For many generations, many of Canada’s First Nations’ people celebrated their culture and heritage on or near this day, the Summer solstice, June 21, which makes it appropriate that these two events are jointly observed. There are three Indigenous groups in Canada: the First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples. This is the time to celebrate the unique heritage, diverse cultures, and outstanding achievements of our nation’s Indigenous peoples.
The dream catcher symbolizes strength and unity and has been a part of Native American culture for generations. One element of Native American traditions relates to the tradition of the hoop. Some Native Americans hold the hoop in the highest esteem.
The legend of the dream catcher
Long ago, an old spiritual leader was on a high mountain and had a vision. In his vision the great trickster and teacher of wisdom, he appeared in the form of a spider. He spoke in a sacred language and picked up the elder’s willow hoop. The circle had feathers, horse hair, beads and offerings on it. Inside the opening, the spider began to spin a web.
As he spun the web, he spoke to the elder about the cycles of life; from infants, childhood, into adulthood and old age, completing the cycle. He continued to spin and said, “In each cycle of life there are many forces; some good and some bad. The good forces will steer you in the right direction and the bad will steer you wrong. These forces can help or hinder with the harmony of nature.
The dream catcher became part of the culture
The spiritual leader gave the elder the web and said, “This web is a perfect circle. Use the web to help your people reach their goals, making good use of their ideas, dreams and visions. The web will catch your good ideas and the bad ones will go through the hole.
The elder shared his vision to the people and it became traditional for dream catchers to be hung above beds. They sift dreams and visions. Good is captured in the web of life and carried with the people. The evil drops inside the center of the web, no longer a part of their lives.
#AsheneeComeHome is a spiritual novel about one indigenous girl who left her remote village and was soon faced with the many problems associated with the modern world.
Available in paperback, audio and e-book ‘Ashenee Come Home’
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