‘Mother Earth?’

We are constantly lectured by aboriginal supremacists about how ‘white man’ needs to understand our relationship with ‘Mother Earth’, the way that aboriginals ‘inherently’ do. It will therefore come as a surprise to many that ‘Mother Earth’ as a concept in Canadian culture is European in origin and has virtually no history or connection with aboriginal culture or belief – and that’s according to aboriginal elders and ‘scholars’: 

erblmotherearth800x800

ROGER ROULETTE (“Ojibwe translator and linguist…grew up in Manitoba, the son of a well-known medicine man”):
“Wherever this notion came from, it is widespread. I am at a loss to who came up with it, first of all, and also that they would think that it is our concept. And it isn’t. I am definitely, positively, absolutely sure.” 
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“‘Mother Earth’ — A cultural idea with long European roots, but a very short Canadian history, a seductive idea which has transformed the way we think about both aboriginal people and about the environment.

“I’m Paul Kennedy, and this is ‘IDEAS’. Tonight, we skate out onto very thin cultural ice: looking for authenticity in aboriginal religious imagery and spiritual rhetoric. This is a show about the idea of ‘Mother Earth’…

MAUREEN MATTHEWS (Winnipeg journalist):
“I met ‘Mother Earth’ on the pages of ‘Akwesasne Notes’, an influential Native {Mohawk} newspaper published in Quebec. It was early 1970 and I was living in a Cree community, making Cree-language radio and TV programs.

“And there she was, a central figure in a speech attributed to the Suquamish chief, Seattle. The speech perfectly combined white guilt, a just God, and ‘innate’ ‘aboriginal ecological consciousness’.

“Twenty years went by before I discovered that the real author was not Chief Seattle. He was Ted Perry, a ‘white’ scriptwriter from Texas. He invented that speech for an ecological film made by the ‘Southern Baptist Convention’. Chief Seattle was real, but the speech was fiction. So, what was I to think of ‘Mother Earth’?

{See our background post on Chief Seattle and other ‘Adarios’:
‘The Myth of Aboriginal Environmental Stewardship’:
https://endracebasedlaw.wordpress.com/2016/05/11/the-myth-of-aboriginal-environmental-stewardship/

erblsavingtheenvironmen600x600

“Since I was recording old Cree stories at that point, if ‘Mother Earth’ was a Cree idea, I’d have known about it, but ‘Mother Earth’ never appeared in Cree. And if she wasn’t a Cree idea — and Cree is the most widely-spoken aboriginal language in Canada — how did she become a household word in this country? Well, it’s a long story.

“And, on the face of it, it’s not my story. I’m neither aboriginal nor an expert on aboriginal religion. But, over the years, I have worked with some of the best aboriginal scholars in the country. They think it’s time to say something about ‘Mother Earth’.

They see the rise of ‘Mother Earth’ and the corresponding development of a new pan-’Indian’ religion as a threat to historic religious traditions. They say it undermines aboriginal scholarship and alienates aboriginal people from their history {!}. So, in this show, we’re going to take a critical look at the idea of Mother Earth.

“I want to be methodical about this, because there are a few questions that need to be answered. First of all, what are people really saying when they talk about “Mother Earth”? If you listen carefully, Mother Earth is rhetorical shorthand for a whole range of ideas. First of all, she is a female religious deity…

“Secondly, Mother Earth is the symbol of a timeless ecological sensibility, framed in opposition to Christianity and “European” values…”
{Nonsense — ‘Mother Earth’ is a creation of the European ‘Romantic’ movement and is a direct predecessor to Thoreau, Emerson and the modern ‘conservation’ and ‘ecology’ movements which originated with wealthy English landlords wanting to protect their estates from economic development…}

HUGH DEMPSEY (‘Chief Curator Emeritus’ at the Glenbow Museum, in Calgary. He’s studied Blackfoot history and is married to a Blackfoot woman”):
“The only time that I have encountered ‘Mother Earth’ has been in speeches and prayers, and prayers made, I might say, in English rather than Native language. I have never seen it demonstrated through legends, through myths, through anything in the way of a presentation other than just verbal.”

