Zuguswediwin National Elders Gathering on Nationhood and Climate Change — July 19-22, 2018
Turtle Lodge (July 19-21) and Manitou Api (July 22), Manitoba
More info: https://goo.gl/6yrP6g
Why is the Zuguswediwin National Elders Gathering being called?
On July 19-22, 2018, invited Elders and Traditional Knowledge Keepers will gather at the Turtle Lodge for 4 days of knowledge sharing following traditional protocols. Elders and Traditional Knowledge Keepers will share diverse ways of knowing and knowledge on cultural and environmental issues, focusing on nationhood and climate change.
The gathering will be facilitated by Anishinabe Elder Dave Courchene, as Traditional Knowledge Keeper Chair, who received a dream this year of Elders gathering around a yellow blanket, with Grandmothers coming forward to be the first to sign and bring forward into ceremony a Declaration of Sovereignty on behalf of the people. Elders and others from other parts of Turtle Island have also had dreams about this gathering, which is believed to represent a significant spiritual step forward for the Original Peoples.
Zuguswediwin means «Lifting the Sacred Pipe» in the Anishinabe language. The Pipe is a sacred symbol of our sovereignty as a People, which is derived from a relationship with the Great Spirit, Mother Earth and the spirit in the four directions.
22 Elders and Traditional Knowledge Keepers from across Turtle Island will work together to develop the Declaration of Sovereignty, as they ponder questions that include:
What is your understanding of nationhood?
How can our nationhood be implemented in our current reality, going beyond colonization?
How do we proclaim and live our right to be the true leaders of our homeland?
What are the most important things we need to teach our children?
How do we transfer our knowledge to the youth to prepare them to deal with issues such as climate change?
How do we work together as a People to support our natural laws and values of survival?
How do we engage with those who have arrived on our homeland to support our vision for Mino pi mati si win (a good and peaceful life)?
How do we support the development of an Indigenous-led framework to learn more about our ways to move forward on issues such as implementing our nationhood and supporting our survival in face of issues such as climate change?
5 Youth will also be invited to speak, sharing their concerns and their perspectives to support working with the Knowledge Keepers on these questions.
Led by a dream, this gathering builds upon the Onjisay Aki Climate Calls to Action, which were created at the Onjisay Aki International Climate Summit held at the Turtle Lodge in June 2017. Click here.
Speakers and Ceremonial Leaders
Traditional Knowledge Keepers
Elder Chair — Dave Courchene, Sagkeeng First Nation (Anishinabe Nation)
Stephen Augustine, Hereditary Chief on the Mi'Kmaq Grand Council
Chief Darrell Bob, Hereditary Chief of the Xaxli’p Community (St’at’imc Nation)
Harry Bone, Keeseekoowenin First Nation (Anishinabe Nation)
Jeff Desmoulin, Pic Mobert First Nation (Anishinabe Nation)
Bonnie Goodchild, Pic River First Nation (Anishinabe Nation)
AJ Felix, Sturgeon Lake First Nation (Cree Nation)
Patsy Felix, Sturgeon Lake First Nation (Cree Nation)
Stephen Kakfwi, Former President of the Dene Nation and Premier of NWT
Morris Little Wolf, Blackfoot (Piikani) Nation
Betty Ann Little Wolf, Blackfoot (Piikani) Nation
Mary Maytwayashing, Lake Manitoba First Nation (Anishinabe Nation)
Jane Meader, Membertou First Nation in Unama’ki (Cape Breton), NS, Mi’kmaw Nation
Vern McWatch, Pic Mobert First Nation (Anishinabe Nation)
Tony Michano, Pic River First Nation (Anishinabe Nation)
Steven Newcomb, Shawnee, Lenape Scholar and Author, Co-Founder/Director of Indigenous Law Institute
Florence Paynter, Sandy Bay First Nation (Anishinabe Nation)
Gordon Walker, Norway House Cree Nation
Allan White, Whitefish Bay First Nation (Anishinabe Nation)
Katherine Whitecloud, Sioux Valley Dakota Nation
Barney Williams, Tlaoquiaht First Nation
Inka Antaurko, Inka Spiritual Leader from Peru
Erica Marie Daniels, Filmmaker, Peguis Cree Nation
Rosalie LaBillois, Eel River. Bar Mi'gmaq First Nation, AFN Youth Council
Shawna Bluestar Newcomb, Shawnee and Lenape Nations
David Courchene III, Sagkeeng and Pic River First Nations
Cody Courchene, Sagkeeng First Nation
When and where is the Zuguswediwin National Elders Gathering happening?
Gathering Dates: July 19 to 22, 2018.
The gathering will take place at the Turtle Lodge in Sagkeeng First Nation for the first three days, followed by one day at the sacred site of Manitou Api («Where the Creator Sat»).
Built in 2002 based on a vision received, the Turtle Lodge seeks to promote Indigenous knowledge, connection to the Earth, positive identity, self-esteem, and self-sufficiency through traditional teachings and ceremonies. Directions to Turtle Lodge
Located a 1 1/2 hour drive from Turtle Lodge, within Manitoba's Whiteshell Provincial Park at Bannock Point, Manitou Api is one of the most ancient and significant sacred sites for the Original People of Turtle Island (North America). The site hosts ancient petroforms and has hosted ceremonies for thousands and thousands of years. Located in the geographical centre of the continent, Manitou Api can also be seen as a central location for all. For more information on the Manitou Api sacred site, click here. Directions to Manito Api
Planning Your Trip
The Turtle Lodge is located a 1 ½ hour drive north of Winnipeg airport. We encourage attendees to rent a car or share a ride with others attending. We have arranged a Turtle Lodge Conference Rate at the South Beach Casino Hotel (30 minute drive) and at the Papertown Motor Inn, located a 15 minute drive from the Turtle Lodge. Please quote the «Turtle Lodge Block» when making your reservation.
Travel, directions and accommodation information are here.
There will be a coach reserved for the Elders, departing for Manitou Api after the morning ceremonies at Turtle Lodge on July 22. Space is limited so reserve a spot now by emailing [email protected]
By registration only.
Limited seating is available. Please email [email protected]
to register. We will be accepting people on a first come first serve basis. We ask everyone to remain seated, being quiet and respectful of all the speakers during the gathering, as the Knowledge Keepers have come a long ways to be able to share with us.
In lieu of a registration fee, we are asking each attendee to make a monetary donation of your choice, to help support your meals and our costs of hosting and bringing in the Elders. You can either bring your donation to the gathering or donate online.
Click here to make a donation.
What else do I bring?
We are asking each participant to bring a prepared dish to share for the Potluck Feast at Manitou Api the last day, as well as a gift that will be given to another participant in the Traditional Giveaway, also taking place on the last day. Gifts need not be new; in a Traditional Giveaway, gifts that you own and value are considered special.