The Spanish Flu of 1918 killed over 50 million people throughout the world’s populations. How horrific it must have been for good people back then, who watched helplessly, as a dearly loved relative, especially children, died of the flu. When I think of the Spanish Flu, my thoughts drift to the plight of the Indigenous Peoples of Turtle Island who experienced the despair and hopelessness brought forth by influenza pandemics, not once or twice but many, many times since contact with the settlers began over 400 years ago.
For the Indigenous Peoples, each outbreak of influenza, beginning after contact, was as deadly for us as the Spanish Flu of 1918 was for the world’s populations. For the Indigenous Peoples, it was one pandemic after the other. From the furthest points north to the furthest points south, the Americas became lands upon which millions upon millions of the Original Peoples died. Babies, youth, adults, old folks – far more died than there were those that lived.
Somehow, some of the First Peoples survived. How did they manage to do so? My belief is that only the People who held fast to their sacred connection to the land had a fighting chance of survival after the poison of influenza had attacked their immune systems. The people who saw the forest as a place of medicine and healing, lived. The plants the people gathered and trusted to bring forth healing responded and many were saved because of it. The people around them who put their trust in survival solely in the scriptures of holy books of organized religion or in the prescription handed to them by a European trained physician to ward off the illness, fell to the virus. Is there another explanation as to why ‘all’ Indigenous Peoples did not perish?
On a starless night, I spiritually travel into the past and sit with the dead of our Indigenous bloodlines whose last days of life on this earth were days of complete and undescribable misery because of an influenza pandemic they desperately fought but did not defeat. I hear their vow to Creator, that they will defend the health and wellness of their descendants from where they (ancestors) now reside in the Spirit Land promised to all human beings who lived a life of goodness and sharing. Our ancestors, who died during the influenza outbreaks of the past, did not go from this world to one of emptiness where the souls of righteous people are left without power. Ceremony is available to them in that spiritual place where good people go and hear Honour Songs sung for them. They stand ready to help us from where they are now, we need only call to them with our drums and chants to summon their healing touch in our time of need.
If the Coronavirus infects you, place your faith and trust to recover in the spirit of the land. The Good Spirit living in the plants and trees, in the birds and animals, in the fish and totems, in the sun, the waters and the wind, can remove sickness from your being.
Just the other day I saw a T-shirt with the words ‘Ceremony is Medicine’ written across it. It is, to be sure. If you are as one with ceremony, then rest assured, the ceremony will serve you well.
Every family should have at least one member among them who can, through the force of his/her spiritual beliefs, make requests (prayer) for the benefit and safety of all other people of their bloodline. A human being with strong spiritual beliefs stands in the centre of a circle, the sacred medicines are raised up in a good way and hence, a ceremony is conducted with humility and honour, bringing success to its purpose. The Indigenous Peoples of this land must never disappear from it. If they ever did, it would surely signal the end of all mankind on Mother Earth.
I believe in intuition. My mother was very intuitive. She had a special relationship with the spirits of Dreamland and could on sight, gauge the goodness in the heart of a stranger. Her dreams predicted coming events, telling of a disaster or a crisis involving the people of her family line. The gift my mother had regarding future occurrences was passed on to some of her children. When my antennas are up, my intuitive powers never fail me. Regarding the Coronavirus, my intuition tells me that it is not the monster some folks are making it out to be. It will not do to us what the Spanish Flu did in 1918. We all need to remain calm and never lose track of our ability to be sensible and above all, compassionate.
The only way COVID-19 will grow into an uncontrollable monster is if we feed it by breaking faith with what defines us as human beings. I trust in Creator. I trust in the medicines of the trees. I trust in my ancestors. The great and sacred faith I have in these things cannot be broken.