PHIL LANE (“Phil Lane is Sioux. He’s a former ‘Native Studies’ professor and now a CEO of ‘Four Worlds International’, in Lethbridge, Alberta”):
“And really, if you think about it, it makes such good, logical sense. And when I go, for instance, to Europe, I’ve found that they are every bit as tribal as here, and their core values, if you really get down and look at the core values, culturally, have great similarities to here, just like in Africa or any other place in the world where people have lived close to Mother Earth and learned from Mother Earth’s teachings.”

STAN CUTHAND (“Cree linguist and scholar, a theologian and teacher”):
The concept of ‘Mother Earth’ came from another culture. It came from Europe

“I went to Chitek Lake. There was an elder there, and we sat with the teachers who were teaching Cree from various schools at the Tribal Council. One of the women mentioned about ‘Mother Earth’, that she was teaching about ‘Mother Earth’. And I told Isaac, the old man,

“Have you ever heard of Mother Earth? Did the old people talk about it?”

“And he said “No.”

I said,

“That’s my experience, too. They never talked about Mother Earth.”

MAUREEN MATTHEWS:
“Stan Cuthand grew up in a house full of Plains Cree storytellers, including the son of Poundmaker, a relative of his mother. Stan is an Anglican minister, with an eye for comparative religion. He has studied linguistics, taught ‘Indian Studies’ at the Saskatchewan Indian Federated College and is widely read.”

ROGER ROULETTE:
I’ve never come across it. I’ve heard many, many legends. I’ve heard many kinds of expressions. I’ve been to many ceremonies where they used the ceremonial jargon, if you will, and I’ve never come across it. And because I grew up in this kind of environment, monolingually, I had to have been exposed to many hours of orations, speeches and prayers, and so, I’ve never come across it.” 

IMAGE: myjavier007
IMAGE: myjavier007

MAUREEN MATTHEWS:
“I’ve worked with Roger Roulette for nearly ten years. Together, we’ve taped, transcribed and translated hours of Ojibwe stories and interviews. He grew up steeped in ceremony and has developed his understanding of Anishinaabe religious practice through many hours of conversations with old people. He now teaches Ojibwe language at the ‘University of Manitoba’, and he and another professor are working on a Southern Ojibwe dictionary, which already has 60,000 entries…

“Both Stan and Roger care about getting things right, and they both doubt ‘Mother Earth’. This is important because, between them, they know a great deal about the historic beliefs of the two largest groups of Indians in Canada. Between the Cree and the Ojibwe, they represent people who occupy {small parts of} at least one-third of Canada. And they’re both born skeptics, like me. 

“So, the newspaper had a story the other day about a sweat lodge being built in downtown Winnipeg. The headline read “Mother Earth’s Womb”. Readers were informed that the city’s first urban sweat lodge will open in mid-June. It said that the real word for sweat lodge is “maadoodooson” and that it is the Cree word for “womb”.

“What you’re doing when you enter the sweat lodge,” the article went on, “is you are entering Mother Earth’s womb.”

“When I read the article to them, Stan laughed, and Roger went through the roof.”

ROGER ROULETTE:
“A womb? Oh, no, no. That’s not even religious, and those practices in the old days were the last resort, particularly when you’re on your deathbed, basically. That’s when they used it. They didn’t do a sweat lodge in the old days just because It was a sunny day, or it was the thing to do. And they would never even toy with the idea of making an analogy with a sweat lodge. Sweat lodge is completely different.

“Nowadays, it’s like, oh, my god, everybody’s in the sweat lodge — men, women — and that is just… And the old people are going, “What the hell are they doing?” And I’m thinking, ‘Well, you can’t tell them anything, because that’s what they want to do, and they think they know better than our ancestors’.”

MAUREEN MATTHEWS:
“Are you sure you’re right?”

