the teachings I have been given about the Red Road, the true
measure of a man is in how he uses his strength. The spirit of
sma'knis - the warrior - is all about using one's
strength to make the lives of your people better. This is done
through protection, but it is also done through support and
empowerment. A true warrior devotes his strength to making his
This is never so true as when a warrior
deals with the women in his life. True strength - strength of
character - is often demonstrated through gentleness and
respect. In the Mi'kmaq nation, women are revered as the givers
of life, and as the holders of the sacred wisdom of motherhood
that a man does not have access to. A man's greatest calling is
to protect, cherish, and support the women in his life, and in
his village, so that such wisdom can be shared. This is what
makes his Nation strong, and that is the strength that he, as
the warrior, can draw on in time of need. To break this sacred
circle of trust and strength is to break the Nation.
These days, I see too many men who claim to
follow the Red Road, yet who have personal issues that lead them
to harm women. Sometimes this is done in the form of abuse,
physical and/or emotional. Sometimes it is in the form of simple
disrespect, to her face or behind her back. Either way, this
goes against the teachings of a warrior protecting the women.
Yes, this may all be caused by the long history of abuse the
Nations have faced, but that does not make it right, nor does
that make it acceptable.
Such a person needs admit that he is off
track, and needs to speak with his Elders, and learn how to be a
better warrior. He needs to learn how to temper strength with
wisdom and gentleness. Most importantly, he needs to acknowledge
the importance of women in the Nation. He will find that his
life is going to be much more in balance, and he will have
access to a kind of strength that does not poison his life and
the lives of those around him. This strength does not come from
ego... it comes from tradition, and from the Ancestors, and it
is both beautiful and unstoppable.
If such a person fails to do this, then in
my opinion, that person is not a warrior. He is failing to use
his strength as he should, and is not following the Red Road. To
put it bluntly, he is not even much of a man.
But this is just my opinion, and I am a man
with blue eyes, and I still have much to learn.
it no'kmaq - All my