Fishwoman on Relationships and Inter-connection
In the words of Cree Elder Pauline “Fishwoman” Johnson who was born and raised in a traditional way at Lesser Slave Lake in Northern Alberta:
"Many Elders will say that we are related to everything on earth. Some people think that when we ask them to pray to the Grandmothers and Grandfathers that it is their biological ancestors we are talking about. We do acknowledge our Grandmothers and Grandfathers in our lineage. We put them in a place of respect and love. But the Grandmothers and Grandfathers are also everything here on earth. As I was growing up I was always told that all of these things that were here before me, that they are all Grandmothers and Grandfathers to me: Grandfather Sun, Grandmother Moon, Grandfather Stars, the thunder beings, the rock beings, the mountains. They are the old, old ones. They are in essence my Elders, my Teachers. And the Creator above all, who created all of those things to give me an essence of my spiritual life.
We recognize all things in life and that all things have life, and so that is why we call them beings. We are human beings, so they are plant beings, rooted beings, universe beings, sky beings, thunder beings. We are human beings on this planet and we are the two legged, but everything out there—we acknowledge that they are part of us, part of our life, part of who we are, and we are part of them."
(Traditional Cree Elder Pauline Johnson—Fishwoman) (The Medicine Path by Jaki Daniels 2014, 120)