ROGER ROULETTE:
“Well, not only can’t you say “Mother Earth” in Ojibwe, but if I were to explain the concept of going back to the womb with the old people, I’d offend them — absolutely — because that’s offensive in any way. Even if you want to do it metaphorically in Ojibwe, that would be offensive…

“I’d probably get a slap for the first time in my life from an old person. There’s some things that just don’t carry from English metaphors to Ojibwe. Some things can — like, for instance, “He runs for election”. In Ojibwe, “Gii-bimibatoo”, which means he’s literally running, but it’s now used figuratively to run for elections. But something like “going back to the womb”, it’s like, “Oh my god, what are you discussing here?!”

MAUREEN MATTHEWS:
“The Plains Cree word for “womb”, just for the record, is another polite euphemism.
Stan says you use the phrase that means literally “with child”. “Womb” is not a word to be used in company, and certainly never by a man. So, you’ve guessed by now that Roger Roulette doesn’t think much of the new downtown sweat lodge.”

“As a linguist, he’s well-positioned to make his arguments, and if you listen closely, they reveal a pattern. His critique is cultural, contextual, historical and linguistic. If we apply those same criteria to the basic idea of ‘Mother Earth’, what answers do we get?

If I ask about Mother Earth, checking its authenticity as a European idea, I get a simple ‘Yes’ every time. Linguistic? It works perfectly in Latin, Greek and English. Historical? It’s easily traced back to ‘Gaia’, the Greek Earth Mother goddess, after whom the science of geology was named… 

Mother Earth--Terre-Mère--Madre Tierra--Pachamama
Mother Earth–Terre-Mère–Madre Tierra–Pachamama

“When Roger Roulette and Stan Cuthand considered the question of authenticity of ‘Mother Earth’, they did it from their cultural, historical perspective. They looked at the books, they talked to others, and they canvassed their own memories to see if they could verify the aboriginal authenticity of this idea. First of all, they looked for linguistic proof. Can you say it in Cree? Can you say it in Ojibwe?”

ROGER ROULETTE:
“…If a practice is presented to our people, and we don’t have the necessary language, or we don’t have the terms for it, then it tells us this is foreign. This is not ‘ours’. ‘Mother Earth’ is a great example. ‘Mother Earth’ is something that people use constantly when they’re talking about native spirituality.

“And that’s difficult to say — if not impossible to say — in Ojibwe, because Ojibwe is divided into animate and inanimate categories. So, “mother” is animate, and “Earth” Is inanimate. You can’t make a compound term where one word is animate and one is inanimate. It goes against the rules of our grammar.”

STAN CUTHAND:
“We never talked about ‘Mother Earth’ In our language; there’s neither “he” nor “she”. That’s the problem. We don’t think in terms of male and female. It’s an animate object.”

HUGH DEMPSEY:
“That’s interesting. In Blackfoot, the word for “Earth” is “kgaakomm”, and it is a neutral word. It is neither masculine nor feminine, nor is there any way that I know of that you can make it gender significant. It would be rather surprising, I think, if someone attempted it.”

MAUREEN MATTHEWS:
“The last voice you hear was Hugh Dempsey. He is ‘Chief Curator Emeritus’ at the Glenbow Museum, in Calgary. He’s studied Blackfoot history and is married to a Blackfoot woman…

“And it’s not that these languages are limited. The group of languages to which Cree, Ojibwe and Blackfoot belong are very strong in metaphorical and figurative usage. It’s not that you can’t make such a metaphor; you just wouldn’t.”

ROGER ROULETTE:
“People don’t understand why we would think that land is important, but land is what provides for you. it provides for you in the sense of plants, animals and everything else. But we don’t find that medium to be sacred. It isn’t. It isn’t at all.”

MAUREEN MATTHEWS:
‘Sacred’: This is a very important idea because ‘Mother Earth’ is said to be sacred, and the environmental insults she experiences become defilement. “Sacred” is essential to the idea of ‘Mother Earth’.

