Archive for the ‘Midewiwin’ Category.

Cannabis is not Anishinaabe medicine. In fact, it’s contrary to our way of life.

I’ve got something important to share. It may not be popular but I have to say it. So here goes.

Anishinaabe mno-bimaadiziwin minwaa Anishinaabe mushkiki does not include the use of cannabis.

The use of cannabis, either recreationally or medicinally, is contrary to Anishinaabe teachings and sacred law.

Sacred law tells us that using anything that alters our spirit in any way, is a big no-no. I learned this long ago in in the Midewiwin Lodge and from many true Anishnaabe leaders, teachers and healers over the years. It’s the one reason why I personally chose not to use alcohol or any other mind-altering substance.

I’ve seen several mind-altering herbs, roots, vines and leaves, all natural products, make their way into our communities from outside Indigenous healers. This includes anything from peyote to ayahuasca. Such potent hallucinogens and their purveyors have also left a lot of pain in their wake.  I’ve even heard some Anishinaabeg speak about a “whiskey ceremony” where a shot is passed around while telling stories. Forget what you’ve been told – this is not the case.

Yes, cannabis is natural. It might not lead to issues of hardcore dependence and overdose that we are seeing from opioids in our communities. And sure, it is somebody’s medicine.  But it is definitely not Anishinaabe medicine.

In our Creation Story, Msko-Gaabwid, the red-standing one, was placed on Earth with all the things he needed. Tobacco, the very first medicine, is a medicine that is almost entirely spiritual in nature because that very first human being was very much spirit rather than physical. However, as the world evolved, our eldest ancestor began to become more and more physical. As such, Anishinaabe, as he was to be known, had more physical needs including the need for food and medicine. It is said that medicinal plants gives themselves to us. Food plants give themselves to us too.

Anishinaabe and all his descendants are to keep all Creation in balance including our own physical vessel. More than that, we are to keep our body, mind and spirit pure and unaltered. We are told of these types of substances in our Creation Story. Our medicine people knew of these things. But plainly and clearly, we are told not to ingest anything that disrupts that balance, or may disrupt our interrelationships with all those in Creation.

When we take cannabis, alcohol and narcotics and use it in such a way that it makes us “high”, we disrupt the balance within us and around us. We hurt the balance between the body and the spirit. Our Spirit is disrupted. Dependence on these substances will ultimately affect our emotional and mental balance as well. Eventually, no matter how gentle the effect is, long-term use of these substances will also take a physical toll.

This kind of hurt my heart a bit. Ode’imin, the pure and beautiful strawberry, a chief medicine food, has become a cannabis edible.

Many of our Grandmothers and Grandfathers are concerned over the impacts that cannabis will have on our youth.  Evidence shows that using cannabis increases the risk in the development of schizophrenia or other psychoses. Also, there is evidence of the risk and repercussions associated of chronic and problem cannabis use, increased risk of depressive disorders, social anxiety disorders and suicidal thoughts and actions.

Today, I’m seeing a lot of nonchalance about the use of “medicinal” cannabis for any number of remedies.  Even more disturbing, there is a lot of indifference to the legalization of “recreational” cannabis.  We should be concerned over our already high incidence of addictions, mental illness, chronic disease and inter-generational trauma among Anishinaabe people. Making cannabis more accessible, through community-based dispensaries or even from the LCBO in town is so concerning to those who live by our traditional ways.

The use of cannabis has been discussed in our traditional societies and Lodges over the years. No matter how many time it’s raised, (“Well, it’s going to be legal soon.” “Many people use it for medicinal purposes.” “It’s not really going to hurt anybody.” “My auntie needs it for her eczema.”), the discussion is never a long one.

Again, with emphasis added: Anishinaabe mno-bimaadiziwin minwaa Anishinaabe mushkiki does not include use of cannabis. Period. It just doesn’t get any clearer from an Anishinaabe point of view.

That’s bad news for some Chiefs and leaders, pot-activists, cannabis enthusiasts, clever businesspeople, medical dispensaries and corner drug dealers.

I might be out of touch, unhip or too beholden to our Anishinaabe beliefs – but I thought I’d put it out there. They are our beliefs and there are many of us that stand by them.


