Paddle Against Diabetes, Display Love for Earth

A community based healthy living initiative.

Aboriginal people are very spiritual and believe in the natural world as being comprised of many spiritual, living things with which we identify with and live in harmony. In fact, in some First Nations cultures, such as the Haudenosaunee, it is believed that each life originates from the ‘spirit world’ and at the end of life one leaves the physical body and returns to the spirit world to reunite with Creator and all ancestors gone before us. Living in harmony was our original way of life and it promoted equality and balance within the environment and within our families and communities.

Today there has been so much disconnect within us as beings, due to various traumas imposed on us as a people since the time of European contact. The removal from our natural homes and environments has made a significant impact on how we now connect with and perceive our environment. Without a doubt, there is a very strong link between historical trauma and our present day state of health.

This inner disconnection has lead to a general disregard for the power and natural healing abilities of our natural surroundings. With so much focus on the modern, western way of life and on the imbalances it has caused, the environment becomes secondary, and we sometimes forget that the greatest gift we could possibly benefit from is always right in front of us: Mother Nature.

PADDLE provides a wonderful opportunity to engage in fun, physical activity (canoeing), while connecting people to the love and peace of Mother Earth and her healing powers, specifically her purifying waters. That peaceful connection we experience with our Mother the Earth, is good and natural medicine for a Good Mind, which in turn is the foundation for ‘open mindedness’, positive thinking, goal-setting, acceptance of that which we cannot control and simply, inspiration. Peaceful connections will promote mental clarity, and with this comes an OPEN mind that is receptive to new ideas, hope and methods of healthy change.

So, why PADDLE? With so much focus on diseases and treatments, we seem to have veered away from our original provisions which served as a means of sustenance & survival, exercise, healthy food, leisure, transportation etc. and ultimately, a naturally effective form of disease prevention, especially where it concerns diabetes and other lifestyle-related chronic diseases.

Implementing a PADDLE program and keeping our traditional teachings about balance as a primary focus, will help to re-establish a stronger connection to and a deeper gratitude for, our environment. A heightened sense of peaceful, inner balance and a greater capacity to make choices for a healthier way of life are two inevitable positive changes that will come from getting reconnected. It is only by improving our health in every possible way: physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually, that we will define our level of WELLNESS not only as individuals, but as communities and nations.