PASSING THE FLAME OF LEADERSHIP: 10th Annual Igniting the Fire – Turtle Lodge, September 8-11, 2015

Invitation from the Turtle Lodge

IgniteFire Poster

AGENDA – Igniting the Fire 2015

10th Annual Igniting the Fire Gathering


The Elders and Knowledge Keepers of our Nations will bridge the gap with the Youth – in a “Passing of the flame“.

thumb_IMG_0149_1024 4

In our continued survival as a unique and distinctive peoples, the Elders play a significant role in the survival of our cultures, our languages, our ceremonies.

This knowledge must be passed on to the next generation of Youth who will carry that same responsibility.

This year’s gathering will focus on the transition of knowledge and we are asking each Elder to bring a Youth with them to the Gathering.

The Elders and the Youth will make a formal commitment to having the Elders become their mentors and teachers, and the Youth committing to receive the knowledge. This commitment will be done in ceremony, as defined by the Elders.

It will also be a Gathering whereby Elders and Knowledge Keepers take the time to discuss current events that affect our future. They will offer guidance and direction for the leadership – a Vision with a defined action to ensure our autonomy and self-determination.

There is no shortage of overwhelming issues we face today. Paramount in our concern is our children – the continued removal of our children from our communities. The health crisis we face. Food sovereignty needs to be addressed.

The question we wish the Elders to discuss and offer guidance and direction:

How do we move forward to ensure health and well-being of the People?

What does autonomy mean to the Elders?
How do we break free from this dependency environment?
What is true leadership as expressed by our Elders that defines our duties and responsibilities?
What are the Original Instructions we were given by our Creator as a People?

We will ask for a well-defined plan of action. We have asked for the support from our National Chief, Perry Bellegarde, who has endorsed the gathering.

A recently established group of Elders representing the Nations of the region close to the sacred site Manito Api, will help take the lead in this initiative. Recently they presented what has been called the Spirit Tour, the signature tour of the Canadian Museum for Human Rights – a defining tour that reflects our teachings that represent the true spirit and values of our People. All this was done following the protocols of ceremony.

This is how we wish this gathering will embody the ways of our People, to ensure we are guided by the spirit of our ancestors.

Like past gatherings, there will be 4 sunrise ceremonies, complete with the proper songs and offerings. There will be Healing ceremony in the evenings. There will be a one-day journey to the sacred site to ensure a strong connection with the spirit of our ancestors.

What we do today in a well-defined action will help determine the future for our children and beyond.

It will be the ways of our ancestors that we must return to that will ensure we will move forward to fulfill our true destiny in our homeland.

There is no set agenda. All this will be decided by the lead of the elders as each day evolves.

We will pose the questions for discussion that we hope will lead to well-defined plan of action.

We hope that a firm commitment will be reached from the Elders and the Youth, closing the gap that exists today between the Elders and the Youth.

We are hoping that we will have national representation from across the country.

It’s our time now – to establish our true leadership as a People in our homeland.

Please join us!

around the fireThe Turtle Lodge is responsible for initiating Igniting the Fire – The Sacred Gathering, an annual gathering of Grandmothers/Elders, Youth, Adults, Parents, Students, Educators and Researchers, led by indigenous people and open to people of all cultures and backgrounds.

don cardinal

Igniting the Fire – The Sacred Gathering has been held annually at the Turtle Lodge and in the sacred site of Manitou Api in the Whiteshell Provincial Park, Manitoba, Canada. At this gathering, nations gather the way our ancestors did since time immemorial on our sacred sites, to share knowledge, medicines, ceremonies and prophecies. It is a gathering where our Grandmothers/Elders transfer their knowledge to youth and adults, following the protocol of our old ways. The 1st Annual Igniting the Fire gathering was held in 2006, with 350 people attending. In 2007, numbers rose to over 1000. Several documentaries and films have been produced based on the gathering, including The 8th Fire (see

People of all cultures are welcome to attend Igniting the Fire – The Sacred Gathering, to hear Elder’s teachings, traditional drums, share in traditional feasts, and participate in ceremony at the sacred site. Admission is by donation. Participants are responsible for their own travel and accommodation. Food vendors are available on site.

Info on Gathering

The Gathering starts daily with a Sunrise Ceremony, and runs all day.  There will be Potluck Feasts on September 8 at noon and September 11 at noon (Please bring a dish to share, and your own plate, cup, utensils, chair).  There will be Evening Healing Ceremonies September 8, 9 and 10 – all are welcome.

This year’s Igniting the Fire Gathering will focus on A PASSING OF THE FLAME OF LEADERSHIP.

We will be making a one-day trip to the sacred site of Manitou Api located at the geographical centre of the continent, inside Manitoba’s Whiteshell Provincial Park at Bannock Point.

AGENDA – Igniting the Fire 2015


At the Turtle Lodge in the Sagkeeng First Nation in southeastern Manitoba: a place built from a vision, with volunteer assistance and which is completely independent from outside organizations, associations and funding.  Camping is available on site and hotels are available nearby.


Communities are invited to sponsor a Youth or Grandmother/Elder’s expenses. Please bring a dish to share at the Potluck Feasts each noontime, tobacco and a donation to contribute to the gathering.  (This Gathering is being organized by Volunteers and operating through donations.)


What To Bring

All are invited to bring their sacred bundles, tobacco and broadcloth for offerings, prepared dishes for the Potluck Feasts, and your donation to the Gathering (tax-deductible).

Please bring a Gift for the Traditional Giveaway taking place Friday Sept 11 – something that has meaning for you.  Bring your own chair.

Elders are asked to please bring one or more Youth with you.


7th Annual Igniting The Fire (2012)

6th Annual Igniting The Fire (2011)

5th Annual Igniting The Fire (2010)

4th Annual Igniting The Fire (2009) – 1 and 2

3rd Annual Igniting The Fire (2008)

2nd Annual Igniting The Fire (2007)

1st Annual Igniting The Fire (2006) – 1 and 2

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