Miitooshzinigaywin Ceremony – Dancing to the Tree of Life

Dancing to the Tree of Life Miitooshzinigaywin: September 21 to 24, 2018

From September 21 to 24, First Nation ceremonial dancers including Sundancers, Warrior Dancers, Ghost Dancers, Grass Dancers, Jingle Dress Dancers, Traditional Dancers, Windigokan Dancers and other dancers, will come together in the spirit of unity in their diversity, to celebrate life at the Turtle Lodge in Sagkeeng First Nation, Manitoba. The dancers will represent the diversity of ways to celebrate and honour life, as diverse and unique as the many colours of autumn, at a special ceremonial gathering called “Miitooshzinigaywin”, named after a Cree word meaning “the way of the poplar tree”.  This ceremony has resulted from a four-day ceremony called a vision quest, in which three young men fasted earlier this summer, at the sacred site of Manitou Api, to ask the Spirit for a vision on behalf of the people. The dancers along with anyone who wishes to join them, will enter each evening at 7 pm into a special newly constructed outdoor lodge, located right beside the Turtle Lodge. There they will dance in celebration and thanksgiving, and offer prayers for a good life for the people for the coming year, at eight sacred fires representing the seven sacred laws and their spiritual origin, that will be lit inside the Miitooshzinigaywin lodge. Each afternoon from 1 to 5 pm, beginning on Saturday, September 22, daytime discussions will take place with First Nation community members from across the Nations and interested participants, seeking direction to deal with the explosion of drug addictions in the communities and how to work together to save the original languages.  The discussions will culminate in a daily feast at 5 pm, signaling the beginning of the evening ceremonies, which will include daily healing ceremonies, as well as a full moon ceremony on September 24.  Ceremonial protocols will be in effect. All people are welcome to attend.  Participants are invited to bring their bedding and sleep inside the Turtle Lodge, or seek lodging locally. Contact | turtlelodge@mts.net
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