One of the seven components of healing at Nibezun will incorporate strengthening of our mother tongue. For hundreds of years, the impacts of genocide, land loss, and cultural assimilation profoundly reduced the health of our language in our communities. With the growing revitalization efforts across the country, we continue to see the benefits of knowing one’s native language. Our language binds us to the many places we’ve occupied over time and allows us an ancient perspective on how we see and understand ourselves in the world. By strengthening our cultural identity through language, it has shown to reduce the rates of suicide and lessen the dependence on alcohol and drugs. Speaking our mother tongue connects us to a vast amount of knowledge about our ecosystems, spiritual connection, and intergenerational kinship. Language is medicine. As we carry forward this seed of language we are healing our communities and find it essential to be a part of our everyday activities here at Nibezun.

~Gabe Paul