On the Shores of Lake Winnipeg
Sagkeeng First Nation, Manitoba, Canada
Water is an element that can unite our Nations to serve a common purpose.
We are making an International Call to attend the Nibi Water Gathering at the Turtle lodge, on the Shores of Lake Winnipeg, one of our most endangered lakes, where the four rivers meet, on June 4 and 5, 2015.
At the Water Ceremony the Original People of Turtle Island (North America) will formally establish their leadership. The Nibi Water Gathering will coincide with the honouring of leaders in Earth stewardship, those who have been spiritually guided in their leadership, and the honouring of Youth completing their rites of passage to adulthood.
It is our hope that People of all cultures will attend and make their gifts and offerings to the Water!
At the Turtle Lodge in the Sagkeeng First Nation in southeastern Manitoba: a place built from a vision, with volunteer assistance and which is completely independent from outside organizations, associations and funding Camping is available on site and hotels are available nearby. http://www.turtlelodge.org/about/
Communities are invited to sponsor a Youth or Grandmother/Elder’s expenses. Please bring a dish to share at the Potluck Feasts each noontime, tobacco, your gift or offering for the Water Ceremony, a gift for the Giveaway, and a donation of your choice to contribute to the gathering.
Nibi: Water Ceremony & Action on Final day of Gathering
Water is the source of all life. Without water there can be no life.
At the Water Ceremony we will formally spiritually establish our leadership as being the roots of our homeland. The leadership of the Original peoples will reflect the duties and responsibilities that were practised by the ancestors. There are specific roles for men and women. These will be reflected in the Ogimakamik (Leadership Lodge).
A defining moment has arrived for the Original People of this land to humbly step forward and to take their rightful place of leadership. It is not a political leadership but a leadership of example, and the sharing of a knowledge that illuminates the power of the spirit.
The leaders hold the Eagle Staffs in recognition of a leader being led by the spirit, the ancestors. The Women will step forward being recognized as the caretakers of the Water.
All life depends on Water. We all come from Women. Most of our being is Water. We will use the element of water to learn how to work with Nature. Our survival depends on our ability to work with Nature. As a people we have reached beyond the physical and into the domain of spirit for help. In this case we will call upon the spirit of the Thunderbirds.
In our leadership, we will depend and call upon the guardians of this element of life. Spiritually the Thunderbirds have always acted as the real guardians of all water. Our ancestors walked in alliance with the spirit of the Thunderbirds. They acknowledged their power to keep the waters clean and protected. In this gathering, we will honour the way of our ancestors by doing and acting in acknowledging our relationship with the Thunderbirds.
The gathering will encourage and inspire all of us to put our children in their rightful place in the family, centred and protected by the truth filled with care and nurturing.
The Sacred Drums will call us all to order and bring us into the sacred Lodge of Leadership (Ogimakamik).
It is within the lodges of our people, where we will invoke the spirit, the guardians of the land and water, in order to safeguard the elements of life, beginning with the water.
A vision will be revealed that offers definition to what a true leader should be from the point of view of the Elders and Knowledge keepers. Part of that responsibility as a leader is to rely on spiritual help for guidance and direction.
Our homeland is the land of the Pipe – a gift brought by the spirit of Woman. It is a gift of connection to the Spirit. The Pipe will be complimented by the Shaker and the Drum. The Shaker is the beginning sound, of the seeds of Creation. The Drum, the heartbeat of all life, has the power to carry our voice and our message to the Spirit.
Certain leaders will be honoured and recognized at this time – those who have sacrificed and given their lives acting as a voice of the Earth, those who have relied on spirit for direction in their life as leaders. This special recognition is extended to the inclusion of the Spirit of our ancestors who now open a doorway for us to enter, supporting a new life.
It is also during this time the young people are undergoing their rites of passage – Vision Quest and Makoose Ka Win, an ancient protocol of the Original People which sets a strong foundation of helping youth grow to adulthood.
The Turtle Lodge is situated in what many consider the geographic centre of America – also close to one of the most sacred sites – Manito Api – left by our ancestors for our benefit at this special time. We are on the shores of one of the biggest and most endangered inland lakes – Lake Winnipeg, where the four rivers from across the continent meet and flow into.
We chose to conduct the largest Water Offering Ever into this lake, to restore its life.
SCHEDULE OF EVENTS – More Activities TBA at Gathering
June 4, 2015 (9 am to 4 pm, Turtle Lodge/Ogimakamik Lodge with Potluck Lunch, Evening in Ogimakamik Lodge)
The first day will be totally led and dedicated to the Grandmothers, Elders, Bundle carriers, Oral historians and Traditional knowledge keepers for them to be able to meet and discuss the issue at hand which is water. All are welcome to listen and bring their pipes. A Special Invitation is extended to the Youth to attend and hear the knowledge that is being transferred.
The Grandmothers will speak on behalf of the spirit of the Water.
There will be a Sweat Lodge in the afternoon for those who are interested. Those entering the Sweat Lodge will need to bring sweat lodge gear – a towel, long nightgown or long skirt and tshirt for women, and shorts for men, and tobacco.
There will be ceremony and dancing in the Ogimakamik Leadership Lodge.
Everyone is invited to wear the regalia of their own cultures to share and honour their uniqueness.
June 5, 2015 (9 am to 5:30 pm, Turtle Lodge/Ogimakamik Lodge with Potluck Lunch, Evening in Ogimakamik Lodge)
Grand Entry outside into the Ogimakamik Lodge: Elders will lead, followed by the Eagle Staff carriers (representing leadership), followed by the Children, the Women, the Men, and finally the Windigokons.
Pipe Ceremony, Honour Ceremony & Blanket Ceremony for Leaders
Ceremony to acknowledge Youth completing their Makoose Ka Win and Vision Quest rites of passage to Adulthood
Water Ceremony & Offerings – 4 offerings have to be conducted representing the four directions, which will include the gifts and offerings brought from people from all over the world.
The Grandmothers will speak on behalf of the spirit of the Water.
The gathering is open for all People to come and make their offerings to the spirit of the Water.
12 noon – Potluck Lunch – We are asking everyone to bring a dish to share.
1 to 4 pm
The Water Ceremony and Offerings will resume.
The Biggest Water Offering Ever will be made into Lake Winnipeg.
There will be a number of invited Speakers.
Traditional Feast and Giveaway – We are asking everyone to bring a gift for the Giveaway.
Nibi Water Song
The Turtle Lodge is sharing this original song for Nibi – the Water. The song was gifted to the Turtle Lodge by Zoongi Gabowi Ozawa Kinew Ikwe (Strong Standing Golden Eagle Woman), Anishnabe Nation, Crane Clan (Ojijak), who received the song in a dream. It is for all to learn and please share widely.