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YouTube Video of the Ogimakamik Leadership Initiation Ceremony, May 14, 2014 (Courtesy Donald Benham, Director of Hunger & Poverty Awareness, Winnipeg Harvest) CLICK HERE  for Album of the May 14 Event.  (Photos courtesy Coty Bruyere)
On May 14, 2014, a historic event took place at Turtle Lodge’s Ogimakamik Leadership Initiation Lodge
27 Indigenous and non-Indigenous leaders from across Canada and the US were invited to be honoured and initiated following traditional Indigenous protocols, using ceremony and song.  Each Initiant was given a special Bear honour blanket, handcrafted locally in Sagkeeng First Nation, for the event, and honoured through a Pipe ceremony, Water ceremony, Water songs, the Mukatay Mukwa Dewekun (Ogimakamik Lodge Drum), Paabamasagaa (Treaty 3 Drum), and Staat’mc Nation Drums from the British Columbia area, as well as a Bear Dancer from Staat’mc Territory.  Everyone who attended the ceremony was also spiritually initiated into leadership, just by being present at the ceremony.  After the first day of initiation, everyone was welcomed to participate in 4 days/evenings of ceremony, to pray, give thanks and receive further blessing from the Spirit.
This year, the Ogimakamik Leadership Lodge coincided with the Makoose Ka Win and Vision Quest Rites of Passage for Youth to Adulthood.  Leaders were honoured to witness as youth participated in ancient sacred rites of passage to gain an understanding of their own purpose in life, mentored by the Grandmothers and Elders, from May 14-17.  12 young men completed their fast and over 30 young women and their mentors participated in Makoose Ka Win this year.  (Photos of Youth Rites of Passage Coming Soon!)
The special Spring 2014 Ogimakamik Honorees and Initiants were:
    1. Steve Newcomb (Shawnee, Lenape Nations), Author of Pagans in the Promised Land: Decoding the Doctrine of Christian Discovery, Indigenous and Kumeyaay Research Coordinator at the Kumeyaay Community College Archives, Sycuan Band of the Kumeyaay Nation, California

    2. Vincent Steinhauer (Nehiyawewin Nation), President of Blue Quills College, Saddle Lake, AB

    3. David Northcott, Executive Director of Winnipeg Harvest

    4. Chandra Erlendson (Metis Nation), Manager for Public Programming at the Canadian Museum for Human Rights, Winnipeg

    5. Michael Dan, Neurosurgeon, Social Entrepreneur, Philanthropist, Toronto

    6. Fred Kelly (Anishnabe Nation), Knowledge Keeper, Onigaming First Nation

    7. AJ Felix (Cree Nation), Knowledge Keeper, Saskatchewan

    8. Lynn Skead (Anishnabe Nation), Knowledge Keeper, Wauzhushk Onigum First Nation

    9. Lucien Aubin (Algonguin Nation), Maniwaki, QC

    10. Eleanor Skead (Anishnabe Nation), Knowledge Keeper, Wauzhushk Onigum First Nation

    11. Ida Albo, Co-owner of Yoga Public and the Fort Garry Hotel, Spa and Conference Centre, Hotelier, Entrepreneur, Yoga practitioner, Economist, Restaurateur and Volunteer, Winnipeg

    12. Henry Skywater (Dakota Nation), Knowledge Keeper, Birdtail Sioux Dakota Nation

    13. Harry Bone (Anishnabe Nation), Knowledge Keeper, Keeseekoowenin First Nation, MB

    14. Arnold Gardiner (Anishnabe Nation), Chief of Eagle Lake First Nation, Former Grand Chief, Grand Council of Treaty 3 (Not present at ceremony, will be honoured privately)

    15. Troy Fontaine (Anishnabe Nation), Biimautaziiwin Program Coordinator, Knowles Centre, Winnipeg

    16. William Easter (Cree Nation), Knowledge Keeper, Easterville, MB

    17. Sifu Stanley Ngui, Master of Qigong and Traditional Chinese Medicine, Richmond Hill, ON

    18. Erica Daniels (Cree Nation), Youth Leader, Video Producer/Editor, Media Coordinator NCI FM & Rhythm FM, Technical Assistant & Youth Facilitator, Just TV, Winnipeg

    19. Chief Darrell Bob (Staat’mc Nation), Founder and Coordinator of the Annual International Indigenous Leadership Gathering, Fountain Indian Band, BC

    20. David Courchene III (Anishnabe Nation), Cultural Resource Worker, Biidaaban Healing Lodge, Pic River First Nation, ON

    21. Katherine Whitecloud (Dakota Nation), Mother and Grandmother, Spokesperson for the Wipazoka Wakpa Dakota Nation, Formerly: Chief, Director of Education, CEO of Assembly of First Nations, Executive Director of the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs, Regional Chief of the AFN

    22. Katy McEwan (Mi’qmaw Nation), Grandmother, Membertou First Nation, NS

    23. Dave Lucas, Commander/Inspector, Ontario Provincial Police, Kenora, ON

    24. Leon Jourdain (Anishnabe Nation), Knowledge Keeper, Lac La Croix First Nation I

    25. Robert Greene (Anishnabe Nation), Knowledge Keeper,  Iskatewizaagegan #39 Independent First Nation

    26. David Paul (Anishnabe Nation), Chief of Northwest Angle No. 33 First Nation

    27. Veronica Waboose (Anishnabe Nation), Chief of Long Lac 53 First Nation

We are happy to share with you some of the photos taken by Coty Bruyere, and a video produced by Winnipeg Harvest’s Director of Hunger and Poverty Awareness, Donald Benham, who attended the event with Winnipeg Harvest Executive Director and Initiant David Northcott. 
Gitchi Miigwech – A Big Thank You – to all who participated, supported and helped  out at the Ogimakamik Lodge this Spring!

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