Iroquois Thanksgiving Address

We gather with family and friends today to give thanks for all that we are grateful for. One of the most beautiful, whole, and comprehensive givings of thanks I’ve heard is that of the Haudenosaunee (Iroquois); their Thanksgiving Address is better described by the Iroquois Indian Museum than by me:

“The Ohen:ton Karihwatehkwen means ‘The Words That Come Before All Else.’  It is also referred to as ‘The Thanksgiving Address,’  ‘Giving Greetings to the Natural World,’ or ‘The Opening Address.’ Traditional Haudenosaunee (Iroquois) say these words to begin and end each day, important meetings, ceremonies, and socials.   The Ohen:ton Karihwatehkwen is an expression of acknowledgement, greetings, love, and appreciation for every part of the Natural World.  The Ohen:ton Karihwatehkwen helps to bring the thoughts of the people together.  It is a way by which the Haudenosaunee remind themselves that human beings are only one strand in the Web of Life and that we are all connected to each other and to the rest of Creation.”

I feel that this thanksgiving has vital meaning for all of us who now occupy “Turtle Island,” the lands of the original people of North America. Perhaps these profoundly beautiful words from those who have lived here long before the rest of us can rise up through us from this ancient ground and help us live right with each other and with this land. They have as much meaning for all of us now as they have had at any time. Indeed, our future depends on thoughts such as these.

“Below is a video presentation featuring Mohawk storyteller Kay Olan’s spoken version of the Thanksgiving Address along with images created by Tuscarora graphic artist Melanie Printup Hope supplemented with additional photographs.”

I post this with the approval of the Iroquois Indian Museum. They ask that we please visit their website and support their museum by donating or becoming a member.

“We are a private non-profit with no line items or support from the government and can use all the help we can get.”

[By the way, if the embedded video below does not show up on your device (e.g., I don’t see it on my iPad; maybe because it is flash), just click on the link below to go to the original location on the Museum’s website.]

Check here for the original web location of this video.

 

 

First People’s Festival, DeWitt Park

In episode 59 of Walk in the Park, we go to DeWitt Park in downtown Ithaca, NY for the annual First People’s Festival on October 5, 2013, held alongside the Ithaca Apple Harvest Festival. It continues to show this Saturday and Sunday morning at 10:30 a.m. on Ithaca’s public access cable TV channel 13 (or 97.3). See the full schedule of showings for the next week. Or, you can watch it online on this page below!

First Peoples Festival, DeWitt Park, Ithaca, NY, Ithaca College, Haudenosaunee, Iroquois

A Haudenosaunee (Iroquois) banner hangs behind information tables at the First Peoples Festival on Oct. 5, 2013 in Ithaca, NY's DeWitt Park.

The high point of our visit is an interview with Brandon Lazore of the Onondaga Nation of the Haudenosaunee (Iroquois), the artist who painted the wampum belt mural on the side of the Seneca Street garage in downtown Ithaca. We also interview Tariq Widarso, an Ithaca College student who has been working with the Two Row Wampum Renewal Campaign, which seeks to revive Native American treaties and care for our environment. And we also talk with Laura Kerrigan of Primitive Pursuits, who explains some Native American traditional skills they were teaching at the festival.

Finally, we take a couple of walks into Buttermilk Glen in Buttermilk Falls State Park; and we marvel at beautiful photographs by Roger C. Ingraham, who loves to study the nature of light reflected from water, particularly during the fall color season.

Episode 59 was recorded 10/9/13 at PEGASYS Studios in Ithaca, NY

Iroquois Dances, Peace Park, Concerts, Rainbows, and Rugged Mountains

Aerial photograph by Bill Hecht of a rainbow over Cayuga Lake by Sheldrake Point

During one of our recent rain storms, aerial photographer Bill Hecht took this picture of a rainbow over Sheldrake Point, on the west shore of Cayuga Lake in Seneca County.

These are some of the things we see in the current episode (#51) of Walk in the Park TVWe move around the world, from rainbows in the Finger Lakes, to summer concerts in parks, to the annual peace ceremony in Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park, to the Ganondagan Native American Festival of Music and Dance, and finally to Torngat Mountains National Park in Labrador, Canada.

It is showing this week on Ithaca, NY’s public access cable channel 13 (or 97.3). [Note: Time Warner Cable has made some changes to its channels, so if you are having trouble finding this channel, see the PEGASYS page (scroll down for instructions).]

Next showings will air this weekend, Saturday and Sunday at 10:30 a.m., and next Tuesday, August 13, at 8:00 p.m.       Or

You can watch it right here!