today has been one of the most precious and sacred days of my healing journey.
from the moment i saw the horse parade riding into the Ni’mii’puu longhouse premises, to the song that was sung twice, to visiting elder guests and furthest traveled people who brought roots from their homelands, to each and everyone of the ancestors who was there, today was indeed about love, peace, and healing.
i cried twice. once out of pure love of the song and secondly, spirit of our ancestors presence. when i looked up and opened my eyes i heard spirit say clear as day, “that song that was sung again because all those people sitting in those ’empty’ chairs wanted to hear it again.”
in that moment i felt spirit all around and tears streamed down like a flood uncontrollably. i literally could feel a releasing. as i looked across the floor onto those chairs, i could see silhouettes of people listening on and singing along with us.
not only did it make me stand in awe, i stared at what seemingly were empty chairs, and felt more tears of healing medicine. looking across the way, with two long rows of chairs, i saw how this momentous occasion was healing for so many other people, including our ancestors.
as i am reflecting back onto this day, i forgot i had a fender bender on our way to longhouse this morning. in the big schema of things, i realize everyone who showed up today experienced spirit in their own unique way. healing is ceremony for those who also seek the path to learning, knowing, understanding, and experiencing walasat.
as shared by one of our longhouse sister’s from Nespelem, “it is healing medicine.”
healing as ceremony looks like a room full of Ni’mii’puu himyuuma and guests singing old walasat songs. the sounds of what seemed like a choir singing in a cathedral was the voices of our ancestral past echoing throughout the Valley of butterflies. 🦋
as one of our elders shared from Nixyaway, today was also about “healing hearts and minds” so that they could be opened. clearing out the heaviness, pain, and residual effects of unresolved historical grief and trauma as a result of 215 years of settler colonialism in the interior Pacific Northwest. it was as much about healing as it was waking up the people from a poisoned state of sleep.
today’s walasat was about healing the unhealed pains and witnessing how our community has begun the healing journey one song at a time.
i saw children of Christian families who had their ancestral memory erased sit in earnest and sincere desire to learn. the beauty of how powerful that one decision to attend walasat shattered the chains in order for healing to begin.
we had guests and travelers come through who were amazed at the Ni’mii’puu longhouse community and impressed by the turn out of people too.
collectively, we all witnessed and experienced healing at several different levels. in fact, i think, believe, and feel that is what this valley has needed for over 200 years.
the shackles of settler colonialism have been broken, and more people, especially the youth, are going to help keep this beautiful, precious, and spiritual way of life going.
my heart sang and cried tears of joy, love, and happiness and could not be contained. as one of our gatherers also shared, “we all needed this.”
i am filled with love and hope certain that our creator, maker of all things, cleared the path for the 200+ people who sat and broke bread with our first foods and our precious water, waqiiswet hiiwes kuus.
healing as a ceremony looks like waking up from a settler colonial somber and crying tears of joy in this newly found liberation.
Imeeqis Qeci’yew’yew oykalo, thank you all for showing up today.
we all needed this.
Tac ciikeetin and Waaqo kalo