Nii Gaani Aki Inini Presentation at The Walrus Talks Water – Halifax, May 25, 2015

Posted in: Elder Messages

Making Peace with the Land & Putting Spirit Back Into Water

By Dave Courchene (Nii Gaani Aki Inini – Leading Earth Man)

Delivered At

The Walrus Talks Water



DavewalrusAs a species we continue to evolve to reach a greater understanding of our true purpose and meaning of our existence. The exploitative impact we have had on the Earth has resulted in damaging the elements of life – Water being one of these elements. There are those today that recognize and acknowledge how serious things have become because of our disconnect and disrespect of the land and its sources of life. Water is of primary concern. Not only does it provide for our physical being and gives birth to all life, but also it carries in spirit the memory of Creation, and our Original Instruction on how to be a true human being. Water was considered the first medicine. We in these current times have reached a defining moment that we are in a position to effect a change necessary to ensure a future for all our children. To do otherwise is to fail our children and this endangers their future. The Old Ones say: We must return to the beginning to find resolve and proper direction for our survival as a species. The beginning represents knowing our spiritual obligation in having a sacred relationship with the Earth and its elements. We must align with the forces of Nature – a greater power that gives and supports all life. We must work with Nature and its laws, not against her. We have overstepped the Spirit, and the Natural Laws defined by the Earth, which are self-defining and self-enforcing. May I boldly suggest that we return to the beginning and make a journey – a pilgrimage – to the land. Let us in spirit make amends and peace with the Earth. It is only when we make peace with the Earth, and align with her and her Natural Laws, that we will move forward and be assured our survival as a species. The act of one individual expressed from the heart can change the world. Nature will never allow us to destroy her and she will never betray those that reciprocate the love she has for all life. When we make the journey to the land, take the children to the land, rivers and lakes. Tell them why they can’t drink from the rivers and lakes anymore. Tell them why we are buying water. Tell them the truth. Then finally let the children lend their voice to our expression of gratitude to the Earth. Nature always pays special attention to the voice of the child, like any Mother would, especially the cry of the child. Through this act of Peace, Nature will offer a clear direction and a solid foundation of values that honour all life, and define proper action that we must implement. Mother Earth has a destiny that we can help fulfill. Her destiny is teaching us how to live without destroying life and destroying the land, and she will use her natural forces to ensure that we learn. Mother Earth will help awaken us. Let there be no doubt that the Earth has a living Spirit. If we communicate with her in Spirit, she will hear and she will respond. As we make amends and peace with the Earth, it must be done with the spirit of love, kindness and respect. One cannot receive this help from the Earth if one is angry, arrogant, selfish or confrontational. One must approach the Earth with gentleness, respect and humbleness to receive her full benefits. Can we make that kind of commitment in making peace with the Earth, to ensure as a species that we will survive? As the Original People we have always waited for these opportunities to speak, to share our concerns that we have with what is happening to the land. Miigwetch.  

Speakers at Featured at The Walrus Talks Water: Dave Courchene (Nii Gaani Aki Inini – Leading Earth Man), founder and leader, Turtle Lodge Susanna Fuller, Ecology Action Centre John Geiger, Royal Canadian Geographical Society Angela Giles, Council of Canadians Chris Henderson, Lumos Energy Stephen Leahy, International environmental journalist Kevin McMahon, Documentary director and producer Alanna Mitchell, Science journalist and author John Smol, Canada Research Chair in Environmental Change

Dave Courchene (Nii Gaani Aki Inini) created the Turtle Lodge, a place for sharing ancient Indigenous knowledge about the environment and our relationship to it. He delivered a keynote address and conducted the opening ceremonies at the 2010 G8 World Religions Summit; shared the stage twice with the Dalai Lama, in Newark and Monterrey; and initiated the Makoose Ka Win and Vision Quest rites of passage, taking young people of all cultures back to the land. Dave received an Indspire National Aboriginal Achievement Award in culture, heritage, and spirituality and the Manitoba Volunteer Award for community leadership.


There are no comments published yet.

Leave a Comment

Welcome back to the Turtle Lodge!
If you have trouble signing in, please send an email to