Celebration of Mikinak-Keya – The Spirit Tour at Canadian Museum for Human Rights

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  turtleWinnipeg, June 17, 2015 – The Canadian Museum for Human Rights (CMHR) hosted a celebration of sharing and gratitude for the knowledge gifts of Indigenous Elders that underpin the new Mikinak-Keya Spirit Tour. The Spirit Tour is a gift being brought forward by Anishnabe, Cree and Dakota Elders who worked through the Turtle Lodge to share the Seven Sacred Teachings, values intended to inspire people to honour human rights and the rights of the child.  The Elders worked together with Dr. Frank Albo and the CMHR to develop the tour concept. All members of the public were invited to attend the free event on the evening of June 17, 2015, which featured dancing, stories and song.  Seven young dancers, accompanied by singer/drummer Ray Coco Stevenson, represented the seven animals that carry the sacred teachings of the tour.  The museum’s interpretative guides and Dakota Elder Henry Skywater interpreted the story of the White Buffalo Calf Woman and the origins of the Sacred Pipe, which will be significant parts of the tour.  Architectural historian Dr. Frank Albo explained the connection of the stories to elements of the building’s architecture.  Elder David Courchene spoke on the significance and meaning of the Seven Sacred Teachings and gave closing remarks.
Led by Cree Elder William Easter carrying an Eagle Fan, and accompanied by the Red Shadow Singers Drum Group, Seven Dancers bring in the Seven Sacred Teachings, which form the foundation of Mikinak-Keya – the Spirit Tour – of the Canadian Museum for Human Rights.  Each teaching is represented by an animal, which reflects that the teachings are rooted in the Earth.  By watching the behaviour of the animals, we learn from Nature how we should be behaving to ensure the rights of all children are respected. The Mikinak-Keya Spirit Tour will be offered at 8:30 p.m. on Wednesday evenings and at 9 a.m. on Saturday mornings starting on July 4.  Visitors must pre-register by calling 204-289-2227 or by emailing visitorservices@humanrights.ca.  The tour costs $15.00 per person plus admission.  The 90-minute program and the Spirit Tour itself were co-created by the Elders Circle Seven – a group representing Anishnabe, Cree and Dakota Nations brought together by the Turtle Lodge, working in partnership with the Canadian Museum for Human Rights. More information here.

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