There is really so much to be thankful for.

One can be thankful for the beautiful October weather we’ve been having.  With the sunshine and warm temperatures, it must be Anishinaabe niibin (Indian summer)!  Some of you might be thankful for the results of a recent election, if that’s your thing.  Others might be thankful for the start of a brand new hockey season.  I know Winnipeg Jets fans are!

No matter what we are thankful for, we must always be mindful of the many people who go without.  Many Anishinaabe people live in everyday poverty, living cheque-to-cheque.  Some are luck to have some food on the table and a roof over their head.  Some aren’t that lucky.  This week I signed up to donate to the United Way and I encourage you all to do the same if you have the means.  It really means a lot.

But despite even our most difficult situations, deep inside each of us, we have a lot to be thankful for everyday.  We are thankful for the world around us, our family and our children.  We are thankful for the kindness of our Creator, G’zhemnidoo in giving us good life – mno bimaadiziwin.

That’s what thanksgiving is all about.

Today, I’m thankful for my partner Deborah and the beautiful feast she put on tonight.  Turkey, mashed potatoes and gravy, roasted sweet potatoes and carrots, homemade cranberry sauce and her terrific marshmallow turnip casserole.  Mmm. It was good.  Still some pumpkin pie to eat when she gets back from Shoppers.

Deborah, I’m thankful for your beautiful kindness and Love and for walking this road with me.  Miigwetch niwiidigemaagan.

I’m thankful for my healthy and beautiful children, Waabgwaniis, Zoongaabow, Miigwans, Jasmine and Fiona.  They make life worth living seeing them all grow up to be wonderful people.  I had a great day with all of you at Chappell Farms yesterday.  Miss you so much, Katherine Faith.  Wish you could be here with us.  I Love you all.

I’m thankful to all my family, my Mide relatives, my friends and colleagues today.

Most of all, I’m thankful for this life.  Sure, I have struggles sometimes, like living with diabetes.  But it’s all part of life’s challenges.  I also know that if I lay tobacco down, and I ask my Loved ones for help, I know I’ll never alone.

Miigwetch niikaanisidoog.  Happy Thanksgiving.