theresa Spence in the teepee was giving birth to something that would restore pride and a strong sense of identity again to all our peoples.
Chief Spence discredited? Not by a long shot! People who support her stand against the Government of Canada, and still write poetry in her honour. A young woman (Julie Comber) shown in the photo with Chief Spence and myself sang a song of appreciation she wrote for the Chief. The people who try to discredit Chief Spence, has anyone ever written an honour song for them? People who hate us have discredited her in their minds alone. It is no loss; they never credited her for anything good in the first place.
Let us promise now to stand with Chief Spence and women like her and follow their lead, for as long as the waters flow, for as long as the waters flow, for as long as the waters flow, for as long as the waters flow, for all of the coming seasons, for each moon the future will bring, we will stand in support of our women and follow the strongest of the strong among them.