One of the people who Kevin Annett slandered in his letter last night was Jan Longboat. Of all the people who Annett has attacked, his attack on Longboat is one of the most disturbing. From everything I can see she is a truly great woman- Longboat is a teacher, herbalist and caregiver who has dedicated her life to learning and helping others. She also seems to be a rather sensible woman who was brave enough to stand-up to Annett’s lies about his work on the Six Nations reserve.
Here’s a biography of Jan Longboat’s that gives a good picture about her life:
Jan Longboat’s Indian name could have foretold her path in life. Longboat’s name is Kaheti:io (pronounced Ga-hey-dee-yo) which translates to “garden of plenty” from the Mohawk language. She is the keeper of Earth Healing Herb Gardens & Retreat Centre located on Seneca Road at Six Nations of the Grand River. Longboat is a traditional herbalist, teacher and caregiver who started Earth Healing Herb Gardens and Retreat Centre in the mid-’80s. Recognizing the Creator gave her the gifts of gardening and caring, Longboat started on a course to use her gifts for the betterment of others. She attended the Canadian College of Natural Healing in Ottawa and the School of Natural Healing in London, Ont. She graduated in 1985 as a natural health practitioner. She began building her gardens based on the aboriginal concept of holistic healing which philosophizes that the physical being is connected to the emotional, spiritual and mental beings of a person. She gathered wild seeds and plants and transplanted them into a circular garden. She continued to add the traditional plants to the garden until she had approximately 200 traditional medicines growing in her garden.
Her garden is built within a circular form divided into four sections by cedar logs. There are paths open to four directions resembling the Medicine Wheel and symbolizing the four seasons. The four sections correspond to the different systems of the body such as the respiratory system and the digestive system. The medicines within these sections speak to the healing of these parts of the body. She is currently in the last year of running a program for residential school survivors called the I da wa da di Project, which is sponsored by the Aboriginal Healing Foundation and Centre for Indigenous Sovereignty. Longboat’s years of working with the plant medicines and care-giving has leant her a certain amount of Indigenous knowledge. She is presently a lecturer at the University of Toronto, Mohawk College and McMaster University, as well as speaker at many health and wellness conferences throughout Canada and the U.S. Longboat believes her passion for her work is what has lead her to success. As another season of life’s cycle begins, Longboat is ready. She is aware the medicines, food plants, trees and berries are awakening and preparing to bring forth life.
Jan Longboat is also a notable peacemaker. During the Grand River Land Dispute in Caledonia Ontario, a very heated situation where members of the Six Nations occupied a small town, she came out and helped negotiate peace in very challenging circumstances. Have a look at the video of that day:
As you can see, Longboat dealt with a lot of very angry people and was able to help find a middle ground. Not everyone went along with her, and this is indicative of what is happening at the Six Nations with Annett’s issues today. As I wrote yesterday, I am being told that Annett’s disruption is ‘turning into Animal Farm’. Everywhere Annett goes he causes a wave of destruction and anger.
Annett labelled Jan Longboat as a ‘disruptor and operative working against us’ last night. This is the same thing he did to her back when she came to the conclusion that Annett was not being honourable in his dealing with the bones at the Six Nations. To this day, Annett has not provided any proof about these bones- yet, he still alludes to them being real. But, rather than providing the proof he says he has, he is instead trying to smear the names of good people like Jan Longboat.
I’ll leave you with one more video of Jan Longboat, this time of her teaching about her people’s traditions. You will see what a lovely gentle woman she is:
This man needs to be stopped. He is not helping anyone any longer, he is only causing pain. This is the reason I have been so determined to get the truth out. Good people should no longer have to suffer the pain of Annett’s attacks. Kevin, it is time for you to leave indigenous issues to the indigenous people…