The Thanksgiving Address

To the people in the world, making our daily lives possible, I send my thanksgiving greetings. Do we all feel this way?

To our Mother the Earth, we don’t forget you, we don’t abandon you, to you I send my thanksgiving greetings. Do we all feel this way?

To our relatives the Waters, we don’t forget you, we don’t abandon you, to you I send my thanksgiving greetings. Do we all feel this way?

To our relatives the Plants, we don’t forget you, we don’t abandon you, to you I send my thanksgiving greetings. Do we all feel this way?

To our relatives the Animals, we don’t forget you, we don’t abandon you, to you I send my thanksgiving greetings. Do we all feel this way?

To our relatives the Trees, we don’t forget you, we don’t abandon you, to you I send my thanksgiving greetings. Do we all feel this way?

To our relatives the Birds, we don’t forget you, we don’t abandon you, to you I send my thanksgiving greetings. Do we all feel this way?

To our relatives the Four Winds and the Air, we don’t forget you, we don’t abandon you, to you I send my thanksgiving greetings. Do we all feel this way?

To our relatives the Clouds and the Rain, we don’t forget you, we don’t abandon you, to you I send my thanksgiving greetings. Do we all feel this way?

To our Father the Sun, we don’t forget you, we don’t abandon you, to you I send my thanksgiving greetings. Do we all feel this way?

To our Grandmother the Moon, we don’t forget you, we don’t abandon you, to you I send my thanksgiving greetings. Do we all feel this way?

To our relatives the Stars, we don’t forget you, we don’t abandon you, to you I send my thanksgiving greetings. Do we all feel this way?

To our relatives the Unseen and Eternal, we don’t forget you, we don’t abandon you, to you I send my thanksgiving greetings. Do we all feel this way?

To our Ancestors, Elders, and Children, we don’t forget you, we don’t abandon you, to you I send my thanksgiving greetings. Do we all feel this way?

To the Unnamed, we don’t forget you, we don’t abandon you, to you I send my thanksgiving greetings. Do we all feel this way?

Our minds now sit as one.

The Thanksgiving Address has nothing to do with the holiday of thanksgiving, though perhaps it directly relates to the source of that holiday…Native American traditions of gratitude.

This tradition comes to us via Jake Swamp, sub-chief of the Wolf Clan of the Mohawk Nation, member of the 6 Nations Confederacy, original mentors of the (ill-fated) US Constitution.

Jake Swamp acts as a cultural ambassador, mentoring other cultures and governments in how to have a sustainable way of life, as his people have done for the past 1000 years (or so).

For more information on the Great Law of Peace, and the history of the 6 Nations Confederacy/Iroquois/Haudenosaunee, check out White Roots of Peace, Basic Call to Consciousness, or the Tree of Peace Society (specifically run with the help of Jake Swamp).

Above I started with one of many versions of the Thanksgiving Address that we do here at the College and in our daily lives. We’ve modified it from the one handed to us by Jake Swamp (per his request – he doesn’t want any more Mohawks in the world, he has plenty to handle already, apparently).

You’ll notice many things about the Thanksgiving Address, but the most important:

…it runs from the ground, upwards and outwards.
…it singles out beings to appreciate.
…it asks for affirmation for every statement.

Pretty simple. Have fun with it, and make it your own. Perhaps soon I’ll post a spoken version so you can hear what it can sound like.

Written by Willem