There are many reasons why the Anishinaabeg trust grandmother moon and experience Her evocatively so. One reason is that She is consistent in Her way of always showing us the same side of who She is as a being of Creation. In this way She does not pretend and perform as many humans do. In always showing us the same side of who She is, She teaches us integrity.
Questions that help decipher who has integrity
1. Do they treat other people differently than the way they treat you? Some people are only nice when they need you. This is a sure sign of a lack of integrity.
2. Do they treat other people in disrespectful ways or undermine another person for no real good reason? This is a sure sign of a lack of integrity.
3. Do they undermine knowledge holders through the use of unnecessary subtle comments and facial expressions? This is a sure sign of a lack of integrity.
4. Do they seek out nice people, thus avoiding hard core knowledge holders, to make it appear that they are serving the less fortunate and doing good work? Tokenism is a sure sign of a lack of integrity.
5. Do they demonstrate overly exaggerated disingenuous kindness to someone of authority yet not to other people? This is a sure sign of a lack of integrity.
6. Do they have any credentials or qualifications in the area they claim to have knowledge about or have expert knowledge of?
7. Do they self-identify as an ally? Like Eldership, this is not a title people claim. Rather, it is bestowed and continually achieved.
8. Do they appropriate an oppressed nation’s cultural icons and symbols for economic reasons? This is not acceptable.
9. If they are a woman, do they stand behind women and the work women do? They should.
10. Do they do what they say they are going to do? While it may not always be the case, the consistent inability to do so is a sure sign of a lack of integrity.
11. Do they share confidential knowledge that is not their knowledge to share? This is a sure sign that they should not be trusted.
12. Do their theories match their practices? Does a man who claims to care for the earth treat women well? If not, this is a sure sign of a lack of integrity.
13. If they are an advocate of human rights, do they practice an intersectional awareness and lens? If not, this is a sure sign of a lack of integrity.
14. Do they live with unchecked privilege? If so, this is a sign of a lack of integrity.
Lynn Gehl, Ph.D. is an Algonquin Anishinaabe-kwe from the Ottawa River Valley. She has a section 15 Charter challenge regarding the continued sex discrimination in The Indian Act, and is an outspoken critic of the Ontario Algonquin land claims and self-government process. She has three books: Anishinaabeg Stories: Featuring Petroglyphs, Petrographs, and Wampum Belts, The Truth that Wampum Tells: My Debwewin of the Algonquin Land Claims Process, and Mkadengwe: Sharing Canada's Colonial Process through Black Face Methodology. You can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org and see more of her work at www.lynngehl.com.