My name is Aimee and I am an artist, acupuncturist, wife and mother. I am Indigenous from Fishing Lake and Samson Cree Nation, but because of colonial practices and residential schools I did not grow up immersed in my culture or language. It is important for me to reclaim my culture and share it with my kids.
We always had pets in our house as kids, and some of my earliest memories are of my dog Boots. As children we were always taught that our pets were a responsibility and we had a role to take care of them. But even more valuable than the lesson of responsibility for those pets was a sense of companionship and connection to a little spirit that didn’t need words to communicate and feel affection for. I have been patiently waiting to give my kids the gift of a family pet (most likely a dog) because I understand the great responsibility that comes with it, and I am waiting for the right time for us to be fully committed.
Growing up my family also did a lot of fishing and hunting. Animals are also a source of food for us, and I was taught to give thanks to the Creator and to the animals for providing us with sustenance we would usually say a prayer and offer tobacco. We would try to make the most of every part of the animal.
For me the Eagle has a special significance; it is my spirit animal and my spirit name is Blue Eagle Woman. The Eagle is an animal that is very close to the Creator and can travel between the spirit world and the physical world to communicate our prayers. In my culture the Eagle feather is very significant and we use the Eagle feather in prayer and ceremony, and certain protocols are followed to take care of the feather. The Eagle feather gives strength to your spirit, strength to tell the truth, and strength to be your highest self
I think an important lesson from animals is that it is not a hierarchy, but a circle relationship. There are a lot of lessons to be learned from our animal relatives. Humans are not more superior than animals, rather we are part of the same complexly beautiful network that couldn’t exist without the other.