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Presentation of the Canadian Inuksuk

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INAUGURATION - 28th FEBRUARY 2009 - 16H30

AT THE BACK OF THE TIBETAN PAVILION

 

PRESENTATION

 

*  MOTHER READING THE CHARTER  *

1. Welcome ( Christian )

2. Nadaka and Children

3. Thanking everybody ( Denis )

4. Presentation of the Message of Elder William and the First Nations Rituals ( Monique )

5. Reading of the message of elder William Commanda (Surabhi English , Thillai Tamil , Denis French )

6. Ceremony of Smudging ( Monique )

7. Conclusion ( Christian )

Refreshments


 

1. Welcome ( Christian )

Chers amis, dear Friends,

Vanakkam, Bonjour, Namaste

For those who do not know me yet, I am Christian Feuillette, president of AVI-Canada and vice-president of the Board of AV International. As a true Canadian, I will alternate speaking both French and English. Merci à tous d'être ici présents. Thanks to everyone for being here on this auspicious day of the 41 st Auroville anniversary to celebrate the inauguration of our Canadian Inuksuk.

Most of you have never heard about an Inuksuk before reading about in the AV news.

Un Inuksuk est défini comme une construction de pierres, généralement en forme de silhouette humaine, érigée depuis des millénaires par les Inuit, le peuple habitant les vastitudes de l'Arctique. Les Inuksuks servent de repères pour guider les voyageurs dans leur lutte pour la survie.

In the vast expanses of the Arctic, impressive stone figures have been erected by the Inuit for thousands of years in order to guide travelers for their survival. A symbol of the harmonious presence of man in nature, the Inuksuk has now become an emblem of Canada as a whole, honoring the wisdom and spirit of cooperation of the first inhabitants of North America (Inuit and First Nations). This Inuksuk represents for us the quest of Man from the beginnings of Time aspiring for the light of a new consciousness for humanity.

C'est un symbole de la présence harmonieuse de l'homme avec son milieu naturel. Et c'est devenu au fil du temps un emblème du Canada tout entier, un puissant symbole unificateur qui rend hommage à l'esprit de coopération et de sagesse des Premières Nations. Pour nous, cet Inuksuk représente la marche et la quête de l'Homme, venu du fond des âges, à la rencontre d'une nouvelle conscience pour l'humanité.

4 years ago, during my first visit in Auroville as president of our association (I came here earlier in 70 and 87), I have proposed this project to Canadians in Auroville and then to our AVI members. It was obvious that Monique be named coordinator of the project over here. She had first the idea, and, most important, she is an artist. As an artist, she knew how to make the right choice of stones and find their right fitting all together (for an Inuksuk we have to take stones as they are in their natural state). This was accomplished with the help and technical support of François and Ramalingam, both from Quebec (by heart for Ramalingan).

Je pensais initialement que le projet serait complété en 1 an, mais, comme vous pouvez vous en douter, c'est au terme de maintes péripéties et d'une bonne dose de persévérance que notre Inuksuk a pu se dresser fièrement, tel qu'on le voit aujourd'hui, un enfant colosse très doux, respirant la bonne humeur et la bonne volonté, un digne représentant du Canada.

4 years to complete the project, it may look slow, but I think that, in terms of Aurovilian time, it is quite fast. That means also that it is easy to make projects. But not so easy to realize, to materialize them.

Un gros merci à Monique, François qui est en-dehors de la ville (bien représenté par son frère Nadaka), Ramalingam et notre secrétaire Claude Daviault, présent pour l'érection du monument.

The Inuksuk wanted to land now in Auroville, and here was its place. It represents the affirmation of the presence of Canada in Auroville and a living symbol of unification and aspiration.

J'inviterai maintenant Nadaka et le chœur du Child Development de New Creation. Ils vont chanter pour nous la chanson intitulée Inuksuk. Maybe we can sing along with them. Enjoy!

Christian


 

2. Nadaka and Children

 

Inuksuk

L'homme qui passait par là a posé quelques pierres
Empreintes de ses pas dans l'ombre et la lumière
Dans ce monde infini il était de passage
De ce visage ne reste que le granite
Cette pierre a les pieds, les épaules et la force
Qui ont porté gibier, carquois, canot d'écorce
Quand cet homme était roi sur ces lacs et ces terres
Avant les croix, la France et l'Angleterre.