One of the greatest gifts given to us by Gzhemnidoo is the gift of freewill. And the first teaching we are given when we hear the Creation Story is that “all Creation stories are true”. Meaning, we are all entitled to our beliefs and we can all choose our own paths that are right for us.
The purpose of the blog was to share our beliefs and perspectives from Anishinaabe teachings. No one is expecting everyone to live by them to the letter, or that they cannot evolve. However, this perspective regarding spirit-altering medicines hadn’t been shared and I felt strongly that it needed to be put on the record.
Taking medicines in a responsible way that honours them, honours our bodies and honours Creation around us is well within our ways. As some wise people point out, there are ways to use cannabis without getting high, disrupting our spirit or abusing the medicine.
As I acknowledged in the blog, this is somebody’s medicine. If they find relief and comfort in that, by all means. But it’s important to hear all aspects of the discussion, including those perspectives given to us in our Creation Story and original instructions as Anishinaabeg. Miigwetch.

Three Fires Summer Ceremonies August 16-20, 2017

We are not the children of the 8th Fire… Far from it.

“We have to learn today what it takes to be better tomorrow.”


I don’t like to write anything pessimistic. When you start off your column with “I don’t like” you know it’s going to be one of those days.

Nanaia Mahuta.  Photo by  Radio New Zealand.

Nanaia Mahuta. Photo by Radio New Zealand.

This morning I was trolling through Facebook, eating my veggie omelette and drinking my decaf coffee. I offered congratulations to my friend Nanaia Mahuta, MP from the Waikato River region of New Zealand. Nanaia became the first Maori MP to wear the moko mauae, the traditional Maori chin tattoo. She said: “I wear my kauae tehe (moko) proudly… to bring the most positive aspects of what we have as a Māori culture, our mātauranga (knowledge) Māori, our world view, into New Zealand.”

It’s so good to see that Indigenous people from around the world, including many Anishinaabe, who are taking steps to make our language and culture a priority.

A good day, so far.

I scroll further down my Facebook feed only to get a punch in the gut. I put my omelette down.


According to Keith Montreuil:

“In 1996: 36000 people identified as first language speakers (mother tongue) half of which were using the language everyday in the home. 65% of those speakers are over the age of 60 (in 1996). Fast forward ten years and we see the amount of first language speakers has dropped to 19000 (a drop of nearly half) and this is ten years later.. So that group of 60 year olds are now a group of 70 year olds. It’s predicted that the amount of first language speakers (mother tongue) will drop to less than 10000 by this year, 2016. “

These are stark and troubling statistics.  It makes me so sad, almost hopeless.

I scroll down a little further and up pops an ignorant photo posted by Janet Gretzky, the wife of my hockey hero.

Screen Shot 2016-08-09 at 9.46.10 AM

Fuming, I started to share and write a call to action. But it occurred to me that this isn’t supposed to happen this way. We were to be the children of the 8th Fire.

The Anishinaabe, through our 8th Fire Prophecy, were predicted to thrive. We were to become equals, to come together with our other brothers and sisters in our territory and contribute towards becoming one great nation. Our language and culture would be sought after. The colonizers would realize the folly of assimilation, value our ways of life, and seek out our advice and traditional knowledge for the betterment of society and Mother Earth.

We are not the children of 8th fire. We are far from it. That’s as pessimistic as it gets.

It’s time to turn it around.

We have to realize that a prophecy isn’t just going to magically happen on it’s own. It isn’t karma, destiny, fate or the will of God. The Midewiwin certainly can’t influence midichlorians, as the Jedi do, to impose our goodwill over the Earth. There will be missteps and setbacks along the way.

We must learn from our Anishinaabe prophecies. We must act to avoid those missteps within the prophecies. For example: The prophecies tell us that “the rivers will run with poison and the fish will become unfit to eat”. That’s precisely why Anishinaabeg women are standing up for the water. We must learn and adapt in order to take ourselves, our families, our nation in the right direction to ensure we lead the Anishinaabeg into that eighth and final fire of glory.

We must continue to take action. This action must be personal action.

  • Only I (only you), can work towards learning Anishinaabemowin.
  • Only I (only you), can take political action that makes our language a governmental priority for our First Nations governments, political leaders and our federal and provincial government by demanding programs, funding and support to our priorities.
  • Only I (only you), can stand up to those who act inappropriately by furthering negative stereotypes and trivializing our culture and it’s sacredness.
  • Only I (only you), can say something when you see an act of racism or someone who is treated disrespectfully.
  • Only I (only you), can contribute personally towards the goals of reconciliation between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people.