Roger says the Earth is not sacred. Stan says the idea “sacred” is very hard to translate into Cree.”

STAN CUTHAND:
“What is sacred is something that people fear because they think there’s a spirit there.
‘Kostachwak’ — It’s a place that is feared. There is no word for ‘sacred’, but maybe that’s what they mean. It’s a problem.

“And the missionaries translate “sacred” literally. It’s something that is eternal. ‘Kakikeyeyitakwan’ — “What you think is eternal” is sacred. You stand on sacred ground.

“This is sacred ground.”

“Well, why is it sacred? They say,

“This is where we had our rituals.”

“Yeah, but we had rituals all over the prairie, and as soon as we left the place, it no longer is sacred because it’s not the plot that is sacred. It’s what you worship.”

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MAUREEN MATTHEWS:
“So, it’s pretty clear that ‘Mother Earth’ doesn’t pass a Cree or Ojibwe linguistic test. Not only can you not say “Mother Earth,” you can’t even really apply the concept “sacred”.

“So, what about the next test — cultural context? The cultural taboos that Roger speaks of are taught in legend, and if ‘Mother Earth’ were an important cultural idea, she’d be in the stories.” …

“It seems that ‘Mother Earth’ should be pre-eminent among the gods or the ‘manidoowag’. But there’s no sign of her. There aren’t many gendered gods, period — because of the structure of the language, spirits are simply animate — and because being a god allows you to appear when you choose, in any form you chose.

“The closest thing in the Cree pantheon to the idea of ‘Mother Earth’ is ‘Wilderness Woman’, ‘Pakwaciskwew’. You know she’s around when the air fills with the scent of beautiful blossoms. And some have even heard her sing…

I have a friend whose grandfather was bewitched by Pakwaciskwew. He went quite mad. She pestered him constantly. Apparently, he saved himself by becoming a Christian. She is said to be more beautiful than any mortal woman, but jealous and sometimes sexually aggressive. Her presence explains deaths on the trap line. This is not the benign, nurturing ‘Mother Earth’, for sure…

“So, how else might ‘Mother Earth’ appear? If she were a revered religious figure to the Cree and the Ojibwe, there should be traditional prayers.

“A prayer in an aboriginal language mentioning ‘Mother Earth’ would be a significant piece of evidence. When he was a child at Utde Pine Reserve, Stan Cuthand saw an old man apparently praying to the earth.”

STAN CUTHAND:
“The man who performed the ceremony, the ritual at the ‘feast of the dead’ by the graveyard, old ‘Muskwa’ [bear], used to point to the Earth. And then I discovered that it’s not the Earth. It’s the place where the people were buried. That’s what it was.

“Of course, I was a young kid when we sat there, and their prayers were not very long. But nowadays, their prayers go on and on and on. We had this big feast at one o’clock. It was five o’clock by the time we finished. That comes from Christianity.

A lot of elders are Christianized, and then they suddenly discover Indian spirituality. I call them “modem elders”. Then they exaggerate a lot of things, and they borrow ideas from others. This is ‘pan-Indianism’ about this ‘Mother Earth’.”

MAUREEN MATTHEWS:
“… Stan found a good example of this kind of Christian-inflected prayer to ‘Mother Earth’ in a book called “Manitous”. Basil Johnson, a former staff member at the ‘Royal Ontario Museum’, wrote it in the mid-1990s.”

STAN CUTHAND:
“Basil Johnson said they pray in the Midewiwin lodge, and they tell the spirit,

“When I am cold and wet, you shelter me. When I am downcast, you comfort me. For this, I am grateful. I am indebted to you.”

“That’s what they say to ‘Mother Earth’–

“To you, Mother, we give thanks”.

“This is at the pipe ceremony to ‘Mother Earth’ in the smoking lodge.