Cette pierre au sein doux était-ce une princesse
Que le lierre et le houx ont embelli de tresses
Et qu'un oiseau charmant orna de son plumage
De cette image n'est qu'un caillou dormant
Et cette grosse larme sculptée par la nature
C'est un ventre de femme avec ses vergetures
Qui porta dans son dos des enfants à la poche,
Des sacs de roches, des tonnes de seaux d'eau.

Et nous passons aussi et nous laissons des traces
Gratte-ciel et graffiti, satellite dans l'espace,
Dans ce monde infini, nous sommes de passage
Avec nos âges gravés dans le granite
Un homme est passé par ici, une femme, un enfant aussi.

 

(Claude Gauthier)

 


 

3. Thanking Everybody ( Denis )

Apart from the 3 key people highlighted by Christian, I would like now to thank a few more people for their contribution towards this powerful statute. First, I also want to thank the members of AVI Canada and some friends of Auroville who have given the necessary funds to realise this project. And, of course, a very special thank to Christian Feuillette and Claude Daviault, both from AVI Canada, who are here today and who have supported the project all along in so many ways. Thanks also to l'Avenir members who have finally given us an agreement for the location of our giant statue. Thanks to Mangini for building the concrete foundation.
Thanks to Nathalie, Manohar, Martin for taking superb photos. Thanks to Alan, Janet, Thillai, Joel, Stéphane, Aravinda and Jasmine for all their help and continuous support. Big thanks to the people of the Inuits to give the inspiration, the exemple and the symbolism for this nice monument, and to have lent to us their emblem.

And of course, thanks to Mother…who has given us Auroville, a place where it is possible to build an Inuksuk which, of course, belongs to humanity as a whole. Now, I will invite Monique to share with us her wisdom regarding the Rituals of the First Nations .

 

4. Presentation of the Message of Elder William and the First Nations Rituals ( Monique )


“Kue”.  It is the only word I know in Innu. Attention! Don't mix up Innu and Inuit.  The Inuit are the first inhabitants of the Northern parts of Canada.  The Innu are one of the First Nations of North America; in French we often called them the “Amérindiens” mais on m'a dit qu'ils préfèrent “Premières Nations”.  Where is Miki?  Miki is here today.  As far as I know she is the only Aurovilian having Inuit blood.  She was born in Alaska and her daughter lives in Alaska.  Miki has an American passport but she lived twenty years in Toronto before coming to Auroville. (Miki came to the microphone and told few words in Inuktitut)

Unfortunately Lucien St-Onge, our Innu friend who was supposed to be with us today has cancelled his trip in South Indian.  It seems that he has realised that travelling in India is quite different than travelling in North America.  He is presently in North India.  But Elder Algonquin William Commanda has sent us his message and we will read it later on. Mother has said that if we think about someone we are with him.  Today, at this very moment two members of the First Nations are performing a traditional ceremony for us:  Lucien St-Onge, somewhere in North India and Elder William Commanda in the early morning of Ottawa, Canada.  Let's take few seconds to concentrate on them so that they are with us and we are with them.

Now, let me tell you few words about William Commanda.  He was born 95 years ago in Quebec and he received an Algonquin name. Ojigkwanong, Morning star.  Up to 90 years old he built bark canoes and made snowshoes.  Before being internationally know as one of the most respected spiritual leader of the First Nations of North America, he was internationally known for his beautiful and perfectly made canoes.  When I met William Commanda two years ago with few people from AVI Canada, I met a simple and sincere man, someone who has nothing to hide. Since 1987, Elder William Commanda started speaking publicly about the prophecies left by his ancestors and, in 2000, he created “The Circle of All Nations” who seeks to foster racial and cultural harmony and respect of Nature.
Now I ask Surbhi, Denis and Thillai to read his message in their language.

 

 

5. Reading of the message of elder William Commanda ( Surbhi English , Thillai Tamil , Denis French )

A Circle of All Nations – A Vision of Peace 

The Vision Of North American Algonquin Elder William Commanda

Keeper of the Seven Fires Prophecy Wampum Belt

 

These Difficult Times We Live In Were Foreseen By Spiritual Visionaries Across The World. My Ancestors Warned Us About This Time And The Choices We Would Have To Make, In The Seven Fires Prophecy, Which Was Inscribed In Sacred Wampum Shell In The Late 1400s.