The 8th Fire is coming. We all need to be ready for it whether it’s this generation or the next. We have to learn today what it takes to be better tomorrow.

Never give up. Never succumb to statistics and social media pessimism (even if it is mine).

Love, Respect, Kindness are integral to eradicating Racism


“We are all brothers and sisters in Creation.” – Bob Goulais


Opening Remarks to the first Public Meeting of the Ontario Anti-Racism Directorate held in Toronto, Ontario on July 15, 2016.

I want to offer some words to start off this important gathering in a good way.

As indigenous people we look to the guidance from the Spirit World and from our great and kind Creator, G’zhemnidoo, to provide us with direction in times of difficulty.

When our lives are burdened and our spirits are hurt through our collective and respective experiences with racism.

That numbing and gnawing grief we feel when we see our brothers and sisters torn down as a result of that racism.

And this is a particularly difficult time for many of our brothers and sisters facing such adversity and who are working hard to get across the message that Black lives matter.

We need to support and reinforce the message of those who are experiencing the worst that racism, discrimination, hate and intolerance brings.  We need to support our brothers and sisters and stand by them during their time of need.

We also have to look to the teachings of humanity – those original instructions and sacred law that were given to us all at the time of Creation.

Our eldest ancestors were put on Mother Earth together, at the same time, and in a very real way as brothers and sisters. We can all trace our ancestors back to our Creation Story – back to our respective creation stories.

The very first thing that we’re told when we learn our Creation Story is that “all creation stories are true“. That meaning, we must respect and believe in each other’s creation mythology and origin stories. To Love and appreciate one another’s culture, history and Spiritual ways of life.

For the Anishinaabe, when humankind was first put on the Earth, we were lowered down in a gentle, kind way from the Spirit Realm. Our feet touched the Earth for the first time in a physical way.

We’re told that there were four original brothers, the Yellow, Red, Black and White. At that time, we were all given original instructions and sacred law from the Creator.

We were given two very important gifts that were not given to any other living being on the face of the Earth. Those gifts where the gift of intelligence – to be able to think and reason; and the gift of freewill, to make choices based on what is needed for ourselves and those around us.

Sometime later, in a time of great need, the Anishinaabe people were given seven sacred teachings to show us how we are to interact and relate to one another, and the world around us. These Seven Grandfather Teachings don’t solely belong to Anishinaabeg people. These teachings were given to all of humanity, for us as Anishinaabe to share, teach and reinforce to all God’s creatures.

Those seven teachings are the teachings of Love – to know Love is to know peace. Respect – to honour all of Creation is to know respect. Humility – to know that we are just a small part of Creation.

The teachings of Bravery, Honesty, Truth and Wisdom were given to us to to reinforce our instructions to be the best people we can be. To live a good life – a philosophy we call Mno Bimaadiziwin.

To live a life of hate, to live a life of hurt, to treat each other without that Love and Respect is painful to us all. It’s contradictory to our original instructions. It’s contradictory to Sacred Law.

How do we begin eradicate racism, discrimination, hate and intolerance?

It takes a lot for us to get out of our heads. We tend to want to overthink things, to analyze the issues and risk factors and come up with a good public policy response.

But when it comes to emotional and the spiritual, we have to get out of out heads and into our hearts.

We need to bring back ourselves to those original teachings that we are all brothers and sisters in Creation.

We are expected to Love, Respect and Honour each other. We need to offer each other kindness and gentleness.

That’s what I’m going to ask for during this prayer. That’s why I smudged this room with our sacred medicines prior to our meeting this evening. I asked the Spirit to provide us with a place where we can have a progressive, sensible and respectful dialogue. Where we need not succumb to anger or frustration.

Every one of us in this room, are advocates for change and believe in this a world without racism, discrimination, hate and intolerance.

We, in this room, are all going to be part of the solution.

And I’m a firm believer that Canada, and the vast majority of people that make up this beautiful multicultural mosaic, truly embody the Seven Grandfather teachings.


With much credit and Love to our teacher, Bawdwaywidun Binaise. Gchi-miigwetch, gchi-gimaa ni ge’kinoomaaged.

