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Nurturing Relationships with the Land through Ceremony and Play

February 23, 2024
Nurturing Relationships with the Land through Ceremony and Play – February 9-12, 2024

According to Ojiibwe teachings, the second new moon of the year is Mkwa Giizis, the Bear Moon. Dr. Hopi Martin Waabizheshi Oshkaabewis (Ojibwe Marten Clan Sacred Helper), guided by Dr. Gokoomis (Grandmother) Jacque(line) Lavallée Ed.D and her family’s traditional practices from the Eastern Shore of Georgian Bay, shares that the Bear Moon is symbolic of new beginnings and healing. This is a time when bear cubs are born and spend time in the den with their mothers, preparing for emergence in the spring.

This was also a time of new beginnings for Odeminewiigiwaamgamik (Place of Learning From the Heart) and LEF. Hosted by Hopi Martin (Edge of the Bush), Melissa Gill (Keepers of the Circle) and Jessica Plante (District of Timiskaming Social Services Administration Board), six members of our Children & Families team travelled North to New Liskeard, Ontario to participate in four days of Ceremony and learning on the Land.

Spending time at Timiskaming First Nation and Keepers of the Circle Mino M'shkiki (Good Medicine) Tipi, we shared in Ceremony, stories, song, food, and spent time in the bush building a shelter with the children and Educators from the child care centre.

During our time, we also heard many bear stories that included messages of courage, strength, protection, leadership, and healing. These teachings and stories will live on in our hearts and guide us through the last of winter, offering time for reflection and deep gratitude for the gifts of Mother Earth.

The time we spent in New Liskeard has had a profound impact. It has further strengthened our working relationships and will continue to impact our work and connection with our teams and bring even more growth. We are so very grateful and look forward to continuing to learn and grow with and from the Land and each other.

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