If you had the opportunity to create a message for future generations, one crafted from a place of deep love, the purist truth, and instilled with hope, what might that message be?
Following the recent uprising here in Minneapolis and around the nation, many elders and others with compromised immune systems, felt powerless as we watched our youth march in the streets as they sought to bring justice for George Floyd and so many others killed by police. Our youth have brought us to this brink of a dramatic sea change, one many of us have worked toward our entire lives. We are so close and yet, we can already see the entrenchment and back sliding by our elected officials at the local and federal levels. Let’s seize this opportunity; we can and must help to bring about social justice.
I suggest we create a tree of peace, a tree of life, a tree for the future.
We will begin by creating the leaves or needles, which symbolizes the life giving oxygen for our future generations. This message describes our wishes for them, for our mother earth, for the water, air, plants and animals. We will do this from a deep place of love. You can stitch, paint, or ink your message on your leaf – a panel no larger than 8 x 8 inches. Keep in mind the leaf will be subjected to the elements. We will attach them to a tree. This tree will be harvested from woods here in Minnesota. I will prepare it to be re-assembled with branches created from driftwood along the shores of Lake Superior. We will tie your message to these branches.
We will present these messages to the people. We will do this because we love our children, we wish for our children’s children to live a life where they can smell the flowers, put their feet into clean rivers, breathe air that is life giving, and live each day without fear of the police, pandemics, and government’s run amuck.
Send your panel to me at 1335 E 23rd St., Mpls, MN 55404 by September 15th, 2020. I invite whomever is willing and able to join me in Washington DC on October 1-2, perhaps at Lafayette Park, to assemble the tree with your messages. Following this, we will present this tree of peace, tree of life, tree of the future to the Piscataway People, the first people of the area, entrusting it to them; a marker for this time in history holding our petitions for the future.
Then we get out the Vote!
WE hold our elected officials at the city, county, state and federal levels accountable to systematically reforming all the systems which oppress Indigenous, Black, LatinX, Asian and Pacific Islanders.
Please join me.
Sharon M. Day, Ojibwe
1335 E 23rd St
Minneapolis, MN 55404
Sharon M. Day, Ojibwe is enrolled in the Bois Forte Band of Ojibwe. She is a second degree M’dewin. She has served as the Executive Director of Indigenous Peoples Task Force since 1990. Ms. Day is also a grandmother, artist, musician, and writer. In 1998, the M’dewin were called to help the Mendota Dakota people save a spring that is sacred to the Dakota. The road was built 200 feet from the spring but the spring still flows. In 2003, when Grandmother Josephine Mandamin walked Lake Superior, Sharon walked two days on the eastern shore near Lake Superior Provincial Park in Ontario. Since then, she has led 20 water walks, leading several each year.