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Indigenous Arts & Stories - The Original Caretakers

The Original Caretakers

2018 - Art Winner

Ogechi Anumba

abbotsford, BC
Cree nation
Age 15

Author's Statement

I named this drawing The Original Caretakers because I feel this piece represents the great care that native people have for our environment, and how disappointed we are in what the planet is becoming.
Aboriginal people took into consideration how the earth was left for generations to come. When an animal’s life was taken for the nourishment of the people, a prayer was always given to the animal and no bone or piece of sinew went wasted. When harvesting cedar bark, tobacco was put on the tree and thanks was given to the tree for giving up its sole source of protection. Most importantly, they only took what they needed. The importance of the conservation of the land and her resources were well known and a top priority. Aboriginal peoples utilised what Mother Earth has given us, with the food and medicine all being from natural resources. We have an umbilical connection with the earth. She nourishes us from herself, takes from herself and gives back to us, and we are in debt for her generosity.
After the colonisation and industrialisation of our land, these beliefs were ignored. Factories pump out smoke that poison our air, companies mass breed and kill animals. Deforestation is happening at an alarming, unnecessary rate, and global warming and pollution are destroying our ecosystems. Piles and piles of plastic and trash are jeopardising our water and soil. The earth’s health is depleting fast, and I want to bring as much awareness as possible to the planet’s condition, so a solution can be found, and fast.
We were created to live in harmony with nature, not exploit it. We are the original caretakers of this earth, and we must uphold the original instructions given to us by our creator. Care for the earth. Love her. Cherish her. The earth can go on without us, but we cannot without her.