Wahbanung

Indigenous leadership in action


Authors


Clearing the path for our survival

WAHBANUNG CALLS TO ACTION 2020

Written by the Knowledge Keepers, Dr. David Courchene, Jr., Chief Dr. Harry Bone, Florence Paynter, Chief Katherine Whitecloud, Chief Robert Maytwayashing, Mary Maytwayashing, and Gordon Walker at the Turtle Lodge Central House of Knowledge. With Contributions from the late Orianna Courchene.


For the Indian People to gain themselves they must return to the traditional ways in regards to language, to their spirituality. It must be a part of the future. That is if we are able to be the true nation of our culture.

The late David Courchene, SR. Grand Chief of the Province of Manitoba
October 3, 1971


These Wahbanung Calls to Action come from an Indigenous strength-based approach of being proactive rather than reactionary, as the Original free and independent, autonomous, sovereign and self-determining Peoples of our homeland. They are based on our identity as a People who know and love the spirit of the land.


WAHBANUNG CALL TO ACTION 1

Reposition the Knowledge Keeps in their role of influence in our communities and Nations, to lead all our processes through a ceremonial context

WAHBANUNG CALL TO ACTION 2

Prioritize and support the role of the mothers, the Ogimaakwe, in teaching, loving and caring for the children of our Nations

WAHBANUNG CALL TO ACTION 3

Make spiritual healing, restoring our identity, and rites of passage to adulthood a priority in our communities

WAHBANUNG CALL TO ACTION 4

Build sacred fire arbours in our communities and light the sacred fires

WAHBANUNG CALL TO ACTION 5

Build sacred teaching and healing lodges in our communities so our community members can access healing and education from our Indigenous perspective, and for us to have our places from which to practice our sovereignty and governance

WAHBANUNG CALL TO ACTION 6

Practice our ceremonies and bring our children and families to the ceremonies

WAHBANUNG CALL TO ACTION 7

Prioritize revamping our education system. Develop our own Indigenous models of education and implement them in our communities. Prioritize Indigenous education as the first education for our children, teaching our way of life, language, kindness, our values, duties and responsibilities, and connection to ceremony and the land

WAHBANUNG CALL TO ACTION 8

Develop ceremonially- led, land-centered approaches to teaching our languages. Encourage full immersion approaches

WAHBANUNG CALL TO ACTION 9

Make our survival in times of climate change a priority, and focus on preparing our communities and families for our spiritual, emotional, physical and mental survival

WAHBANUNG CALL TO ACTION 10

Establish Indigenous ceremonial environments for the women and men of our communities to heal and learn about their duties and responsibilities and Indigenous methods of parenting

WAHBANUNG CALL TO ACTION 11

Focus on Indigenous wellness promotion activities in our communities such as being in ceremony, on the land, medicines and food sovereignty. Empower our People to be responsible for themselves and to make their own choices for wellness

WAHBANUNG CALL TO ACTION 12

Focus on youth as a target group for teaching about our way of life. Ensure youth receive mentorship from female (Ogimaakwe) and male (Ogichita) mentors knowledgeable about our way of life

WAHBANUNG CALL TO ACTION 13

Seek support and resources to support our resurgence, our sacred lodges, and ancestral centres of knowledge, but do not make our resurgence dependent upon their support. Take the initiative to do what is needed and have faith that the Spirit will provide for us

WAHBANUNG CALL TO ACTION 14

Reprioritize resources with our communities to resource our sacred lodges of Indigenous knowledges. Make major investments to support autonomous sacred lodges and centres, such as the Turtle Lodge

WAHBANUNG CALL TO ACTION 15

Establish regional networks, e.g. interconnected ancestral centres of knowledge, where Indigenous ceremonial and land-based knowledge can be shared, and to create unity and collaboration among our Nations

WAHBANUNG CALL TO ACTION 16

Develop our communities’ and Nations’ initiatives based on ceremonial guidance, as interpreted by our Knowledge Keepers

WAHBANUNG CALL TO ACTION 17

Utilize our sacred lodges as meeting places both with our own membership as well as with non-Indigenous partners to restore our ancestral governance and to keep us rooted in our Indigenous paradigm

WAHBANUNG CALL TO ACTION 18

Create relationships with our Treaty partners, based in our lodges, and following a ceremonial context

WAHBANUNG CALL TO ACTION 19

Utilize our land and traditional territories for ceremonial activities

WAHBANUNG CALL TO ACTION 20

Work with our Knowledge Keepers to create positive public education about Indigenous knowledge, laws, teachings and the code of conduct based on spiritual and natural laws in our homeland

WAHBANUNG CALL TO ACTION 21

Encourage our political leaders and advocacy organizations to shift focus from a reactionary approach to colonial efforts of keeping us under their domination to proactively seeking support for the restoration of our identity and way of life

WAHBANUNG CALL TO ACTION 22

Make creating the spirit of unity amongst our People a priority. Be kind to each other

WAHBANUNG CALL TO ACTION 23

Encourage Partnerships that support the creation of Indigenous-led ceremonial spaces and natural spaces for healing and education, such as in partnership with hospitals and clinics,
ensuring that these partnerships reflect our autonomy and independence, rather than taking an approach of integration into a colonial system. Giigewigamig First Nation Health Authority
created a Traditional Healing Centre at the Pine Falls Hospital as one example of an Indigenous-led health care partnership

WAHBANUNG CALL TO ACTION 24

Commission a document and pilot process to implement the Wahbanung Calls to Action, through the leadership of the Knowledge Keepers who developed Wahbanung | The Resurgence
of a People – Clearing the Path for our Survival

WAHBANUNG CALL TO ACTION 25

Make a personal commitment to the Highest Power in ceremony to follow the spiritual and natural laws in our lives. Wherever we make a commitment, we must have actionable work attached to it.


Our health and wellness – our destiny – rests in our hands. It does not rest outside of ourselves, in the government. It is in each of us

Florence Paynter (Anishinaabe)

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