As this day of Thanksgiving dawns, the words of the Haudenosaunee Thanksgiving Prayer ring truer than ever. The Iroquois Museum showcases a rendition of these bejeweled words by renowned Mohawk storyteller Kay Olan. Beginning with all people and progressing to the Earth Mother, Grandmother Moon and Big Brother Sun, the prayer pays homage to everything that sustains us and keeps us going. It reminds us to take care of these things and through that, ourselves and each other.
“Today we get together to remind ourselves that we were given a responsibility to live in balance and harmony with one another and with all the living things of Mother Earth,” the prayer begins. “We think of the people we met and the ones we haven’t met as yet. We remember that all of the people who live on every part of Mother Earth are all connected, related and bound together in the same circle of life. so we bring our minds together as one. as we pile high our greetings, express our love and give thanks to all of the people here and everywhere on Mother Earth.
“Now our minds are as one.”
Listen to the full poem here, beautifully illustrated by the artwork of Tuscarora graphic artist Melanie Printup Hope (on whose site you can listen to some of the poem in Tuscarora), at the website of the Iroquois Museum.