The Prophecy Holds A Vision For A Future Where We:

-       Honour Our Relationship And Responsibility To Mother Earth And All Creation

-       Celebrate Our Individual Gifts And Diversity, And Still

-       Recognize and Respect Our Place Within A Circle Of All Nations

The Steps To This Future Are Few:

-       First We Look Within, So We Know Ourselves First And Best. We Recognize, Acknowledge And Forgive Ourselves Our Shortcomings And Any Failure To Achieve Our Best Potential

-       We Forgive Others For Any Hardship And Pain They May Have Caused Us And Our Communities. We Trust That This Energy Will Transform Them Spiritually

-       We Recognize That Our Thoughts, Words And Actions Affect Ourselves, Mother Earth And All Creation. And We Embrace Peace Mindfully

-       We Listen To Our Minds But We Trust Our Hearts Above All

It is Of Crucial Importance That The People Of The World:

-       Respond Immediately To The Plight Of The Many Oppressed By Exploitation, Social Injustice, Racism And

-       Animate The Human Capacity For Forgiveness, Compassion, Love And Reconciliation; And

-       Create A Global Synergy To Ensure The Improvement Of The Lives Of All

This Path Will Lead Us To Love, Sharing, Respect, Responsibility, Compassion, Healing, Reconciliation, Equality And Justice 

We Shall Then Light The Eighth Fire Together And Become 

A Circle of All Nations – A Culture of Peace

 

Photo by Ireno Guerci

6. Ceremony of Smudging ( Monique ) and Invocation ( Claude )
“ L'Inuksuk de l'Alliance”

Two years ago, in Quebec I met two young Abénaquis.  The Abénaquis are another First Nations; there are very few left.  These two people told me that most of the First Nations rituals are done to recall us the Unity of all parts of the creation between themselves and with the ethereal world, with the Spirit.  The objects used in the rituals are made in such a way that their use is an act of union between the different parts of the universe and the Spirit.
Ils m'ont donné l'exemple du calumet de paix, the peace pipe.  Dans le calumet de paix, il y a toujours une partie en pierre pour symboliser le monde minéral, une partie en bois pour symboliser le monde végétal, des plumes et les tendons qui les attachent pour le monde animal, la personne qui fume pour le monde humain et la fumée qui s'envole et nous unit aux mondes plus subtils, aux mondes de l'Esprit.
Later on I will do for you a ceremony of purification with the sage called the smudging ceremony.  I do not pretend to do so as well as the First Nations people do even though I have First Nations blood running in my veins like many of the French descendants in Quebec, but I'll try my best to do it.  In that ceremony we will find the same elements:  a plate in granite for the mineral world, small branches and later on the sage that I will throw on the fire to represent the vegetal world.  By the way, the sage is a medicinal, an healing herb. I will use feathers representing the animal world to activate the fire and direct the smoke produced with the sage.  I and those who will come to “smudge” themselves will be the representants of the human world and finally the smoke will represent the ethereal world, the world of the Spirit.

Monique

 

Invocation ( Claude )

Au nom de nos sœurs et de nos frères du continent qui nous a vus naître, nous allumons pour vous le feu qui brûlera l'herbe purificatrice.

Nous saluons notre Mère, la Terre, avec amour, respect et reconnaissance.

Nous saluons les quatre directions, le levant, le sud, le couchant et le nord.

Nous saluons les quatre races de la terre, la race à la peau blanche, la race à la peau jaune, la race à la peau rouge et la race à la peau noire.

Nous saluons les ancêtres des quatre races, les ancêtres à la peau blanche, les ancêtres à la peau jaune, les ancêtres à la peau rouge et les ancêtres à la peau noire.

Nos saluons nos s œ urs et nos frères d'Auroville.

Nous saluons nos Maîtres Sri Aurobindo et Mère.

Nous saluons le Sage William Commanda et l'Innu Lucien St-Onge qui, tous, nous accompagnent dans ce rituel.

Que nos sœurs et nos frères d'Auroville, dans leur marche vers l'Unité humaine, sachent que nos s œ urs et nos frères du continent qui nous a vus naître partageons tous le même idéal dans le Cercle de toutes les Nations, et que nous allumerons ensemble le feu prophétique de l'Unité.

Acceptez cet l'Inuksuk, en gage de notre alliance, et qu'il soit pour vous un symbole supplémentaire de patience, d'endurance et de persévérance, qui vous guide dans la Voie ensoleillée de votre Yoga.

