Day 3: Turtle Lodge

We arrived at Turtle Lodge around 3pm and heard drumming and singing inside the beautiful wooden building. We were asked to wear skirts so we used our colourful sarongs and entered into community to hear elders and knowledge keepers speak about healing from the scars of Canada’s residential school system and colonialism.

There was a focus on the wisdom of women and how grandmother leadership will help to bring healing and strength. Playwright and professor Maria Campbell spoke of not seeing her siblings or parents for 12 years when she was sent to residential school. Then, she talked about porridge. How simple it is to provide warm porridge for your children. The gift of a warm breakfast smell as they wake, to give them your time and attention through the morning meal. She described herself (I’m paraphrasing) as a “good mother, wonderful grandmother and now an incredible great-grandmother!”

The teachings, leadership and water ceremonies were timed with a ceremony to acknowledge Youth completing their Makoose Ka Win and Vision Quest rites of passage to Adulthood. Karen and I drove into town to buy pizza to bring to the community feast then set camp on this sacred land and fell asleep to drumming.

Tipis where youth fasted.
Tipis where youth fasted.
Maria and Talia at Turtle Lodge
Maria and Talia at Turtle Lodge

I’ll post more about our time at the Turtle Lodge in another segment.

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