Gluskonba Makes the People
After Gluskonba had traveled around for some time, he began to notice that something was still missing from the world. He wanted to hear the voices of people.
"It is time," he said, "to make human beings."
So he gathered together some red earth and began to shape it. He formed it just as he had formed himself out of the dust, which fell from Tabaldak's hands. First he made a head, which was pointing towards the north. To this day the Indian people always sleep with their heads to the north. Then he shaped two arms, one towards the east and one towards the west. Towards the south he made two legs. Last of all, he shaped the body and connected all of the parts of the first human together. Finally he breathed upon his creation and the first person became alive and sat up. That person, though, was alone and lonely, even though Gluskonba tried to amuse this new person and keep this first human being company. So Gluskonba had to make another human being. Then, now that there were two people in the world, a woman and a man, they were no longer lonely.
This is one store of how the human beings were made by Gluskonba, but there is another story, too. This story tells how Gluskonba made the first people out of stone. Because they were made of stone they were very strong. They did not need to eat and then never grew tired or slept. Their hearts, too, were made of stone. They began to do cruel things. They killed animals for amusement and pulled trees up by their roots. When Gluskonba saw this he knew he had made a mistake. So he changed them back into stone. To this day there are certain mountains and hills which look like a sleeping person. Some old people say those are the first ones Gluskonba made, whom he turned back into stone.
Then, instead of making more stone people, Gluskonba looked around for something else to make human beings. He saw the ash trees. They were tall and slender and they danced gracefully in the wind. Then Gluskonba made the shapes of men and women in the trunks of the ash trees. He took out his long bow and arrows and shot the arrows into the ashes. Where each arrow went in, a person stepped forth, straight and tall. Those people had hearts which were growing and green. They were the first Abenakis. To this day those who remember this story call the ash trees their relatives.
"I hope the Great Heavenly Father who will look down upon us, will give all the tribes his blessing. That we may go forth in peace and live in peace all our days, and that he will look down upon our children and finally lift us far above this Earth; and that our Heavenly Father will look upon our children as his children that all tribes may be his children. " ~ Red Cloud Oglala Sioux Chief
Give Us Hearts to Understand
Give us hearts to understand;
Never to take from creation's beauty more than we give;
never to destroy wantonly for the furtherance of greed;
Never to deny to give our hands for the building of earth's beauty;
never to take from her what we cannot use.
Give us hearts to understand
That to destroy earth's music is to create confusion;
that to wreck her appearance is to blind us to beauty;
That to callously pollute her fragrance is to make a house of stench;
that as we care for her she will care for us.
We have forgotten who we are.
We have sought only our own security.
We have exploited simply for our own ends.
We have distorted our knowledge.
We have abused our power.
Great Spirit, whose dry lands thirst,
Help us to find the way to refresh your lands.
Great Spirit, whose waters are choked with debris and pollution,
help us to find the way to cleanse your waters.
Great Spirit, whose beautiful earth grows ugly with misuse,
help us to find the way to restore beauty to your handiwork.
Great Spirit, whose creatures are being destroyed,
help us to find a way to replenish them.
Great Spirit, whose gifts to us are being lost in selfishness and corruption,
help us to find the way to restore our humanity.
Oh, Great Spirit, whose voice I hear in the wind,
whose breath gives life to the world, hear me;
I need your strength and wisdom.
May I walk in Beauty.
"May you always walk in Beauty."
Oh Great Spirit, whose voice I hear in the winds
And whose breath gives life to everyone,
I come to you as one of your many children;
I am weakÖI am smallÖI need your wisdom and your strength.
Let me walk in beauty, and make my eyes ever
behold the red and purple sunsets.
Make my hands respect the things you have made,
and make my ears sharp so I may hear your voice.
Make me wise, so that I may understand what you
have taught my people and
The lessons you have hidden in each leaf
and each rock.
I ask for wisdom and strength,
Not to be superior to my brothers, but to be able
to fight my greatest enemy, myself.
Make me ever ready to come before you with
clean hands and a straight eye,
So as life fades away as a fading sunset,
My spirit may come to you without shame.
Chinok Lordís Prayer
Nesika papa klaksta mitlite kopa saghalie
Our Father Who dwells in High
Kloshe kopa nesika tumtum mika nem.
Good for our hearts Your Name.
Kloske mika tyee kopa konaway tillikum;
Good you Chief of all people;
Kloshe mika tumtum kopa illahee kahkwa kopa saghalie;
God Your heart to make our country such as Yours up above;
Potlach konaway sun nesika muckamuck,
Gice us all days our food,
Pee kopet-kumtux donaway nesika mesachie,
And stop remembering all our sins we make to them,
Kahkwa nesilka mamook kopa klasksta spose mamook mesachie kopa nesia;
As we suppose not their sin against us;
Mahah siah kopa nesika konaway mesachie.
Throw far away from us all evil.
When you arise in the morning, give thanks for the morning light, for your life and strength.
Give thanks for your food and the joy of living.
If you see no reason for giving thanks, the fault lies in yourself.