Erica Ward

My Spiritual Journey

Natives are very spiritual because we believe that there is a great spirit or a great creator. We have Pow Wows that are very spiritual. During the Pow Wow, we have sweats, drumming, shawl dancing, sunrise ceremonies and smudging. When we go to the Pow Wow, I get up at 4:30 am to go to the sunrise ceremony. When you are at a Pow Wow, all they speak is Mic Mac. My whole family is Mic Mac and that's why I intend on learning more about my culture and sharing with others all I know.

Shawl dancing is only for Women. Men can dance but it is a whole different dance. The shawl is used to wrap around the Women's arms. When you are dancing you dance around the drummers in a circle. The girls wear mocassians not shoes. There are also Jingle Dancers.

There is more Nature involved in the spiritual culture than the catholic church. I think that this makes it more exciting. In the catholic religion they use words like Jesus and God but we use words like Creator, Mother Earth and Great Spirit.

Pow Wows are fun. When we have Pow Wows in Eel Ground, eagles always come as soon as the drumming starts. At the Pow Wow I would get up at 4:30 in the morning to go to the sunrise ceremonies then go to the sacred fire and give tobacco to the sacred fire in the four directions.

I was in a Sweat once, I was kind of sacred because it was so hot but once you're in there you feel relaxed. They start singing and you feel sticky because of all the steam. Once you're in there for five minutes they put the rocks, which are called the Grand Fathers, in the fire. The peace pipe is for peace when you are in a sweat. You pass it around the grand fathers, if you pass it across the grand fathers you are disrespecting them. The steam comes and it goes all over your body. When you're in there they say all your sins go away. When I was in there they were repecting Blueberries.

Sweet grass is what they use to smudge. You can pick it in fields . When you burn it, it smells. You take the smoke and push it toward your face.

Drumming is really cool. When the men drum, the women shawl dance. There is a lot of songs, some in Mic Mac and some in English. There is two kinds of drumming inter-tribal and normal drumming.

The Great Creator is known as God to the natives. The natives just use a more descriptive word to describe God. It's the same thing. The great Creator is known to the natives as the one who created the world.

Erica Ward
Grade 6
Eel Ground School

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