Questions Responded by Brenda Jacobs (38th WRC)
Questions Responded by Brenda Jacobs
Cultural Resource Coordinator at the Hamilton Regional Indian Centre
Representing Indigenous Spirituality
Question 1. Does feathers means something sacred? Why?
Answer: Yes, the Eagle feathers are sacred to Indigenous people. The Eagle flies closest to Creator. It sits atop the Tree of Peace and protects and warns us when danger is near because it has keen eyesight and lets us know with its screech. They say when we hold the feather and are talking, we tell the truth. When we are in a talking circle and the speaker holds a feather, we give respect and listen without interrupting. This helps with good communication.
Question 2. Secular laws have trumped religious social values in Canada, e.g. homosexual, abortion rights. What can people of all faiths do to change this reality?
Answer: People created the systems, it will take the voice of people to change them. People know words are different from actions. Standing together and speaking up can help. Our people know one arrow can be broken easily, when there are five arrows, there is strength.
Question 3. As a scientist, how do we respect humanity while incorporating ideas like genetic modifications? By Frank T Asheri
Answer: In our Indigenous view, the laws and power of the Nature are to be respected. When making decisions today, we think seven generations ahead, the faces yet to come. When views are different then different choices are made.
Question 4. How would you explain about the differences among people (i.e. some poor, some rich, some beautiful some ugly) in regard of God as the creator?
Answer: All people were/are impacted by many things throughout history and it carries through the generations. Creator has given us everything we need. We are equal, no matter who we are.
Question 5. If God speaks today and one can hear him, any hearing experience?
Answer: Yes, with and without a voice, I hear Creator. Dreams are a connection to Creator, especially when we are asking for answers. Our traditional tobacco is used and as the smoke rises, it carries our words to Creator. I received my answer from Creator in a dream. When the sap was flowing from the maple tree, I was having a rough day, I leaned my back on the tree and I heard it say “we will help you, stand tall.” My tears flowed like the sap. This example was with a voice through the maple tree.
Question 6. What is the nature of Homo sapiens? From Francis Tuntu Asheri
Answer: I guess it’s belief. I began my presentation with our Creation Story. At one point in my life I wanted proof and didn’t feel connected to my own spirit and didn’t know or feel the deepness of my culture.
Question 7. What are the steps we need to take to help bring healing to the hurt we have brought to Indigenous people of Canada? By Daisy Areneault
Answer: There are many, many things that can build a healthier relationship with Indigenous people. To be brief, education about the true history that Canada didn’t teach, self-awareness/reflection, become an ally, be open minded and learn about your own feelings so you will understand ours.
Question 8. Although our understanding of God may differ, are we all looked after and received by the same God?
Answer: Yes, we are, Creator looks after us all.