THE CARIBOU – animal totem

The caribou or reindeer of America is a vital animal for the survival and culture of the Aboriginal Nations in the North of Canada, and all Arctic nations. Its medicine is that of the balance of vital energy, or the vitality of equilibrium.

Caribous formerly formed the greatest herds of cervids in the world. One of the northern herds of Quebec had more than 900,000 individuals. This number has fallen dramatically in the last twenty years, they are now around 9,000. A 90% decrease that reflects the genocide on global wild animals worldwide that have decreased by 90% in the last 10 years.

Thus, the caribou bears witness to the health of the planet. Caribou acts as a thermometer of the vitality of our ecosphere. It is a regulator of the health of the northern and arctic regions supplying with food and compost a great many animals and plants. Caribou is vital for the survival of the aboriginal tribes of the North all around the Arctic Circle.

The caribou reflects the balance of life. They are the only cervids where females also have antlers. Periodically the dominant of the species are respectively males and then females, as the males lose their antlers before the females. Females with the largest antlers then become dominant and this is good as then they give birth, guiding the herd to the best places for them to have their young. They lose their horns only after giving birth.

This alternation of dominance between females and males and the regulation of the life of the arctic according to their numbers is an indication on the medicine of the caribou: that is the balance of life. Health is a state of balance. For example, a healthy person knows how to balance work with leisure activities. It’s important to know when to eat and when to fast, the hours of wakefulness with the hours of sleep, deep concentration and then laughter, etc.

Those of the totem caribou have great strength but it’s not always obvious. The speed at which they can work passes unnoticed as it’s so natural. They are very important people in any community. They know how to find their place and carry out their work discreetly but effectively. And especially, the respect and consideration that they receive is an indication of the health of their community.

The caribou are coming to us today saying that we have to quickly unite to change our way of life. The only way of protecting the ecology it is to feed from it, that our livelihood depends on our immediate environment thus on our own gardens. The only way we can live in relative autonomy from the system is in community. Current modern societies reject community functioning. They function exclusively for money which is a technology that destroys the earth, all natural free species of flora and fauna, nature, and where man becomes more and more diseased and dependent on an artificial lifestyle. Only together, in large numbers, can we change our way of life. Thus, the message of the caribou is this: Unite to take care of each other, your gardens and planetary biodiversity which is the measure of the survival and health of future generations.



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