We are visiting Ancient Echoes a museum and interpretive center in Herschel Saskatchewan where you can learn about the life of the Plains Indigenous people.Our guides Dave and Sue Neufeld take us for a long hike and we stop to learn about different stone formations that were important in the cultural and religious life of the Indigenous people who erected their tipis around Herschel in the 1700s and 1800s. This arrangement of stones was for a vision quest and Dave Neufeld invites Dave to try it out. He says it is very peaceful and surprisingly warm lying spread-eagled on the ground even though the day is freezing cold. During a vision quest, a person spends a period of time out alone in nature fasting and praying and waiting for a vision that will give their life purpose and direction. Our guide Dave Neufeld points out the correlation with Biblical stories where prophets had visions that provided direction not only for their lives but for the lives of the people of Israel. There are also many Biblical characters who fasted and prayed before making major decisions. Dave Neufeld says it is too bad that when the Christians had initial contact with Indigenous people they didn’t search for the similarities between Indigenous spiritual practices and Christianity rather than focusing their attention on the differences. It might have saved a great deal of heartache. While Dave is lying in the vision quest space Dave Neufeld gets out a drum he has made and drums and sings a beautiful song in his strong voice.
Chorus: We are all one people
We all come from one Creator way on high
We are all one nation under one great sky
You and I
We are all one people
We are all one nation
We are all one color in her eye.
We are all one color if we try.
Common Threads- A Buddhist Monk