Indigenous Values, Traditions and Circles through the Spirit of Homefulness


Tiny - Posted on 07 February 2018

Author: 
Mato Naji

‘It’s getting really wet, now’ I thought, wincing with every footstep from a screw in my ankle. ‘Soon, it’ll be coming down too hard to move this library.’ My shoulders aching from moving shelves, books, and boxes from Uncle Al’s and Mama Dee’s Living (Really) Public Library. I know however that Mama Dee sits there, watching me from the corner in her altar, occasionally giving me thoughts to keep moving forward. The spirit I feel in there is heavy. We had to get that done that day or the radio station wouldn’t get up in time.

Homefulness is a dream from a homeless, indigenous mama and daughter, Mama Dee and Tiny. It is realized through indigenous values, traditions and circles. It is a landless, indigenous peoples vision of a brighter future where money isn’t the motive behind it all. In order for you to understand what I see in Homefulness, I need to take you back a few centuries, where our people lived FOR each other. The Elder circles and councils always counted in the thoughts and feelings of the youth. The women would take care of the children and elderly and sickly. The braves would hunt for and defend his peoples, and the children? Well all they had to do was respect the voices of their elders and learn from their mistakes. The washicu or pale faces thought we were savage. However that's how we saw them. They walked over each other, leaving the elderly and sickly behind. They scold their children over simple mistakes without letting them learn their own ways. They only defended their village if the temptation of money was involved. The washicu was rude, talking loudly and without critical thought to whom it may affect. If you weren’t educated or couldn’t read, you were considered worthless. However the main thing that made us see the pale faces as savage, was their destruction of Mother Earth. The washicu dug up many tons of her veins to find gold and other precious metals, destroying any and everything in their paths. In their greed, the washicu never realized their destruction was leaving scars upon her beautiful face. Irreparable damage over the centuries have left her in shambles. Now we wonder why our resources are running low, we wonder why our water is poisoned, and wonder why our natural disasters are getting worse.

Homefulness works through all of that by honoring my peoples traditions and values. It truly is living in the ways of my people. We hold circles to decide what steps are needed for the future of Homefulness and its’ people. We honor the peoples who were here first through ceremony and respects. We take care of the ones who care and have love for us. We take care of our elderly and sickly and teach our youth to learn from their mistakes without scorn. Homefulness is really being built through what we call sweat equity, but my peoples called it responsibility. You had the responsibility to take care of your people. You had the responsibility to feed your peoples. You had the responsibility to defend your peoples. You had the responsibility to lead your peoples. You had the responsibility to provide every single aspect of life to your peoples. You had the responsibility to live for your people. Homefulness is all of that and more. Homefulness is the dream realized thru a landless homeless indigenous dream from seven generations passed. Homefulness is love and pain and sorrow manifested in a real state of being. In all actuality  

The Spirit of Homefulness is strong in everyone who works here, because it keeps them working for their folks, holding that responsibility in their hearts. Holding that love, pain and sorrow in the aching shoulders while we keep working to build this dream that is the Spirit of Homefulness.

Editors Note: Currently we are trying to raise the money to finish the 4 MamaHouse Townhouses and the building for the SLiding Scale Cafe- if you are able to support us please do at www.poormagazine.org/rev_donor

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