Breaking Dams

I’ve been thinking about our beautiful Coyote Stories. I recently received a copy of our beloved book, Anakú Iwachá, in the mail. It is a gorgeous cultural treasure filled with our traditional stories and stunning artwork. These are stories our Elders have engaged, preserved, and generously shared about teachings and places important to us, Since Time Immemorial. They are perhaps our most precious, beloved curriculum. Our stories have served as a backbone to our Yakama education system long, long, long before settler colonialism and its odd way of doing schooling arrived.

One particular story I’ve been thinking about is Spilyáy Breaks the Dam. In the story, Spilyáy (Legendary Coyote) is clever and generous, probably traits shared by many of our favorite teachers, and he breaks the dam to help care for and feed the people. In doing so, he helps our beloved salmon to continue on their sacred journey in life. While definitely heroic, Spilyáy is also often humbled in our stories, and in this particular story he models for us the importance of listening and seeking help when needed.

As we move into 2022, it is the perfect time to reflect on lessons Spilyáy teaches us in our beloved stories. Maybe we can be deeply inspired by the legendary teacher.

What dam will you break?

What courageous actions will you take to care for yourself and those you love?

I’m wishing you well in your heroic and humble journey!

Photo credit: “Taking a Break” by USFWS Mountain Prairie is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Join inspiring and brilliant writers breaking through their own dams in The Auntie Way Writing Retreat! Winter 2022 sessions begin Friday, January 7, 2022 at 10am-12pm Pacific time (1-3pm Eastern). Register today and gain year-round membership to the Anahuy Mentoring Mighty Network with free access to bonus writing retreats, co-working sessions, and additional supportive workshops!

Published by Michelle M. Jacob

Owner of Anahuy Mentoring

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