NSEN, with its revitalized new board chaired by PhD Engineering student, Chris White, and the crucial in-kind support of one of Halifax’s favourite gathering place is committed to hosting Mi’kmaq circles in order to facilitate a more ecologically and inclusive way for people to meet and face our fragile future on the planet. The series looks at components of human health through the prism of environmental elements and the eco-centric Mi’kmaq Calendar.
For millennia the unceded Mi’kmaq territory (what is now called the Atlantic Provinces) was sustained by an eco-centric philosophy of a land-based consciousness. The inclusivity and egalitarianism of this philosophy is exemplified by the Mi’kmaq talking circle tradition, an ideal setting for all people living in this time and space to come together to learn how to best survive spiritually, physically, mentally and emotionally. By acknowledging that 1/putting the needs for a healthy environment before egoic greed, 2/considering what the fullness of the natural world (of which human animals are a part) offers in each month through the perspective of the Mi’kmaw calendar and 3/ discussing the challenges of being healthy in a society that most often ignores that nature is in control, will integrate humans to see that we must put nature first and create the political will to protect our environment above everything.
NSEN encourages a repeat of the broad spectrum of last year’s circles’ representation during which Mi’kmaq, Anishnabe, Cree and Haida First Nations, Inuit people from fifteen countries, all ages, genders and economic backgrounds, longtime residents of Halifax, new Canadians, professionals from the arts and sciences and persons of all abilities came together to listen to the Circle leader and then to each other.
Alanis Obomsawin, a renowned Abenaki filmmaker, singer, artist and activist, relayed this pithy and poignant indigenous wisdom: “When the last tree has been cut down, the last fish caught, the last river poisoned, only then will we realize that one cannot eat money.”
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