Holiday Greetings from Machu Piccu



This Post Is A Long Time Comin’

bobdrumsIt’s been at least a couple of months since I wrote a blog post so I thought I’d better write something… anything, before I dry up and whither away.

CEREMONIES – Mid-winter Ceremonies were off the hook!  Got a lot of spiritual rejuvenation, spent some quality time with the Spirit, with friends and with my fellow Midewiwin.  But I can’t remember a time where we had a Lodge “snow day”.  It was so stormy that we were sent home early and encouraged to arrive at noon the next day.  Our Lodge leadership are so kind and caring for keeping everyone’s safety first and foremost.  What’s new at the Mide School?  A Three Fires Lodge fire truck!  Our Lodge has always had to work extremely hard to ensure potable drinking water was available at the school, at Madigan Park in the Spring, for ceremonies and for all the cooking, cleaning and scrubbing required to feed and water all those thirsty Midewiwins.  Now through this fire truck, complete with a large tank, self-contained pumps and hoses, water should no longer be a problem or a significant chore.  Great job, Bawdwaywidun and our Center Fire brothers and sisters.

WEIGHT LOSS & HEALTHINESS – As of this morning, I am 21 pounds lighter than I was in 2013.  Hello!!  Living a much more healthy lifestyle, mainly through the support of Deborah and my faith in the Spirit.  My latest solution:  a program called Isagenix.  It’s meal-replacement plus detox plus exercise.  I never would have believed it possible.  My next weigh-in or two should surpass three goals:  the most weight I have lost in 20 years of dieting, surpassing my 10% per cent Weight Watchers goal (so long WW!), and achieving my playing weight when I played for the Bulldogs football program.  Crazy eh?  I’ve given up caffeinated diet soft drinks, popcorn and movie theatres, fried food, fast food and carbs.  Still miss eating all that good stuff though.

VISIT TO ARIZONA – Deborah and I travelled to Mesa, Arizona to spend some time with Deb’s Mom Wendy, her partner Jim, her Grandparents, Aunt and Uncle.  Everybody is doing well and in fine spirits.  We had a really nice time visiting, spent a night playing cards, visited the swap meet and travelled to beautiful Tortilla Flat.  We got in a round of golf, did some aqua-cise in the pool and spent a leisurely evening lounging in the hot tub with Deb’s grandparents, Walt and Audrey Becker.  We also met a lot of great new friends, retirees from BC, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Iowa, Minnesota and many other places.  After two visits, Deborah and I made the decision that Mesa is the place where we want to retire to.  As we were walking through the Venture Out retirement community, it occurred to me that because Jay Treaty of 1794 and the US Immigration and Nationality Act, Canadian Indians with more than 50 per cent blood quantum are entitled to US permanent residency status.  Unlike other Canadian citizens, we are not limited to a 6 month window.  We can live there as much as we want.  Did you know that as Anishinaabeg, under Jay’s Treaty, we cannot be refused entry into the US? Cool!

DRUM KIT – A while back, I purchased my brother-in-law’s Gretsch drum kit and added a new snare, high-hat and cymbals.  Having a lot of fun learning to play again.  It’s like a bicycle – you never really forget for to play.  I especially like playing tunes using my noise-cancelling headphones.  It’s a pretty good balance of sound and drums.  Unfortunately, for the rest of the house, they only hear me pounding it out.

Random Thoughts today…

lobster_brkfJust waiting for a conference call to start so I thought I’d put a few thoughts on paper.

BREAKFAST – This morning I had fresh maritime lobster with a fat-free cheese slice, egg white omelet (6 points on Weightwatchers).  Check out the photo.  The lobster kinda looks like when my Dad used to deep-fry bacon for his famous, moose-bacon cheese burger on fry bread (21 points).

TODAY’S BLESSING – “Gzhemnidoo (Great kind spirit – the Creator).  I look to you, in a humble way, for your help in my quest to lose weight and make healthier choices in life.  I’m having some difficult times in staying positive and following-through.  Today, I ask the Spirit World, the Grandmothers and Grandfathers all around me, to help me in this important personal goal.  Please look after me in dealing with my diabetes, that I stay focussed, take my medicine everyday and live healthy.  I think about all those, like me, living with diabetes and I ask that you look after them and their daily struggles.  Today, I give thanks for all your great works, for Creation around us, for this good and beautiful life, mno-bimaadiziwin.  I thank you for this wonderful Mide life, mice bimaadiziwin.  I give thanks for all your gifts, for my family and the health of others during this holiday season.  I broke my fast today with a tall, glass of clear, fresh water, nibi/mide-waaboo.  That sacred water that flows to us, with great kindness, from that third level above us.  I give thanks for the water and for the food that grows on Shkawkamig-Kwe (Mother Earth).  Miigwetch (thank you), Grandfathers and Grandmothers.  Take pity on us, Gzhemnidoo.”

