lhe síla s- yaykw

The s-yaykw, the Sun, represents our lhe síla, our Grandmothers.

Image copyright S-kw'etu'?
Image copyright S-kw’etu’?

For it is she who shines most powerfully in our lives, it is she who nurtures us, who gives us sustenance, love and warmth. Without lhe síla s-yaykw we would not exist and it is essential that we are not only aware of what she does for us but also to take the time each and everyday to acknowledge and honour her gift. lhe síla s-yaykw knows that upon the Mother where we exist there are no superiors or inferiors, that the life that she fortifies is designed much like a spiders web, everything and everyone relies upon each other to sustain each other. When we do not understand or respect this delicate balance we easily destroy it and ourselves along with it. Through understanding and accepting this love and nurturing can we truly love and nurture ourselves and the world around us.

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The love and wisdom of our lhe síla is passed onto us with few gentle words combined with many caring actions forcing us to contemplate her teachings which allows us the opportunity to truly comprehend the meaning. My own Salish lhe síla told me that she had no favourites, her love was given to one and all equally through her continued attention and nurturing, much as the s-yaykw fortifies all life equally. Equality and recognition of the family is a powerful gift we receive freely through the nurturing of the lhe síla s-yaykw and is something we should give freely ourselves. The lhe síla teach us the true meaning of giving, the purpose of it is not to look for the act to be returned, it is one of helping and building a better community and world. When you see someone or something in need, you aid them freely, you help them up when they are down, then they will do the same for someone or something else, this is the way we always have done things, this is the secret to building healthy societies and people. Share your love freely, aid people freely because for everyone there will come a time in our lives that we will need the hand of someone to help us out.

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lhe síla s-yaykw, who provides us with everything we need to sustain ourselves, deserves to be honoured as all people used to do in all territories world wide. The way we honour her and give back to her is to conduct ourselves properly, respectfully and not to cause grief or damage to ourselves or her daughter, our Mother, the earth. To do otherwise, to behave shamefully not only harms ourselves but also puts shame upon her, and our children and grandchildren even if they are yet to come.

This image was created in honour of and to honour lhe síla s-yaykw and to share her with the rest of the human beings who she loves as much as she loves me.

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I do not create a perfect images, there is no symmetry in anything I create simply because it is unnatural. Long have I studied the astonishing beauty and intricacy of the life that we co-exist with and what I learned is perfect symmetry does not exist, that exacting measurements are not used except by human beings. Using exacting measurements, I believe is a human condition based upon the need to control the world around them, this need has sprung from the fear that we have created through our own ignorance and it is this fear, the fear of ourselves, our lives and our deaths that causes us to behave irrationally, irresponsibly and without honour. The fact that the Mother does not create perfection teaches us that we should be content, that we should learn to be comfortable with our own imperfections and not make ourselves and everything else around us miserable by striving for what is unobtainable and unrealistic.

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Like all of my work this piece has been produced in order to pass my culture and my pride of my culture on to you as well as the teachings of the who we are and what we still believe. They are also being created to let people know that despite the ongoing colonial genocide of our people and the Mother, we still are here as we have been for thousands of years. It is also to share with the many people of the world part the foundation of beliefs of my people which may soon no longer exist due to the ongoing forced assimilation of our nation from the occupying forces illegally occupying our and other peoples territories, the culture of the Salish people. The time has come to honour all the lhe síla of all species by living out our lives in healthy productive, giving ways as we were meant to and make all of our ancestors proud of us again.

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