Ogimakamik – The Leadership Gathering, June 4 and 5, 2015 at Turtle Lodge

Coinciding with Nibi Water Gathering at Turtle Lodge  June 4 and 5, 2015 Ogimakamik-2


June 4 and 5, 2015
Ogimakamik Lodge of Leadership at Turtle Lodge
On the Shores of Lake Winnipeg
Sagkeeng First Nation, Manitoba, Canada
www.turtlelodge.org   turtlelodge@mts.net 
The Original People will ceremonially and formally establish our leadership as the roots of our homeland at Ogimakamik – The Leadership Gathering. The element of Water will be a focus, as the Grandmothers reflect their gift and leadership of taking us into ceremony and seeking cleansing and protection of the Water. On June 4, Elders, Grandmothers, Pipe and Bundle carriers, Oral historians and Traditional knowledge keepers are invited to come forward to meet and discuss the issue at hand, which is Water.  All People are welcome to listen and bring their pipes and bundles.  On June 5, we will enter the Ogimakamik Lodge and launch our leadership by seeking the blessing of the Spirit, as we have been directed through our dreams and our ceremonies.  Selected leaders will be given special recognition.  Under the leadership of the Grandmothers we will also make offerings for the protection and healing of the Water.  All are invited!

Invitation from Dave Courchene (Nii Gaani Aki Inini – Leading Earth Man), Anishnabe Nation:

To the Elders, Bundle carriers, Oral historians and Traditional knowledge keepers to gather at the Turtle Lodge in the Sagkeeng First Nation in southeastern Manitoba, Canada. Open to All!