FOOTBALL – It was a very interesting night in NFL football.  The Bears won.  The Packers came back after I had all but given up on them.  The Vikings upset the high-flying Eagles.  My Midewiwin family must be really happy today.  Quite a few upsets this week as well.  My Broncos and miracle quarterback Payton Manning losing to the Chargers was a bit of a shocker.  Pats lose.  Saints lose.  One social media comment I seen summed the whole weekend:  “Mediocrity prevails yet again.”

CHEYENNE SAUCIER – I had a great time at the Assembly of First Nation’s annual Christmas Party last Thursday.  It’s been a long while since I attended as it usually isn’t my kind of thing.  The dinner was amazing, the company was fun and interesting and the entertainment was top-notch.  Had a chance to listen to and meet young Cheyenne Saucier from Wikwemikong.  I bought her latest CD of country covers called The Nashville Sessions Vol. 1 to play in my car.  The level of talent among Anishinaabek youth is astounding.  She’s going to go far and I wish her luck in her career.

HOLIDAY PLANS – Holiday Dinner will be at Junior and Laurie’s place this coming Saturday.  We’re looking forward to a great feast, albeit, a feast of small portions for me.  Deborah and I are bringing a fresh, roasted, bone-in ham with a honey mustard glaze.  Griffin and Miigwans are Florida bound with their mom and Val for their holidays.  They depart this Friday so I won’t see them until next year.  Fortunately, they will be staying with us this Thursday night so we can exchange gifts.  Katherine Faith will be home on Christmas Eve.  Although she will be visiting her boyfriend Jake’s family over Christmas.  Deb and I will be on our own for Christmas night.  No fancy dinner planned.  We might go to a movie like we’ve done in the past.  In all likelihood, Deborah, myself, Katherine Faith, Jake, Jasmine and Fiona will head someplace warm for the holidays.  We will celebrate New Years in the warm climate of a five-star resort.

Three Fires Midewiwin Lodge Fall Harvest Ceremonies

3firesflagNovember 27th to December 1st, 2013

Three Fires Midewiwin Learning Centre
11126 W, Hwy #2, Cedar, Wisconsin

Download full notice here.

ADVANCE WORK: CLEAN AND READY MIDE SCHOOL / KITCHEN / SWEAT LODGES / GROUNDS, ETC. If you are able, come early or plan to stay later to help with the post-ceremonies clean up.

Tuesday, November 26th and Wednesday November 27th

Grounds preparation, Mide School, kitchen, sweatlodge clean-up, preparations.

Wednesday November 27th

Preparations continue.

6:00 p.m.  Teachers, Chiefs, Quays Meeting; All Midewiwin to be present.
Fire Chief will announce Fire Lighting Ceremony
8:30 p.m.  Cleansing Sweat Lodge for Leadership
** Bear, Bizhew, Eagle, Buffalo, are responsible to organize and ensure 24-hour security**

Proposed Ceremonies Schedule. During ceremonies, Lodge Leadership will announce any changes that are necessary to respond to the Spirit and to the needs of the People.

Day 1: November 28th Thursday, Fire Lighting, First Day

TBA (before sunrise)  Fire Lighting followed Daybreak Ceremony presided by Bawdwaywidun
8:00 a.m.  Break and Lodge Preparations
10:00 a.m.  Drum Call-In, Lodge Opening, Tobacco, Water Ceremonies
[All DECLAREES: those intending to declare their intention to enter the lodge must be present by noon and should also have ‘checked-in’ with the Road Chiefs]
Noon  Welcoming Feast, Host Community/Center Fire
7:00 p.m.  Evening Feast: Evening Feast: Thanksgiving & Memorial Feast
(Everyone is invited to bring a dish to remember loved ones)
Evening Sweat Lodges for Declarees