That comes from the 25th Chapter of St. Matthew, the 35th verse, almost word for word. But it gives me problems because this was not written for Indian people…”

{? I thought it was written for ALL people… What a strange thing for a “theologian” to say…}

ROGER ROULETTE:
“People like Basil Johnson and people like that, I look at their material, and I never see quotes or cited material. That, for me, is important, that you cite your sources. So, when I say something, I usually give credit to the old person that said it, or that it’s on some sort of a tape or whatever. But you’ve got to know who actually is the authority in this area, and usually it goes back to the old people, and all you have to do is just represent what they say. You don’t have to make up anything.”

MAUREEN MATTHEWS:
“So, ‘Mother Earth’ fails the basic intellectual tests for Ojibwe and Cree authenticity. There is neither historical nor cultural context to support the claim that ‘Mother Earth’ has been with native people since time immemorial.

ROGER ROULETTE:
“I am, for one, not convinced. Definitely. I speak Ojibwe as my first language, and all the stories, all the conversations, all the stuff that I have sat through, ceremonies … I have never heard that said in Ojibwe. People will try to say it, but it sounds ridiculous.”

MAUREEN MATTHEWS:
“The Cree and Ojibwe are the two biggest aboriginal groups in Canada. The East Coast tribes, including the Mig’mah, are members of the same Algonquian-language group and held similar basic beliefs. The Inuit don’t have anything like ‘Mother Earth’, and there’s good evidence that this is also true of the Dene. The Blackfoot in southern Alberta are actually adamant about it.

“Gerry Conaty is the Chief Curator at the Glenbow Museum, in Calgary. He says ‘Mother Earth’ came up when they were discussing a new ‘Blackfoot Gallery’.”

JERRY CONATY:
“When we were working on the ‘Blackfoot Gallery’ with our 18 advisors or so {!}, the idea of ‘Mother Earth’ came up as we talked about the universe and all the different beings in the universe, and a number of them were very adamant that ‘Mother Earth’ is not a Blackfoot concept. In Blackfoot, the word for ‘moon’ is ‘kookookisoom’, which is ‘mother’. So, the moon is the mother, and in their world, the sun is the father…and ‘Morning Star’ is their son.

“And then there’s a whole number of different legends or myths or ancient stories, they like to call them, that revolve around ‘Morning Star’ and how sacred things were given from the sun through ‘Morning Star’ to the Blackfoot people, and the moon figures in there as the mother. So, although these same people in the next breath would refer to ‘Mother Earth’, I think they just hear that a lot, and so it comes out. But really, when they start thinking about it and talking about it very carefully, they respect the Earth, the Earth is very important, but it’s not ‘Mother’.”

MAUREEN MATTHEWS:
“This is interesting because it partly explains the confusion. Credible aboriginal people speaking in English use contemporary jargon. The same people would never refer to ‘Mother Earth’ in their own language, and I’ve seen this a dozen times. But it still doesn’t explain how ‘Mother Earth’ came to be so pervasive.”

{It came from ‘white’ sympathizers — mainly academics, church people, and environmentalists — as part of the creation of the ‘Noble Savage’ myth, as the example of the fictional speech by Chief Seattle clearly indicates…}

ROGER ROULETTE:
I don’t know where ‘Mother Earth’ comes from. I really don’t know. Because I’ve interviewed over a hundred Anishinaabe elders, and I know for a fact that nobody’s going to say it, but I ask them anyways.

“Even to look ridiculous, I ask them just to find out. But wherever this notion came from, it is widespread. I am at a loss to who came up with it, first of all, and also that they would think that it’s our concept. And it isn’t, I am definitely, positively, absolutely sure!

MAUREEN MATTHEWS:
“Hugh Dempsey has had a long association with the Blackfoot of Southern Alberta and he, too, wondered about the source of the idea.”

HUGH DEMPSEY:
“… What I’ve been told by American ethnologists is that this seems to have come out of California, that it was part of this ‘Whole Earth’ concept of the hippie era, and extended from there both into the hippie communities and into the native communities.” 