At Ogimakamik we will formally spiritually establish our leadership as being the roots of our homeland.  The leadership of the Original peoples will reflect the duties and responsibilities that were practised by the ancestors, in accordance with our values.  There are specific roles for everyone. As the Original free and independent Nations of this land, it is a time now to share what has helped us to survive as a People.  It has always been our connection to Spirit, our Ancestors, and the Land. We have a profound and rich understanding as a People that can lay a foundation that supports the New Life that our Elders tell us is arriving. I am issuing a call for a gathering to the Keepers of our traditional knowledge, the Healers, and Leaders of our ceremonies, who represent the Spiritual Leaders of our Nation. In addition to the Spiritual Leaders I make an open call to those who would wish to experience this truly historical event. The circle will call on the Grandmothers and their teachings. Youth will be encouraged to take their place in the circle to learn about our way of life. This gathering will happen on June 4 and 5, 2015 at the Turtle Lodge and the Ogimakamik Leadership Lodge (one of the ceremonial lodges on Turtle Lodge grounds), on the land of Sagkeeng First Nation in the province of Manitoba, Canada, adjacent to a sacred site known as Manito Api, a sacred site recognized as the centre of Turtle Island. It was here that our Ancestors have always gathered and celebrated life. A defining moment has arrived for the Original People of this land to humbly step forward and to take their rightful place of leadership.  It is not a political leadership but a leadership of example, and the sharing of a knowledge that illuminates the power of the Spirit. As the First Peoples of this land we were given Original Instructions of how we should live and behave, and we have managed to fulfill these instructions. In prophecy it was said that a time would arrive when these Original Instructions as they were given were to be shared with all Peoples that would arrive upon our Homeland. I believe that time is now. We are challenged to find a path that can support this New Life.  Nature is giving birth, and as she is giving birth to this New Life, she will bring many changes.  These changes will help humankind to realize the importance of living a life of values that supports and respects all life. The message that can be developed from the Wisdom Keepers of our Nations can help define a foundation that will help support a new world based on the importance of being anchored to Spirit, and that defines a close and sacred relationship to the Land. The leaders hold the Eagle Staffs in recognition of a leader being led by the Spirit, the ancestors.  The Women will step forward being recognized as the caretakers of the Water. Water is the source of all life.  All life depends on Water.  We all come from Women.  Most of our being is Water.  We will use the element of water to learn how to work with Nature.  Our survival depends on our ability to work with Nature.  As a people we have reached beyond the physical and into the domain of spirit for help.  In this case we will call upon the spirit of the Thunderbirds. In our leadership, we will depend and call upon the guardians of this element of life.  Spiritually the Thunderbirds have always acted as the real guardians of all water.  Our ancestors walked in alliance with the spirit of the Thunderbirds.  They acknowledged their power to keep the waters clean and protected.  In this gathering, we will honour the way of our ancestors by doing and acting in acknowledging our relationship with the Thunderbirds. The gathering will encourage and inspire all of us to put our children in their rightful place in the family, centred and protected by the truth filled with care and nurturing. The Sacred Drums will call us all to order and bring us into the sacred Lodge of Leadership (Ogimakamik). It is within the lodges of our people, where we will invoke the Spirit, the guardians of the land and water, in order to safeguard the elements of life, beginning with the water. A vision will be revealed that offers definition to what a true leader should be from the point of view of the Elders and Knowledge keepers.  Part of that responsibility as a leader is to rely on spiritual help for guidance and direction. Our homeland is the land of the Pipe – a gift brought by the spirit of Woman.  It is a gift of connection to the Spirit.  The Pipe will be complimented by the Shaker and the Drum.  The Shaker is the beginning sound, of the seeds of Creation.  The Drum, the heartbeat of all life, has the power to carry our voice and our message to the Spirit. Certain leaders will be honoured and recognized at this time – those who have sacrificed and given their lives acting as a voice of the Earth, those who have relied on spirit for direction in their life as leaders.  This special recognition is extended to the inclusion of the Spirit of our ancestors who now open a doorway for us to enter, supporting a new life. It is also during this time the young people are undergoing their rites of passage – Vision Quest and Makoose Ka Win, an ancient protocol of the Original People which sets a strong foundation of helping youth grow to adulthood. The Turtle Lodge is situated in what many consider the geographic centre of America – and also on the shores of one of the biggest and most endangered inland lakes – Lake Winnipeg, where the four rivers from across the continent meet and flow into. We are choosing to conduct the largest Water Offering Ever into this lake, to restore its life.
Location  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. http://www.turtlelodge.org/about/ Cost Please bring a dish to share at the Potluck Feasts each noontime, tobacco, your gift or offering for the Water Ceremony, a gift for the Giveaway, and a donation of your choice to contribute to the gathering. Bring a chair!  Individuals will be responsible for their own travel and accommodation expenses. Visitors are welcome to camp on site. Communities & organizations are invited to sponsor a Youth or Grandmother/Elder’s expenses. This will be a Traditional gathering, following the spirit of our ancestors. The Strength of the Gathering will be determined by the Giving and Sharing that takes place 🙂 Agenda SCHEDULE OF EVENTS – More Activities TBA at Gathering
June 4, 2015 (9 am to 4 pm, Turtle Lodge/Ogimakamik Lodge with Potluck Lunch, Evening in Ogimakamik Lodge) The first day will be totally led and dedicated to the Grandmothers, Elders, Bundle carriers, Oral historians and Traditional knowledge keepers for them to be able to meet and discuss the issue at hand which is water.  All are welcome to listen and bring their pipes.  A Special Invitation is extended to the Youth to attend and hear the knowledge that is being transferred. The Grandmothers will speak on behalf of the spirit of the Water. There will be a Sweat Lodge in the afternoon for those who are interested.  Those entering the Sweat Lodge will need to bring sweat lodge gear – a towel, long nightgown or long skirt and tshirt for women, and shorts for men, and tobacco. There will be ceremony and dancing in the Ogimakamik Leadership Lodge. Everyone is invited to wear the regalia of their own cultures to share and honour their uniqueness. June 5, 2015 (9 am to 5:30 pm, Turtle Lodge/Ogimakamik Lodge with Potluck Lunch, Evening in Ogimakamik Lodge) 9 am Grand Entry outside into the Ogimakamik Lodge:  Elders will lead, followed by the Eagle Staff carriers (representing leadership), followed by the Children, the Women, the Men, and finally the Windigokons. Morning Pipe Ceremony, Honour Ceremony & Blanket Ceremony for Leaders Ceremony to acknowledge Youth completing their Makoose Ka Win and Vision Quest rites of passage to Adulthood Water Ceremony & Offerings – 4 offerings have to be conducted representing the four directions, which will include the gifts and offerings brought from people from all over the world. The Grandmothers will speak on behalf of the spirit of the Water. The gathering is open for all People to come and make their offerings to the spirit of the Water. 12 noon – Potluck Lunch – We are asking everyone to bring a dish to share. 1 to 4 pm      The Water Ceremony and Offerings will resume. The Biggest Water Offering Ever will be made into Lake Winnipeg. There will be a number of invited Speakers. 4:30 pm     Traditional Feast and Giveaway – We are asking everyone to bring a gift for the Giveaway.
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