Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

No reason to not create your own rapture

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So, if you're reading this column, then the Mayan doomsday predictions about the world ending on Dec. 21 were wrong -- or at least off by a few days. Yesterday was supposed to be the day of reckoning. Perhaps the Mayan long calendar was misinterpreted.

Mayan people are South American Indians. We indigenous people of Canada have a few end-of-the-world prophecies of our own. Our stories, however, have been interpreted to mean that the end of a way of life is coming, not necessarily the end of everything.

If you follow our aboriginal predictions, 2013 might be when we'll see leaders making the environment a top priority. We are, after all, starting to see the effects of global warming wreaking havoc on many people. Or maybe the prophecies mean a new era of understanding between all people.

Well, just in case that Mayan calendar is just off by a few days, I've got a few things planned this weekend to make the most of life before the rapture.

-- Where's the fry-bread? If it's the end of the world, why not fry up a big batch of fry-bread tonight? I know I'm going to.

Fry bread is a staple of North American Indians from Manitoba to Arizona. And for good reason -- fry-bread is fluffy, a little greasy and delicious.

The aboriginal staple tastes great, but almost everyone knows it's not exactly good for you. A friend of mine often says we should be sticking a warning label on fry-bread just like we do to cigarettes.

Over the years, I've taken his advice to heart. I treat fry-bread like doughnuts -- I only indulge once a month or two.

If you don't know how to make fry bread, here's a basic recipe I found that will serve you well --

-- Make a doomsday playlist and get dancing.

Get onto iTunes and download some catchy beats for a doomsday playlist for your own private dance party. Don't forget to throw in some old tunes you remember fondly.

My playlist includes Britney Spears' Till the World Ends, Europe's The Final Countdown, Def Leppard's Armageddon It, Blondie's Rapture and some Bob Marley.

And there's a ton of playlists out there if you need a little help. Now get grooving. Who cares if your parents/spouse/co-workers/kids are watching?

-- While enjoying your fresh batch of fry-bread, make it a point to call up your old friends and family.

In this age of Facebook, Twitter and texting we don't always make time to pick up the phone and actually talk to one another.

Call up some people you haven't seen in awhile and catch up with each other. If you feel especially welcoming, you could invite a few of your friends over. They can help you eat up all that fry-bread.

-- Make a fresh start

There are a million ways to make a fresh start in your life.

Count yourself lucky the Mayan prophecies didn't come true and get happy about the new year coming up fast.

Try to do good things in your life, and try things that you've always wanted to do.

Learn to play piano, learn Ojibway or Cree, quit smoking, start exercising, painting and take a breather to enjoy the simple things in your life. Set small goals and stick with them.

Every day is a chance to do good things in our communities, live a good life and be a good person for our kids to look up to. It doesn't have to be a grand gesture; little things make a big impact.

Try getting involved by supporting grassroots causes such as the Idle No More campaign to support aboriginal rights. Find out more at

Protests and flash mob round dances in support of the cause are going on all over Canada -- there's one in Winnipeg today. Just show up at the Portage Place mall fountain at 3 p.m. and join hands in solidarity.

We've got to work together if we want to get things done.

Happy holidays, everyone, and all the best in 2013.

Colleen Simard is a Winnipeg writer.

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition December 22, 2012 J14

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