A Message by the National Turtle Lodge Elders’ and Knowledge Keepers’ Council
A CALL FOR A NATIONAL DAY OF PRAYER
Sunday, June 6, 2021
10 AM PST – 11 AM MST – 11 AM CST (Regina) – 12 PM CDT (Winnipeg) – 1 PM EDT – 2 PM ADT – 2:30 PM NDT
Elder Dr. David Courchene, Jr. (Anishinaabe Nation)
Grandmother Jane Meader (Mi’kmaw Nation)
Hereditary Chief Stephen Augustine (Mi’kmaw Nation)
Elder Ed Sackaney (Cree Nation)
Elder Harry Bone, LL.D., C.M. (Anishinaabe Nation)
Elder Allan White (Anishinaabe Nation)
Elder Gerald Courchene (Anishinaabe Nation)
Grandmother Florence Paynter (Anishinaabe Nation)
Grandmother Katherine Whitecloud (Dakota Nation)
Grandmother Mary Maytwayashing (Anishinaabe Nation)
Knowledge Keeper Robert Maytwayashing (Anishinaabe Nation)
Elder A.J. Felix (Cree Nation)
Grandmother Patricia Felix (Cree Nation)
Elder Morris Little Wolf (Piikani Nation)
Grandmother Betty Ann Little Wolf (Piikani Nation)
Chief Darrell Bob (St’at’imc Nation)
Elder Dr. Barney Williams (Tia-o-qui-aht Nation)
Knowledge Keeper Stephen Kakfwi (Dene Nation)
Knowledge Keeper Antaurko (Inka Nation)
The National Turtle Lodge Council of Elders and Knowledge Keepers recently came together virtually, from across the Nations, in light of the tragic news coming out of British Columbia. We are calling for a National Day of Prayer this Sunday, June 6, to offer a collective prayer, and intentions, in the unique spiritual traditions that exist across the country, on behalf of the 215 Children found at the site of a residential school in Kamloops, BC, for all Children who have been hurt, the Survivors, their Families and Communities who continue to live with the impacts of the residential school system today.
This effort is in response to many calls from the People, who have been turning to the Knowledge Keepers from across the country for direction and spiritual guidance, in light of the recent news.
Speaking in unity as one voice, the Knowledge Keepers will be offering leadership by lifting the Sacred Pipes collectively, lighting the Sacred Fires, and praying together in one spirit, in our Original Languages that are used to make a connection to the Creator.
Following in the footsteps of our ancestors, our actions always begin with the power of the Pipe. We will receive further instructions on how we can move forward in the spirit of unity, as we begin in this way.
The Elders and Knowledge Keepers wish to acknowledge the little Children, who through the recent discovery of their graves, have opened a doorway for healing for all Peoples in this country – for all the Residential School Survivors, their Families and Communities, as well as for the Canadian and larger world community, through the uncovering of the dark truth that took place in recent years. It is their hope and prayer that this will allow for greater healing and a New Relationship to be formed, based on love and kindness.
The Elders have emphasized that it is our Ancestral way of life, our Ceremonies, our Pipes, Drums and Rattles, our Sacred Lodges and the comfort offered by Mother Earth herself, that hold the key to healing and moving forward. These Children would have been our future leaders, our Knowledge Keepers, Grandmothers, Grandfathers, our teachers. To honour these children, we need to focus on our Children today who have been left behind, many of whom are lost and need to come home. We need to bring them back to our ceremonies and our way of life, to provide opportunities and support so they can find their identity and become the future leaders in our homeland.
Anishinaabe Elder Allan White from Naotkamegwanning (Whitefish Bay) First Nation has called for a Special National Gathering of Elders and Knowledge Keepers at the Turtle Lodge in July, to hold a special ceremony to honour the children and to seek further spiritual guidance and direction to help guide us in moving forward as a country. The Elders and Knowledge Keepers work in the spirit of establishing a New Relationship, by creating a peaceful, non-confrontational non-political environment and approach, focusing on taking a moral and spiritual approach, based on the spirit of love, kindness, and unity. Further details about this ceremonial gathering will be shared once the Elders receive the guidance and direction to hold this gathering.
Until the time comes when we can meet in our Sacred Lodges again, we ask that you join us this Sunday, June 6, as we lift our Pipes, light our Sacred Fires, sing our traditional Songs, smudge, offer our Sacred Tobacco, and offer prayers in our own traditions in a collective way.
In the spirit of love, healing, truth and a New Way forward.