Sacred Site Visits
Manitou Api: “Where the Creator Sat”The Turtle Lodge incorporates a pilgrimage to Manitou Api, located a 1 ½ hour drive from the lodge, in many of our initiatives. The province of Manitoba derives its name from this very important sacred site. Since time immemorial our nations have gathered on our sacred sites. They gathered to share knowledge, medicines, ceremonies, and prophecies. Manitou Api is one of the most ancient and significant sacred sites for the Original People of Turtle Island (North America). The site hosts ancient petroforms and has hosted ceremonies for thousands and thousands of years.
Located in the geographical centre of the continent, Manitou Api can also be seen as a central location for all. Manitou Api has been a place of pilgrimage. It is a place where we can feel the Great Spirit and our ancestors. For thousands of years our people have come to Manitou Api to meet and gather for ceremony, and to seek healing, direction and vision. It was a place where knowledge from different nations was shared. The markings and petroforms that many of our nations left at Manitou Api have great meaning and significance for our people. Markings were also left that represent a profound knowledge of the alignment of the stars, planets, sun and moon, and that correspond with the equinoxes.
At the Igniting the Fire Gathering at Manitou Api in the Whiteshell Provincial Park in 2006, the Elders confirmed that the people have returned back to the centre. They said: The centre will be recognized as a place for healing and remembering; a place for the transfer of knowledge and wisdom. Manitou Api represents a major part of the healing of our people, and for us as Aboriginal people, is also a place of sharing with all nations and races. The site helps us remember who we are as a people. We remember our spiritual way of life and the love we have for the land. As people of other cultures make pilgrimages to their sacred places, for Aboriginal people it is equally important for us to reconnect to the Great Spirit in our lives. For us the land is a living manifestation of the divine. Manitou Api is place for reclaiming and revitalizing the unique cultures of the Original Peoples, which are all tied to the land.