In order to recognize National Indigenous History Month and Indigenous Solidarity Day, look out for weekly information on Indigenous peoples in Canada. With the recent discovery of the mass grave of Indigenous children at the Kamloops Indian Residential School, it is important healthcare providers continue to educate ourselves on Indigenous culture in order to provide culturally safe and patient-centred care.
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Teachings on the Strawberry - Ode`imin
There are many nations in this region: Anishinaabe, Haudenosaunee, Algonquin, Lenape, and Cree. Each nation has their own version of the teachings behind the strawberry.
Before everything came to be as we know it, Nanabozho came to name the trees, the waters, the birds, insects, and animals. When he came across this berry he did not name it right away he watched how it grew. He watched how it grew very close to the earth and that all the patches were connected. He noticed this berry had the shortest life span of all the berries and only grew for a little while.
What Nanabozho observed from the berry and shared with humankind is that we should live our life like this berry. We should live as close as possible to mother earth, stick together and help each other. The berry has a short life just like ours. We are only here for a little while.
One common theme through all nations is the strawberry is about forgiveness and love. The strawberry is the centre of all ceremonies. The strawberry can heal a broken heart and bring back the sweetness to your life. The strawberry plays a big role in healing for everyone. This berry is the first to arrive in early summer, so it is called the king of all fruit. Also known as the "heart berry," the strawberry often comes in the shape of a heart.
At this time, the strawberry has a huge responsibility to bring healing to all nations, so please eat the strawberry and give thanks for it bringing back the sweetness to your life.
A photo of strawberries in the wild is below.
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