Canadian Minister of Science Kirsty Duncan to visit Turtle Lodge

Posted in: Press Releases
Canadian Minister of Science, Kirsty Duncan (left), accepts an invitation to Turtle Lodge, extended by Turtle Lodge Knowledge Keepers Mary Maytwayashing and Dave Courchene, in Winnipeg on October 11.

Canadian Minister of Science Kirsty Duncan to visit Turtle Lodge


MEDIA RELEASE DECEMBER 7, 2017 SAGKEENG FIRST NATION, MANITOBA:  On October 11, Minister Kirsty Duncan invited Turtle Lodge Knowledge Keeper Dave Courchene to bring Indigenous Knowledge Keepers to meet with her in Winnipeg, to hear perspectives on how to bridge Indigenous Knowledge and science with respect to climate change. Courchene responded to the invitation in person, accompanied by Lake Manitoba Grandmother Mary Maytwayashing.  At the meeting, which began with a smudging ceremony, spiritual invocation and water ceremony, Courchene issued a reciprocal invitation to the Turtle Lodge, which Minister Duncan promptly accepted with a hug and a hand shake. “I wish to invite you to the Turtle Lodge, our house, our place of knowledge and strength,” said Courchene.  He added, “As Elders and Knowledge Keepers, we feel our relationship with you is best built and our knowledge best shared in our sacred lodge.” In a letter he personally handed to Minister Duncan, Courchene wrote: “It is in these times of current challenges faced together that we wish to share our knowledge of values, natural laws and teachings that can help lay a foundation towards finding solutions and a path forward. Our ancestors have left us with the understanding that the answers we are seeking can always be found in nature itself. Today we wish to continue to move towards real reconciliation, true partnership and the building of a Nation to Nation relationship.  Reconciliation can only occur when there is equal participation in the decision-making process.” Minister Duncan, accompanied by members of her staff, shared her excitement at coming to the Turtle Lodge sometime in the new year. For the meeting at Turtle Lodge with Minister Duncan, Courchene plans to bring together a number of respected Knowledge Keepers from various Indigenous Nations, along with David Suzuki and Miles Richardson, who together with Courchene, are planning a spring conference in Vancouver called Scientia: A Conference on the Intersection of Traditional Knowledge and Science. Courchene stated, “Part of [the definition of] science is lore – defined as the stories of the people.  We wish to set up Ancestral Schools of Knowledge to share these stories our people have about taking care of the land.” He added, “Traditional knowledge keepers and elders are a resource who can offer solutions to effectively adapting to our changing earth, based on natural laws.  Natural laws are not negotiable.  They require compliance.” Media contact:

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