Distributing 10,000 Copies of
The Iroquois Thanksgiving Address
"The earth has music for those who listen."
- George Santavana -
What is the Thanksgiving Address?
Native Americans believe that to be human is a gift and an honor requiring mindful gratitude. Still read at Iroquois ceremonial and governmental gatherings, this "Thanksgiving Address" was created over 1,000 years ago and eloquently recognizes the many gifts in our human lives.
In native Haudenausee language, the Thanksgiving Address is called Ohenton Kariwahtekwen, which translated to English means Greetings to the Natural World. The Haudenosaunee peoples open and close every social and religious meeting with the Thanksgiving Address; it is also recited daily as a sunrise prayer, and is an ancient message of peace and appreciation of Mother Earth and of her inhabitants.
Read it now:
Thanks to this Native American tradition, modern Iroquois children learn that people everywhere should be embraced as family. Our diversity, like all wonders of Nature, is truly a gift for which we are thankful.
This prayer suggests gratitude in a deeply meaningful way. The prayer begins with ‘These words before all else’. Reading this prayer is a practice that allows us to find our way back to the natural world, reminding us that we are actually part of all that is awe-inspiring and wonderful on this planet, and inviting us to contribute, to remember that what we do matters.
We both love Thomas Berry’s quote, “The natural world is the larger sacred community to which we belong. To be alienated from this community is to become destitute in all that makes us human.”
As the third part of the 10,000 Love Letters project,
We will give away 10,000 physical copies of the Iroquois Thanksgiving Address.
Our intention is to remind people of their own sacredness and to encourage celebration of the absolute miracle of each one of their lives.
Each of these little grey Thanksgiving Address booklets contain both the English and Haudenausee translations of the prayer, so serving as a daily reminder of its' deep roots.