By Don Norman
Turtle Lodge in Sagkeeng sent out a notice that, until further notice, there would be no more gatherings at the centre.
“At the Turtle Lodge, we will be holding off with any gatherings and group initiatives until we are further instructed through ceremony and the elders.”
The statement indicates that the elders are in agreement with public health officials who have been stressing the importance of social distancing. But the notice emphasized the importance of not neglecting spiritual health. “The spirit must take the lead in carrying us through these challenging times,” said the notice, advising community members to move their ceremonies from gathering spaces to their homes. “Let us make offerings of gratitude and prayer to the creator every morning when the sun rises. If you have a hand drum, sing a sacred song, if you have a pipe, lift it. Use your language to talk to the Creator. Allow the grandmothers and the mothers to bless the water that we use in our homes.”
The statement also encouraged community members to take advantage of this as a time of reflection and a time to reconnect with the people that they are confined with. “Let us make full use of being together with our families, children and loved ones at home.”
The notice suggest that this is a good time to connect with nature. “Take some time to take a brief walk. Enjoy the warmth of the sun, and breathe in the fresh air.”