REACHING ACROSS THE GENERATIONAL DIVIDE
"My hope is to educate our young people," explains Elder Susan Quinney, speaking to a panel of her peers. "To show them how sacred our tobacco is. How we use it in so many different ceremonies, how we put tobacco down whatever we do, whatever we're picking."
"I put tobacco in water because water is life for us, too," she continues. "We live through water. That's how we live to survive."
REVERENT MEMORIES: A DISCUSSION WITH ELDER LOUIS LAPATACK
"Cistêmâw…I haven't heard that word in years," muses Elder Louis Lapatack. "Kayâs...That old word, cistêmâw ê-kî-pêhtamân â kayâs."
Lapatack is one of several Elders involved in Keep Tobacco Sacred, a united effort to honor tobacco's role in many of Alberta's Indigenous cultures. The goal of Elder Lapatack and his peers is twofold — to convey the cultural significance of the sacred plant while also warning of the harm that can be caused by commercial tobacco products. For Elder Lapatack, that begins the language used to describe it.