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Program 8: People of the Dawn

More Creation Stories : Bernard Jerome

MORE CREATION STORIES

Bernard Jerome, Cultural Director
Aroostook Band of Micmac Indians

Well the, we have several, several legends about the Micmac creation story. Like any tribe or group of people they certainly, we all certainly have different interpretations, different beliefs, different cultures. In our case there has been several creation stories written. Stories written about Glooscap our profit. Basically our creation story, the one I've heard from Prince Edward Island it's quite interesting because it doesn't involve any of the Christian beliefs because you have to remember the fact that before contact, European contact we certainly had our own, our own spirituality, our own ways of believing in the higher power.

And basically the story's very short and it's, it's the beginning of life. What has been told to us by some of our elders is that the, they're raised from the Grandfather Sun coupled with the, with the Grandmother Moon and a beam of light reflected to Mother Earth and that's how all life began and all life is inter-related in that sense because in our culture there was no one greater then the other, men or women because we all believed that we are all interdependent. There was no class, classes of people per se because, but we have, we have certain gifts and we have a role in society. We all have a role in society. So this creation part of the beliefs of some of our people certainly was in coalition with the European beliefs also. So there was a basically a clash of cultures.

In some cases you may also hear in more modern Micmac creation story that would talk about the 7 steps of the creation, which is quite good, but it's what people believe. We all have adjusted in many ways over the years.

But I personally believe very strongly in respecting the environment and basically I also believe in life depending on life. And I am no greater then any other person, man or woman because I was instructed certain gifts and I use whatever I can whenever possible. So I don't look down on people because it would be a little too arrogant as far as I'm concerned.

And with our story basically our women or the females and the elders have a very high regard in our society or a very prominent in our society because we respect them as givers of life not servants to man you see. Basically one of the continuation of the story also it goes that man was given or human was given the gift of thinking, the gift of vision. It's not to overpower any other living being. But they were put on earth to be caretakers of Mother Earth. So this is part of the creation story that I've heard from various elders in my travels see, which is quite, it does make a lot of sense as far as I'm concerned because you know, it's these, these beliefs also were overshadowed by the European contact later on in life. I guess cultures changed and our culture was assimilated with the European culture you see. But I guess now a days we're and our beliefs were more individualistic then anything else basically.

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MORE CREATION STORIES | EARLY RACE RELATIONS | INDIAN NON-INTERCOURSE ACT | RECENT HISTORY | FEATURED INTERVIEWS | TRANSCRIPT | NATIVE AMERICAN CULTURE


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