IMAGE: josephine101
IMAGE: josephine101

MAUREEN MATTHEWS:
“It might have stopped there but for a very important Canadian development: the ‘Indian Ecumenical Conference’ at Morley, Alberta. It was funded by the Anglican and United Churches of Canada, but it was the idea of an American, Cherokee anthropologist Bob Thomas…

“It was here, at the ‘Indian Ecumenical Conference’, that Stan Cuthand was introduced to the idea of ‘Mother Earth’.”

STAN CUTHAND:
“‘Mother Earth’? When I went to the Ecumenical Conference at Morley, Alberta, Alex Bonaise was talking and he was a great speaker, and he said,

“The Earth is my Mother.”

“And I know he got it from other elders because there were elders from as far away as New Mexico and Arizona. That was the time in the ’70s when the government gave money; the churches gave money for the ecumenical conference. And all of a sudden, the elders were asked to go and tell their stories. And their expenses being paid, they felt very, very special, very important.”

MAUREEN MATTHEWS:
“It was at one of the early Indian Ecumenical Conferences that Chief John Snow first heard the English phrase “Mother Earth”.

JOHN SNOW (“Chief John Snow is ‘Nakota’. He’s a former chief of the Stoney Indian Band at Morley, Alberta, and a retired United Church Minister”):
“I remember very well a medicine man named Victor Young Bear. I think he’s a Sioux Indian from the States. And I remember him talking about the sacredness of life, sacredness of ‘Mother Earth’. And he talked about the holy of holies within the female system and how new life was brought in. He just spoke off the cuff for about maybe an hour or so and after he spoke there, everybody wanted to touch him, to shake hands with him. It was just like an evangelical altar call. Everybody went up there. There were even Anglos that went up there…”

MAUREEN MATTHEWS:
“‘Mother Earth’ caught hold here because it so perfectly reflected the spirit of the times.”

JOHN SNOW:
“Yes, I think the word was used quite a bit. Of course, English was the language of communication by the various tribes there, and although it’s not the ‘indigenous’ words that we would normally use, we used English to communicate, so we used the words “Mother Earth”. I think it was used much more in the ’70s, little used in the ’60s and more so even today…”

MAUREEN MATTHEWS:
“James Treat says that Bob Thomas, who started these conferences, was very aware of this development and the corresponding codification of a new ‘pan-Indian’ faith. He wrote about it and rightly observed that it was a product of urbanization. Before the Friendship Centres and other pan-tribal institutions were created, urban aboriginal people simply assimilated. The creation of pan-Indian institutions gave them the chance to hang on to their identity in the city. But the byproduct — the new faith featuring ‘Mother Earth’ — made Bob Thomas pretty unhappy.”

JAMES TREAT (“James Treat is a professor at Honour College at the University of Oklahoma. He’s written a book on this chapter in North American aboriginal history”): “I think he didn’t want to see the rise of a kind of generic Indian religion. My sense is that Thomas, although he was glad to see Indians relating inter-tribally on a social level because of some of what developed there through the conference, particularly with the interests of the urban young people, I think he was dismayed, and he says as much in some of his writings, that he really never wanted to see the rise of a generic Indian religion…”

MAUREEN MATTHEWS:
“Stan Cuthand says it’s getting harder and harder to preserve that true essence. He saw the signs among his students when he was teaching.”

STAN CUTHAND:
They are very much influenced by the modern non-Indian population who are environmentalists, who want to save the world. The Indians themselves are environmentalists, but then they go on into this idea of ‘Mother Earth’, that we have to save ‘Mother Earth’. They don’t want to be different. They want to be accepted. It’s a popular theme, so they go along with it and they’ll be respected.” 

meaccord

MAUREEN MATTHEWS:
“It’s puzzling because this is a subject that people talk about in the aboriginal community, and many people agree with Stan and Roger. In their own way, most people are looking for authenticity. They’re searching for the real thing. So, why don’t more people speak up?”

ROGER ROULETTE:
“That’s because a lot of the people who are capable of saying that, do not have the English language and if they do, they’re passive speakers. They can understand, but they can’t express themselves well enough to say to a person, “Hey, you can’t really say that”. I can, because I have both languages.”

