Submitted by Turtle Lodge
SAGKEENG FIRST NATION, MANITOBA. The 3rd Onjisay Aki Gathering of Elders, Youth and Scientists took place last month at Turtle Lodge, beginning with a sweat lodge for youth February 25.
Elders and youth from 5 First Nations – Sagkeeng, Norway House, Bloodvein, Biigtigong and Hollow Water came together from February 25-27, along with scientists, to share what they felt would be important to include in a regional school of ancestral knowledge, with ceremonial and land-based teachings and experiences based in all our communities.
In a very powerful and moving 3 days, much healing happened naturally, through the courage of the Youth, the love, kindness and support of the Grandmothers, Elders and Mentors, and the environment that was created through ceremony.
In a touching gesture of honour and respect, Cree Elder Gordon Walker followed the protocols of passing the Pipe with a request for blessing and support from the Turtle Lodge to begin building a Turtle Lodge in his home community of Norway House, beginning this spring.
Much was shared of the communities’ true desires to move forward to establish a school of Indigenous ancestral knowledge that is about building the spirit and identity of the young people, through connection to nature, the greatest teacher, in a process that will move from community to community… as well as be inclusive of urban youth, scientists and western keepers of knowledge.
To keep the momentum going forward with our plans and work together, we will be opening up the Turtle Lodge every Full Moon beginning March 31, for the full day, and invite the communities to come and continue the discussions to establish the ancestral school of knowledge. As Grandmother Burma Bushie from Hollow Water said so eloquently, we know what we want to do, it will just take a little bit of organizing.
We are on the move! Aho!!