There are a few items that walk this path in life with me. I made my first drum when I was 14. I carried it with me, and I still do. Throughout this life I have been gifted with more items, for whatever reason the people who gifted them to me. For the longest time I had not known what to do with them besides to use them to sing and smudge. I used to have this perspective that these things belonged to me.
It wasn’t until I started my journey in recovery that I looked for answers within our culture. The more cultural teachings I was given the more that I realized how important language is to my spirituality. My relationship with these items it more than the act of using them; more importantly I learned that these things do not “belong” to me. They walk with me, I am only taking care of them while I am here on earth. Also, the more language I learn the more I see what our perspective is as anishinaabe. Everything has a spirit. Our language is descriptive and alive—rather that possessive. That is the most beautiful thing.
Since I started learning language and more culture I have learned how to better care for the items I spoke of. I am excited to be here to learn more about how to speak the language for them. For the longest time I thought that I needed someone else to speak for them. I have come to realize that everything I need is inside me and that my relative are always with me to help me. I just have to ask for their help.