As Wisdom Gardens rests for the winter and we prepare for Winter Solstice, I am reflecting on the year, my life, and Wisdom’s shared vision for the future of our people.
My sub-arctic heritage reveres Winter Solstice as the holiest time of the year – the time to remember and grow closer to our Athabascan (Deg Hit’an Dine) heritage and its cultural greatness. Our values are rich and enduring. Despite centuries of historical trauma, our people and our subsistence way of life have continued to thrive. They remind us who we are as Deg Hit’an Dine descendants.
Like yoyekoyh (aurora borealis), our cultural values shine and are partly why Wisdom of the Elders continues to sustain: Self-sufficiency and Hard Work; Care and Provision for the Family; Family Relations and Unity; Love for Children; Village Cooperation and Responsibility to Village; Humor; Honesty and Fairness; Sharing and Caring; Respect for Elders and Others; Respect for Knowledge & Wisdom from Life Experiences; Respect for the Land and Nature; Practice of Native Traditions; Honoring Ancestors; and Spirituality. These are the values of my ancestors. I try to live up to them the best I can.
The best to each of you in this holy season. We look forward to seeing you in the New Year.
~ Rose High Bear, 17 December 2013