Our region will soon be playing host to aboriginal leaders from across North and South America, coming together around the important, yet often over-looked, topic of water.
Centered at Trent University, the three-day event will feature many sessions of dialogue and discussion, bridging the gap between aboriginal culture, those in industries related to water, community members, students and everyone in between.
One of the major highlights of the gathering will be the presence of aboriginal representatives points across the Americas. Organizers are excited to welcome these guests to our region and hope that those who attend the festival can learn from and be inspired by their vast knowledge and close spiritual relationships with water.
Read on to learn more about each of the special guests who will be visiting our region in a few short weeks.
Manitoulin Island, Ontario
In 2003, Grandmother Josephine Mandamin initiated what would come to be known as the Mother Earth Water Walks.
She has walked around the entire Great Lakes watershed, culminating in a North American, “Four Directions” Water Walk in 2011.
Josephine has been an inspiration for the Anishinaabeg and all peoples who call Turtle Island home, to take up the call and bring local awareness to our communities regarding the perils that face the waterways in our mutual homelands.
Charlie Neyelle and Morris Neyelle
Sahtu Dene, Délînê First Nation, Northwest Territories
The keystone of the cultural teachings of the Sahtu Dene people is the story of the powerful “Water Heart”.
In this teaching, a medicine man finds a giant heart beating at the bottom of Great Bear Lake, the homeland of the Dene and one of the largest freshwater lakes in the world. The great living breathing “Water Heart” gives life to the physical world of trees, fish, water and human beings, and is surrounded and eternally guarded by every species of fish and creature of the water.
Sahtu Dene Spiritual Leaders Charlie Neyelle and Morris Neyelle look forward to sharing their rich history, communal prophecies and cultural teachings about water at the 2014 Gathering.
The Hopi People
Shungopavi Village, Arizona
A member of the Hopi Nation, Gerald Lomaventema, from the Village of Shungopavi will share their traditional teachings and wisdom.
The Hopi of Shungopavi Village have been celebrating yearly ceremonial cycles as they have been for thousands of years.
Central to these ceremonies is recognition of the sacredness of water and corn. In Hopi beliefs, water and corn should be blessed and safeguarded for the sake of all life.
Chief Arvol Looking Horse
Arvol Looking Horse was born on the Cheyenne River Reservation in South Dakota. Raised by his grandparents, he learned the culture and spiritual ways of the Lakota.
Sioux Nation, Cheyenne River, South Dakota
Now the Chief and Spiritual Leader of the three Sioux Nations, the message from Chief Looking Horse is to bring the beliefs in the Creator of all Nations together to pray at once for global healing or our Mother Earth. The world is in turmoil and we need to work together for a healthy environment in order for our future generations to survive.
People of the Earth
The Kogi will make the journey to the north seeking to convey the message they have received from the Mother and from her “spiritual emissary.”
La Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, Colombia
Ikwashendwna embodies the spirit for the universal unification for the safe keeping of the Mother.
The unification of the sacred elements of water, earth air and fire was one of the initial steps for the conception of life on the planet.
Jhaimy is a traditional curandero (healer) from Cusco, Peru who has been trained and initiated in the wisdom teachings of the northern coastal region and the Southeastern Andean region of Peru.
Jhaimy began his initiation onto this path at a young age, and has apprenticed with Master Teachers in the Alchemical mystery teachings of transformation and transmutation.
As a keeper of Ancient Wisdom, he has been invited to share his knowledge and lead ceremonies at conferences, workshops, and specialized tours throughout South America, Canada and Europe.
While registration for the full three-day Gathering is full, you can still support the event by taking part in the online art auction or by making an online donation at www.sacredwater.eflea.ca.
You can also attend the evening “pay what you can” events including “Gchi Nibi- Art for the Water” Art Exhibit and reception from 7-9pm on Friday, May 2nd in the Florence Benedict Gathering Space of Peter Gzowski College, along with the Ceremony of Art from 7 – 10 p.m. on Saturday May 3rd, in Wenjack Theatre, Otonobee College — both at Trent University.
All links can be found at www.sacredwater.ca.