Submitted by Sandy Graham
‘Our Mother the Earth’ is a collaboration between legendary Chippewa/Anishinaabe Elder Dr. Duke Redbird and Sultans of String. It is the third single of the upcoming album entitled ‘Walking Through the Fire’ (Sept 22, 2023 release), a CD and concert of collaborations with First Nations, Métis, and Inuit artists across Turtle Island.
Watch and listen on YouTube here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DwsfFgctFX0
Redbird was inspired by the idea that every country has a national anthem, yet there is no anthem for Our Mother the Earth. Redbird said, “if people included an anthem to the Earth along with their national anthem at every event, it would serve to acknowledge our identity, values, and sense of pride in the fact that we are all children of the Earth.” With this idea in mind, he wrote the poem Our Mother the Earth.
Our Mother the Earth
A Great Mystery
Created the Universe
And manifested a blue geosphere
A radiant planet
The marvelous Earth
The Mother who gave us birth
The genesis of all, we hold dear
With all the billions of stars in space
Only the Earth could create.
The perfect human birthing place
A little sphere of cosmic dust
Was the spark of spirit given to us (…)
“We can use our imaginations, innovation, creativity, and capacity to evolve in a cooperative way with nature, in a symbiotic relationship. The definition of love is when another entity’s happiness is essential to our own. Right now, the happiness of the Earth is not essential to those industries that are exploiting her resources purely for profit. When we realize that we, as humans, are born fully integrated with the spirit of the Earth… we will replace exploiting with exploring and begin to truly love her.”
Listen on Spotify here: https://open.spotify.com/playlist/2hjyfPDlnCN66ZKcGA0O00?si=fa3cca7af5224235&nd=1
‘Our Mother the Earth’ is co-produced by Chris McKhool, bandleader of multiple award-winning Sultans of String, Grammy winning engineer John “Beetle” Bailey, and guitarist Kevin Laliberté. The bed tracks were recorded on Six Nations land at the Indigenous owned Jukasa Studios, a multi-million-dollar studio created for world class and developing artists to make music in surroundings rich in spirit and tradition.
McKhool was recently awarded the JAYU’s Dr. Duke Redbird Lifetime Achievement Award for his work with Truth and Reconciliation’s 94 Calls to Action.
Dr. Duke Redbird is an Elder from the Saugeen Ojibway Nation, on the shores of Lake Huron. A celebrated Indigenous Visionary as well as an established public intellectual, poet, broadcaster, and filmmaker, Dr. Redbird is also a highly sought after keynote speaker. He is an Elder and Advisor to various public and private organizations, and his online presence brings his breadth of cultural knowledge and artistic practice to the benefit of a global audience. His music and poetry has aided in the emergence of a vibrant Indigenous presence on the contemporary cultural scene. Dr. Redbird’s outstanding contribution to culture, literature, human rights, legacy stretches far beyond his work in Canada.
Sultans of String Website: https://sultansofstring.com