Mitokwasak = All my relations. All across Turtle Island, the land the foreigners call the Americas, we preserve our resources for the survival of seven future generations. Our future is indeed an item that demands to be paid forward. We take our tribal youth into consideration, through observation of our preservation, which is a constant process.
Many are familiar with the literal definition and concept of seven future generations. In many of our original teachings is the basic awareness of being part of something greater than ourselves. This is the foundation of tribes. Our relationships, however, extend far beyond family relations or even the individuals in our communities. Indigenous teachings remind us to take into careful and deliberate consideration all of our relations — sky relatives, sea relatives, plant and animal relatives, Mitokwasak.
The identity of just about all Native nations can be found directly in the lands in which they reside. The resources throughout their lands, seas and skies, however, are not all we take into consideration for future generations. Our identity is composed of many experiences. New traditions become a welcome byproduct of seven generation preservation. The broad array of all that makes us who we are is a complex balance of knowing our foods, languages, customs, weather patterns, teachings, clothing, songs, dances, arts, political structures, spirituality, medicines and ceremonies from the past. Our job is not just knowing, however; it is our duty to share the pottery, weavings, textiles, designs. Write the books, curriculum, screenplays. Create museum exhibits, merchandise outlets, job opportunities, sustainable programming. Design the latest fashions and gaming platforms. As we move forward into the future, we are reminded of the struggles the ancestors had to endure. It is our duty to ensure those struggles are not in vain. A sustainable success is the goal of our daily endeavors.