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Response Litany:   We Are Still Here

The litany read by;  Terry Coyote Aleck (Indigenous Voice in bold)
                                             John Denham (Non-Indigenous Voice in Italic)

We are still here, on Turtle Island, placed by the Creator.
Some of us came seeking home, displaced, or persecuted.

And we were here, diverse nations, many peoples—at home.
Some of us came seeking adventure, riches or glory.

And we were here, living with deep connection to the land.
Some of us came seeking a better life, security and possibility.

We offered peace and friendship.
And some of us accepted, treaty people, living in relationship.

We shared the land, and our deep wisdom of this place.
And some of us were open to hear.

At first you were few and we were many.
And then we were many, with greater and greater hunger for land.

The land of our ancestors, our identity.
The land we imagined could be ours.

At first we were friends and allies.
Then you became enemy, in the way of what we wanted.

We shared and still share a deep reverence for life gifted from the Creator.
We seemed unable to recognize your faith, seeking to impose our own.

We believed we could live side by side, two boats in the same river.
We could only imagine you becoming like us.

You spoke benefit but brought harm.
Trying to dissolve you into our image.

You brought unspeakable pain.
Abuses of power, holding tight to a sense of superiority.

You took our children from us.
Breaking sacred bonds of kinship.

Your gospel of love distorted by hate.
How could we have been so wrong?

Your ways tried to break us.
But still you rise.

Your vision tried to disappear us.
But still you stand.

We are resilience and in strength.
We are beginning to understand.

We are coming home to our traditions.
We still seek home, but now alongside and with you.

You are facing this truth.
We are listening, unlearning, and learning anew.

Stand beside us in acts of justice.
Receive our contrition, embodied in solidarity.

May the Creator’s plan.
For right relation in this place.

ALL: Finally come to be. Amen