Day 2: November 29th Friday

7:00 a.m.  Sunrise Ceremony TBA (sunrise is about 7:20 a.m.)
8:00 a.m.  Break and Lodge Preparations
10:00 a.m.  Morning Session (All Midewiwin & Initiates to be present)
noon  Noon Feast: Waubizayshee Ododaym
1:00 p.m.  Grandfather Drum Feast & Megis Presentations
6:00 p.m.   Evening Feast: Pizhew, Mahyingun Ododaym
Initiate Teaching Sessions

Day 3: November 30th Saturday

7:00 a.m.  Sunrise Ceremony TBA
10:00 a.m.  Morning Session
12:00 p.m.  Noon Feast: Ogitchidaa
Saturday afternoon/evening is dedicated to the Ogtichidaa, Buffalo and Jingle Dress societies
TBA  Ogitchidaa & Buffalo Dance celebration
6:00 p.m.  Evening Feast: Nibi Ododaym
7:00 p.m.  Jingle Dress Medicine Healing Society Healing Dance

Day 4: December 1st Sunday

Lodge Protocols & Wrap-up  CLEAN UP
Travel lunch to be provided by Mukwa Ododaym

Hugs, Tears, Peace. Gi Guh Waubuh Mi Goo, Neekawnis. Bawdwaywindun Banaise, Chiefs and Quays of the Three Fires Midewiwin Lodge.

“Original Water” a glimpse into our Creation Story

Water filtering out of the floor of a deep Ontario mine has been trapped underground for more than a billion years. It bubbles with gasses carrying nutrients that could sustain microbial life. Photo By J. Telling

Water filtering out of the floor of a deep Ontario mine has been trapped underground for more than a billion years. It bubbles with gasses carrying nutrients that could sustain microbial life. Photo By J. Telling

I came across this article yesterday about the discovery of a billion year-old reservoir of water deep below the Canadian Shield near Timmins, Ontario.  The article references the findings from the journal Nature.  My first thoughts went to the Canadian Shield rock that is was housed in.  Our Anishinaabe teachings tells us that this rock is “original” rock which remains long after the Creation of the Earth.  That led me to believe that this scientific discovery might very well be the remains of “Original Water”, that was brought to this Earth at the time of Creation.

That got me really excited, both as a Midewiwin person and a science geek.  How well was the water preserved?  What kind of qualities, both Spiritual and scientific does it have?  Very interesting questions.

The scientists are interested because it may provide some insight in the establishment of life on the earth.  Also, has anything been living in this water during this time.

We are all taught that water is living.  It is said to be “forever flowing” from the water realm – a gift from the Spirit World.  Our people still carry that sacred law that speaks of this water and it’s relationship to the living world, our people and Anishinaabe-kwe, the women.  Our history and teachings talk about the Creation of this water and how that Original Water came to help bring life into the Earth. You should love custom water bottles.

But for all intents and purposes, we are mainly taught about the flowing water.  Water that flows from that sacred realm, how it falls upon the Earth, how it flows through our Mother’s veins, used, evaporated and cycled in a cacophony of natural processes.  Our women speak for that living water, provide us with it’s care and instructions on it’s use, preservation and safety.

But what about this Original Water?  This remnant of Creation, that may or may not be still alive.  (We are also taught that when water stops from flowing, if ceases to have life.)  But being from the time of Creation, it must still have Spiritual and healing properties.  It must still have a purpose living so close to the heart of our beautiful Mother.  If it’s there, there must be a reason for it.

My cousin Glenna Beaucage made a comment stating “how long until someone thinks they own it or can sell it”.  That is concerning, given that this Original Water is currently in the hands of scientists and under the lease of a copper and zinc mine.  I’m sure that our Anishinaabe-Kwe and our warriors may offer their thoughts about that.

In the meantime, this finding offers us a glimpse into the beginnings of our Earth.  More importantly, it offers us Anishinaabek, a glimpse into our Creation Story and our history.

It also affirms to us what we already know.  Our Creation Story is valid.

Three Fires Spring Ceremonies, June 11-16, 2013

Three Fires Midewiwin Lodge
Annual Spring Initiation Ceremonies

June 11-16, 2013
Madigan Park, Madigan Road.
Off HWY # 2, 3 miles east of Bad River Indian Reserve, Wisconsin

Download the full notice in Adobe PDF.

