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POSTPONED! Roger Sosakete Perkins, Mohawk: The Thanks Giving Address

Wednesday September 28, 2016 6:30 PM - Wednesday September 28, 2016 6:30 PM

Photo by Alison Ehara-Brown


POSTPONED!  Stay tuned for the new date.

6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. - Free Event

You are invited to join us for the Thanks Giving Address by Roger Sosakete Perkins who is a member of the Mohawk Nation.  Lucky for us, he lives here in the San Francisco East Bay now!   The traditional Haudenosaunee Thanks Giving Address is an acknowledgement of the gifts that are all around us, provided by the Creator, Mother Earth and all that gives life.  It is a beautiful prayer of gratitude which is spoken at the beginning of any gathering of people, “the words before all else”. 

Imagine a corporate board meeting that begins with such an address, reminding all in the room of the circle of life which supports itself as well as us, the human beings.  We have much to be grateful for.  Please join us in acknowledging and remembering the sacred system of life without which we no longer exist.

Roger is also an artist and potter whose works are available at Gathering Tribes.

More information from The Haudenosaunee

“The Haudenosaunee Creation Story, the Thanksgiving Address, the Great Law of Peace, the Two Row Wampum, and the Code of Handsome Lake are the foundations of Haudenosaunee culture. Each represents a unique way of thinking, being, seeing, and a protocol that is grounded in the environment and in a respect for all living things. The turtle, which symbolically represents the formation of the earth among the Haudenosaunee, is one of many species of life that holds certain responsibilities to the natural world. Humans, as one species, have a responsibility to be the voice for those who cannot talk our language - those of the natural environment of fish, birds, grasses, trees, etc, as well as those unborn - for the natural world and to ensure the cycles of creation continue for all future generations. This sacred trust is evident in the measured ways in which our people used the natural resources around them, ensuring that only what was needed was taken so that a species of plant, fish, or wild game would be able to regenerate and flourish in subsequent years and for future generations. That respect for life is a large part of the Thanksgiving Address which provides us the opportunity to greet, honor, and thank all species of creation so that we, as humans, may survive.

As a matrilineal society, the Haudenosaunee are guided by the leadership of clanmothers, elders who serve to represent their extended families known as clans. This honor was bestowed among women by the Peacemaker (Skanenrahowi in Mohawk), whose message of Peace was first accepted by Jikonsaseh (Tsiknosaseh in Mohawk), a Seneca woman. Her title, as the mother of nations, gave women, in particular clanmothers, the authority to appoint or remove a chief within a clan and to protect the names of titles and children. Among the Mohawks, there are three main clans: Turtle, Wolf and Bear.”

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