Saturday, January 3, 2009

Giving Thanks in the New Year

One of the tenents of the Kamana Naturalist Program is giving thanks for those things that make our lives possible: the Earth, the waters, the birds, insects, fish, and other animals, the plants, the trees, the sun, the moon, the stars, the rain, our get the idea.

The Thanksgiving they use is based on the Thanksgiving Address of the Mohawk People, and it is through the work of one man, Jake Swamp, that the Thanksgiving Address and its idea is spreading today.

Jake, whose Mohawk name is Tekaronianeken, is a member of the Wolf Clan and is sub-chief of the Kahniakehaka (People of the Flint), aka the Mohawk Nation. He founded the Tree of Peace Society in 1984 and he travels around the world planting trees and sharing the Thanksgiving Address (as well as other teachings). If you are interested in learning more, check out the Tree of Peace Society at their webpage:

I met Jake several years ago at a tree planting ceremony down in Greenfield Center at the Ndakinna facility ( He gave the Thanksgiving Address in the Mohawk language first, and repeated it in English. It was very moving.

Anyway, if you are looking for an additional way to connect with nature, you should check out the Thanksgiving Address. One of the things the folks at Kamana recommend is starting each day by giving thanks to all around us, and ending each day with thankful thoughts. By doing so, one develops a greater appreciation for the roles played by each living thing on this planet and how we are all connected. It's a good way to start (and end) the day.


  1. I give thanks for your blog, which I found just this week and which inspired me to start my own, chronicling the natural discoveries to be found in Saratoga County, where I live. You can find me at Thanks and happy woodswalking. Jackie Donnelly

  2. Thank-you for your blog. I visit it regularly. It provides an escape of sorts, for me, since I don't make it into the Adirondack outdoors as often as I'd like.