SATURDAY & SUNDAY, June 8th and 9th
Advance Preparations

Boozhoo, Nindaway mawgunidoog! It is that long awaited for time for us to gather! We have lots of advance work to do. These early days are a great time to visit, catch up with your Mide family, and get great fresh air and exercise! Lodge pole gathering / grass cutting / grounds work / wood-cutting / sweat lodge building & preparation / transporting equipment to Madigan Park / kitchen readiness, cooking, cleaning, etc. Whew! Come early if you are able to do so, or plan to stay after ceremonies to help with the take-down, clean up at the ceremony grounds and kitchen, and putting things safely in storage at the Mide School. Weyweyni!

Ceremony preparations & planning / work details/ Sweatlodges for Oshkawbaywisug and Mide leadership

Midewauniquay Water Offering / Sweatlodges For Initiates

9:00 a.m. –  Work Detail Preparatory work continues.
12:00 noon Lunch – hosted/prepared by Mide-wahnikwe, to be served at Madigan Park (if its raining lunch will be served at the Mide School instead).
2:00 p.m. –  Water Bundle preparation immediately following lunch.
3:00 p.m. –  Water Bundle Offering, locations TBA
Afternoon: Sweat Lodge Preparations for Initiate and Midewiwin Sweats

Daily Ceremonies Schedule, listen for important announcements

Day 1:  Wednesday, June 12th
Fire Lighting, First Day

6:15 a.m. –   Fire Lighting followed Daybreak Ceremony presided by Bawdwaywidun
11:00 a.m. –  Drum Call-In
Preparations for Initiation lodge work continue/ Fern Gathering begins
1:00 p.m. –  Noon Feast: Host Community
Midewiwin Lodge Session
T.B.A. Grandmother’s Gathering
7:00 p.m. –  Evening Feast: Grand Chief’s Family
Initiates Evening Sweat Lodges continue TBA

Day 2: Thursday, June 13th
Initiate Teaching Sessions, Initiation Lodge Building

6:15 a.m. –  Sunrise Ceremony
7:30 a.m. –  Break and Lodge Preparations
10:00 a.m. –  Morning Session (All Midewiwin & Initiates present).
New Chiefs Raising & Recognition, Celebration taking place prior to Noon Feast
12:00 Noon –  Feast: Wabizhayshi Clan
1:00 p.m. –  Initiate Teaching Sessions
Mide Tree/pole gathering, Fern Gathering, tying, continues until completed; Initiation Lodge Building continues until it is completed.
6:00 p.m. –  Evening Feast: All Chiefs and Midewauniquays Sponsor

Day 3: Friday, June 14th
Initiations New Life Ceremony- Grandfather Feast- Initiates Feast

5:30 a.m. –  Door Opening Ceremony and Call In.
8:00 a.m. –  Initiates final walk to the Mide Lodge Door. Initiations ALL DAY
12:00 Noon –  Feast: Binayshee Clan (Lodge Opening)
6:00 p.m. –  Evening Feast:  Mooz/Mahng Clans

Day 4: Saturday, June 15th
Complete Initiations

6:00 a.m. –  Call in, Completion of Initiations
12:00 p.m. –  Noon Feast: Mukwa Clan
Initiations continuing until complete.
New Life Pole Celebration & Dance Out
TBA Ogitchidaw & Buffalo Dance Celebration
6:00 p.m. –  Evening Feast: Bizhew/Miengun/ Amik / Nigig Clans
TBA Jingle Dress Medicine Dance

IMPORTANT NOTE:  *** THE MEDICINE DANCE, INITIATION CEREMONY, IS LED BY THE MIDE SPIRIT. There have been times the Ceremony has extended into Sunday, or even Monday,  to complete  the ceremony for all Initiates… We will respond to the movement of the Spirit and complete our Mide work. 

Day 5: Sunday, June 16th
Lodge Protocols & Wrap-up

CLEAN UP  (Taking down of Initiation Lodge / Camp and Mide School clean up, etc.)
Travel lunch to be provided by 2012 Initiates 

Hugs, Tears, Peace. Gi Guh Waubuh Mi Goo, Neekawnis. Bawdwaywidun Banaise, Chiefs and Quays of the Three Fires Midewiwin Lodge

Download the full notice in Adobe PDF.