Treaty 4 Education Alliance
Community Gathering Part 1
We have formed a group of women through ceremony who asked many questions to do with violence against women and the murdered and missing Indigenous women. One thing that came out of the discussions, memories, sadness is; How can we as women looking out for women help to restore unity, revitalize tribal teachings that everyone can use to ensure the safety of children and teach healthy life skills in a meaningful way. We decided to take a trip north to a cultural camp and doula training at Sturgeon Lake Saskatchewan. Everything learned and shared there was so healing and empowering for all of us. We all have lost someone in a way that requires deep healing and much ceremony as well as striving for a better future for all children.
We shared the sadness and honored our women by hosting the closing memorial feast for the camp. The people in attendance were from Sturgeon Lake, Muskwachis, Wahpeton, Thunderchild, Minnesota, Whitefish, Whitebear, Pheasant Rump, Carry the Kettle, Piapot, Kahkewistahaw, Wood Mountain and some Metis participants from Lebret and Manitoba. It was a gathering bringing together Treaty 4 and Treaty 6 territories to acknowledge our grief in a healthy way.
The doula training was an accredited training which participants received a certificate from Dona Doula Training out of Minnesota which is applicable in Canada. The teachings renewed and affirmed that the act of birth and bringing life to the world is sacred. All life is sacred and with these teachings we are more aware of how children are being raised. There were sweats, ceremonies, healers there to assist women with grieving and rebuilding their confidence. Empowered women look after one another, themselves and bring positivity to our already shattered and broken paths, which can lead women to destructive lifestyles. All the women present learned valuable teachings which will be carried and passed through them. We are going to revitalize our sacred hoop of life through a traditionally practical model of teaching, sharing and learning.
The gathering awoke the spirit of empowerment, women supporting other women in a cultural safe environment. Women left with purpose and intent to heal themselves and create a healthy lifestyle for their families and eventually their communities. We will remember and honor our relatives who have left but will honor and celebrate our gifts of life, our children.
We have decided that the women need their own ceremonies and to learn from the Elders. One community has already secured a sacred space for women to gather for ceremony and gatherings. We have made plans to speak with grandmothers and revitalize our ceremonies like coming of age, birthing, name giving and songs belonging to each First Nation and family.