MAUREEN MATTHEWS:
“And then there’s the power of those ecological ideas attached to ‘Mother Earth’. So, I asked Stan: Is there any connection between those environmental ideas and the essence of Cree belief?

STAN CUTHAND:
Absolutely none! And the other thing about ‘Mother Earth’ is, the Indians have no sense of history. It’s culture. So, from the cultural point of view, they’re defending the ecology and the forests, so they say “Mother Earth”. But if they would go back to history, what happened in historic times, when there were great, big fires and little trees were trampled down by buffalo, it became a prairie.”

MAUREEN MATTHEWS:
Historical memory is a fragile thing, isn’t it?
{Especially when ‘academics’ are deliberately distorting it for political purposes…}

STAN CUTHAND:
“It is, yes. That’s my theory. They don’t have a sense of history. Because they said,

“We only took what we needed”.

I say,

“Yes, we did”.

“Historically, they slaughtered the buffalo to sell hides, but they only took the good meat and dried it and sold it to ‘Hudson’s Bay Company’ for pemmican. They made pemmican. They butchered for hides and pemmican.

What happened to the rest of it? They just couldn’t keep up with it, so they would leave camp, leaving a lot of rubbish. The coyotes couldn’t even finish all the entrails and everything else. And there was so much stench, so they had to leave.

But you can’t say that. It’s politics.

ROGER ROULETTE:
I always thought that it {‘Mother Earth’} never applied to us, and it doesn’t. But people keep hearing it, and they’re going to start believing it. But, in fact, that’s not how we think. We don’t think in that way at all. And for those ones who are adamant and saying that this is real or true, come talk to me in Ojibwe, and I’ll tell you that it is absolutely wrong, dead wrong.”

MAUREEN MATTHEWS:
“We may not have particularly thought about ‘Mother Earth’ before, nor have felt any sense of complicity in endangering aboriginal religious traditions, but by casually accepting an apparently harmless European fiction, ‘Mother Earth’, we do.”

PAUL KENNEDY:
“Mother Earth,” written and presented by Winnipeg journalist Maureen Matthews. Special thanks to Margaret Ingram for her contribution to this program from its inception. “Mother Earth” was produced in Winnipeg by Dave Redel, with assistance of Suzanne Dufresne. The Executive Producer of “IDEAS” is Bernie Lucht, and I’m Paul Kennedy.”

–‘MOTHER EARTH’,
CBC ‘IDEAS’, June 5, 2003 (ID 2668)
{EDITED Transcript}

Feature IMAGE: myjavier007

https://qspace.library.queensu.ca/html/1974/157/Mother%20Earth.pdf

Chief Smohalla
Chief Smohalla

“…the aboriginal reverence for “Mother Earth” is largely a ‘non-aboriginal’ American invention.

“At the root of this idea is yet another ‘Adario’ — Smohalla, a Sahaptin speaker whose words were “interpreted” by J.W. MacMurray in the late 19th century. Smohalla was then used as the source to claim that aboriginal people generally shared the belief that “the earth was the mother of mankind”, and that agricultural and resource development should be opposed, on the basis that it ravishes her body…”

–‘Disrobing The Aboriginal Industry: The Deception Behind Indigenous Cultural Preservation’,
Frances Widdowson and Albert Howard, McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2008.
(P.221-226)

http://www.amazon.ca/Disrobing-Aboriginal-IndustryIndigenousPreservation/dp/0773534210

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See also:
‘This Isn’t Religion, It’s Madness’: https://endracebasedlaw.wordpress.com/2016/06/01/this-isnt-religion-its-madness/

‘Chiefs Demand Say On Climate Change…Or Else’:
https://endracebasedlaw.wordpress.com/2016/03/25/chiefs-demand-say-on-climate-change-or-else/

‘Americans Using Aboriginals Against Canada’: https://endracebasedlawcanadanews.wordpress.com/2016/05/18/americans-using-aboriginals-against-canada/
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