INDIAN LANGUAGE IS OUR SPIRITUAL STRENGTH

May 22, 2019 2 Comments

INDIAN LANGUAGE IS OUR SPIRITUAL STRENGTH

Sister Sky has many passions that drive the work we do in many different Native communities. One of our many passions is language revitalization. 

Cree Whelshula, our Training and Technical Assistance (TTA) Director for the Native Language Community Coordination (NLC) Center for Sister Sky, works diligently within language revitalization and works to identify best practices for language knowledge transfer that effects change in fluency levels in different communities. In her work, she identifies how not only the technical aspect of language revitalization but the cultural aspect. The following is how she describes the importance of language revitalization. 

"Indigenous language revitalization is a ceremony of healing. In ceremony, we carry ourselves with a positive mind, spirit, and intention. Move forward in this ceremony knowing that cultural practices and values are not only good for the spirit, but for the mind as well. Know that implementing these practices into our children’s education does not take away from their education, but gives strength to it.

The concept of mindfulness is much older than the word itself. Indigenous peoples have been practicing mindfulness for millennia and is at the core of cultural practice. Mindfulness is defined as, “a mental state achieved by focusing one's awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one's feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations, used as a therapeutic technique.” Diving deep into indigenous pedagogy and spirituality, you will find an importance of one’s own emotional and spiritual effect on others. We all hold power that can heal or harm. When creating, harvesting, cooking, singing, dancing, preparing for our families, people, loved ones, we are told to have good thoughts, feelings, and put prayer into what we do. If, for example, you are angry when you cook for others, you can make them sick. If you are happy, think about good things for others, and pray then you can nourish others. This practice facilitates the state of mind that modern western culture has termed “mindfulness.” We think about what we are doing, how we are feeling, and work toward creating a positive frame of mind.

Western science has studied the concept of mindfulness using magnetic resonance imaging brain scans. These scans track the neuronal (brain cell) activity as a result of mindfulness practice and they reveal that mindfulness practice results in increased grey matter (neuron density) in the learning, memory, and emotion center of the brain called the hippocampus. In addition, neuron activity that pertains to controlling executive function such as decision making, emotional regulation, and memory improves. “Neuroscientists have also shown that practicing mindfulness affects brain areas related to perception, body awareness, pain tolerance, emotion regulation, introspection, complex thinking, and sense of self” (Congleton, Christina, et al.)."

- Cree Whelshula – smx̌icnátkʷ (Colville/ Coeur d’Alene)

Resources cited:

Congleton , Christina, et al. “Mindfulness Can Literally Change Your Brain.” Harvard Business Review, 12 Mar. 2018, hbr.org/2015/01/mindfulness-can-literally-change-your-brain.




2 Responses

JORGGI DELANEY
JORGGI DELANEY

October 04, 2019

I purchased Body Lotion
Sweet Grass and Elderberry.
It’s wonderful, however I do not see it on menu to purchase

Carrie Thompson
Carrie Thompson

May 24, 2019

Thank you for the News Letter. I find it very informative and look forward to each one. Also, I so appreciate you for taking the time to share it with us. May God Bless You All.

Leave a comment

Comments will be approved before showing up.


Also in News From the Sisters

Growing Native Plants - Edible Landscapes and Permaculture
Growing Native Plants - Edible Landscapes and Permaculture

June 20, 2019 1 Comment

My grandparents lived on a 120-acre allotment on the Spokane Indian Reservation where they grew a garden and some trees. I remember my grandparent’s home with fond memories of flowers, elder, service, and gooseberry bushes, wild strawberries, camas, wild carrots, and old gnarly apple trees.

Continue Reading

Women's History Month - Thirteen Indigenous Grandmothers
Women's History Month - Thirteen Indigenous Grandmothers

April 03, 2019

The Thirteen Indigenous Grandmothers comprised of elders from all over the world, came together for the first time in 2004, to form a global alliance. Their alliance is one of, “prayer, education, and healing for our Mother Earth, all her inhabitants, all the children and for the next seven generations to come.” 

Continue Reading

Women's History Month - Early Native American Activist, Zitkala-Sa
Women's History Month - Early Native American Activist, Zitkala-Sa

March 22, 2019

In the early 1900's, she began using her platform as a writer and musician to bring attention to many injustices in the Native community. While bringing attention to the injustices, she fought for the rights of Native people when she joined the Society of American Indians

Continue Reading

Sign up for our newsletter

for the latest announcements on sales, promotions and special offers.