Dave Courchene – Nii Gaani Aki Inini (Leading Earth Man) has travelled internationally, carrying a message of hope and peace. Dave shares the ancient knowledge of the Original People of Turtle Island, that he believes can act as the foundation in supporting the New Life that Mother Earth is now entering, and that the Elders have confirmed has arrived.
He has created a special place for sharing the ancient knowledge of the Original Peoples – the Turtle Lodge – built based on a vision he received many years ago. The Original People have always relied on visions and dreams to give guidance and direction in life.
Dave was honoured by leaders and Elders of the Original Peoples at the 2010 International Indigenous Leadership Gathering, and with a National Aboriginal Achievement (INDSPIRE) Award in Culture, Heritage & Spirituality, and the Volunteer Manitoba Award for Outstanding Community Leadership in 2012, for the work associated with his message and vision, including the work he has done inspiring young people.
His recent work has involved initiating International Roundtables Supporting Ancient Indigenous Knowledge at the Turtle Lodge and the US Capitol Building in Washington, DC, which have been co-led by US Congressman Dennis Kucinich. He delivered the Opening Keynote and conducted the Opening Ceremonies at the 2010 G8 Summit on World Religions. Dave is the Lead Elder of the Elders Circle Seven, who co-created Mikinak-Keya – The Spirit Tour, the signature tour of the Canadian Museum for Human Rights. He is also a founding Elder of the Giigewigamig (pronounced Kee-gay-ga-mik) Traditional Healing Centre at the Pine Falls Hospital, which is independently managed by Elders from the Sagkeeng, Black River, Hollow Water and Bloodvein First Nations.
Dave has shared the stage twice with the Dalai Lama to bring a message of peace in Newark, New Jersey and Monterrey, Mexico. In the Spring of 2011, Dave initiated the Grandmother Teachings on coming of age and Vision Quest rites of passage for youth of all cultures at the Turtle Lodge.