ÔM Sri Aurobindo , Mère, ouvrez nos coeurs, nos esprits, nos vies à votre lumière, votre puissance, votre amour. En toutes choses, puissions-nous voir le Divin.

Seigneur suprême, Grand Esprit, fais que l'esprit de l'herbe éloigne de nos corps les esprits mauvais et qu'il nous purifie et nous unisse aux esprits bons et vrais.

Claude Daviault

 

7. Conclusion ( Christian )

Merci à tous. L'Inuksuk a sa propre vie maintenant, mais nous n'allons pas le laisser seul à lui-même. La prochaine étape consiste à lui créer un environnement agréable et fonctionnel, et aussi installer une plaque explicative dans les 4 langues d'Auroville plus l'inuktitut, la langue des Inuit. Denis a accepté de prendre le relais et sera le coordonnateur des prochaines étapes à venir.

We have received beautiful and encouraging messages from our AVI colleagues. We will read 4 of them: one from Julian Lines, USA, another one from AVI-Netherlands, where the next AVI meeting will take place in May, another one from AVI-Germany, by our AVI Board secretary Friederike, and a last one from our liaison in Argentina.

-Message from Julian Lines Chair AVI Board and AVI-USA, read by Tom O'Brien from Massachussets :

We congratulate AVI Canada for honoring the Inuit and all Native American traditions by placing Inuksuk in the International Zone. We need to hold the collective memory of their wisdom which plans for the seventh generation, not just the next financial quarter. This approach must be an integral part of our personal and collective decision-making in Auroville and wherever we live on this fragile planet. Before borders and nation states, the US and Canada were one "Turtle Island" for the Native People. Thank you for reminding us of these essential truths that we are connected not only with each other but with all life on earth: with those that crawl, swim, walk or fly. The Lakota Sioux summarize this wisdom in the invocation and blessing,

Mitakuye Oyasin( Mee-tah-koo-yay O-yah-seen) "All My Relations".

 

- Message from AVI-Netherlands, read by Jan Lohman from Netherlands :

The Inuksuk represents why we feel so connected to Auroville.

Preparing the road (walking through Time and Space) for the generation after us. Our children will with this thought in their heart (Humanity as a whole) change the world around them energetically.

It will spread itself as a warm wave... carrying the promise of the Sun of a new Dawn.

 IT WAS THE HOUR BEFORE THE GODS AWAKE.

Savitri. Book One, The Book of Beginnings. Canto One, The Symbol Dawn.

 

-Message from Friederike Secretary AVI Board and AVI-Germany, read by Frederick from Auroville :

Auroville wants to be the bridge between the past and the future, says the Auroville charter. It is not by coincidence that Auroville is situated in an area that belongs to one of the most ancient cultures on earth which contributes with its own wisdom and manifold treasures. During our AVI meeting in Montreal in 2006 the participants felt  blessed and inspired by the Algonquin elder Grandfather William Commanda´s message of ancient wisdom, of honor to our Mother Earth and of a real brother- and sisterhood. May the Inuksuk, coming from the depths of times, help us travelers on our way into a luminous future!

 

-Message from Anandi, Argentina liaison, read by Janet from Auroville :

Beautiful. I am happy we are giving Auroville something from the native people of our continent, America. Long ago, the Americanos used to get together at Janet's house in College Guesthouse aspiring to do something to highlight the contribution of the native people. Congratulations Canadians for taking the lead. I hope that one day something of this kind could come from the South part also.

In Her Love and Certitude

 

 

To conclude, I want to underline that Mother cared very much about the identity of nation. Each country has a specific soul, and it is for me the role of AVIs to try defining the essence of their own soul, and then to take concrete steps towards its manifestation in the soil of the IZ.

Le Tout contient la diversité, et sans la diversité il n'y a pas de Tout. C'est comme le rôle d'une cellule dans le corps humain. Celui-ci a besoin de chacune d'entre elles dans leur spécificité pour fonctionner et s'épanouir.

As Mother says, “Only a synthetic organization of all nations, each one occupying its true place according to its own genius and the part it has to play in the whole, can bring about a comprehensive and progressive unification which has any chance of enduring”.

Following Nadaka's Mantra, I invite you to stay with us and share some beverages and biscuits. Merci à tous.

Jaya Inuksuk!

Jaya Mâ!

 

Christian Feuillette

 

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