Honouring our Grandmothers on International Women's Day
Grandmother ■ Ihtsų
The roots that keep our family trees strong and planted in traditions - grandmothers - deserve recognition. Having lived through enormous change and threats to their identity, our grandmothers are highly respected and depended upon for their wisdom, their strength, their understanding, and their guidance. As living connections to the past, they offer a glance into the pre-colonial world, helping to ground us in our traditional way of living. Their resistance and defiant spirits offer inspiration and strength for us today.
Our grandmothers are a library of knowledge. They share stories of creation and how the world came to be, how we fit into the world and our responsibilities in relation to the land that surrounds us. They share stories of humility, courage, and respect. Instead of simply telling their grandchildren not to do something, it was more valuable for them to share stories with lessons weaved into them. This allows everyone they teach to learn using critical thinking. Their hope is that this sparks lifelong learning, and you will pass these stories on to your own children one day. They also shared powerful songs passed down through generations. Their language and their energy put into the songs can be felt in your spirit. Spirit “inezhrųm” is strengthened by our grandmothers’ teachings.
Our grandmothers have many gifts. They shared skills such as beading, sewing, moose and fish cutting techniques, plant knowledge, and self-care practices.Our grandmothers were fully self-sufficient and hoped that we would be as well. Relying on stores for groceries always came with a warning. Being able to harvest your own food and medicines would ensure your survival when hard times fell on the community. They always taught us to be prepared.
Our grandmothers represent love. Many of our grandmothers are equivalent to mothers. A lot of their time is spent with their grandchildren. They help with caretaking while parents work, cooking, reading, bathing, chores, hunting and fishing, school events, and holidays. During times like Christmas and Easter, they are often the glue that holds our families together and inspire us to gather. Memorials and tributes to our grandmothers are common because keeping their legacy strong is important to us.
Rooted deep in traditions, our grandmothers are safe, loving, and filled with wisdom and compassion. They lift us to be the best version of ourselves and for this we recognize and honour our grandmothers.
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