First Voices! First Women Speak! 2012 Gathering Report Back

After Lee Maracle’s inspiring lecture on the direct connection between violence against the Earth and violence against Women, all of the participants were grouped into four small talking circles led by Claudette Commanda (East), Lee Maracle (West), Leanne Simpson (North) and Moe Clark (South). In each circle, we talked about our own response to Lee’s lecture, as well as how we can reconnect to the land.

Below are each circle’s report-back and their notes.

Please feel free to tell us (by leaving us your comments at the end of this page) your thoughts on Lee’s lecture and what you are doing, or will be doing, to maintain or rebuild your connection to the Earth.

Thanks Josee for filming!

Chi Miigwetch!

Circle Response Report Back – East

Circle Response Report Back – West

Circle Response Report Back – Giiwedinong/North


  • We can relate to the land in the city by noticing, staying present, sitting with our Mother/sun sets, sun rises, Moon, learning place names, bodies of water, land forms.
  • Struggles are immense – need our ceremonies to heal, cry, witness, be present. We need to process our trauma in order to heal and be able to empathize.
  • Embrace diversity – there are lots of beautiful ways to be Anishinaabekwe.
  • Pay attention to the violence we do to ourselves
  • Self acceptance.

Circle Response Report Back – South


Discussion question: How Can We Be Caretakers for this Land?

  • Put on your swimsuit and shorts, go to top of mountain and feel the earth where it meets the water. Be in and amongst the tree people…
  • Swim in the sunset
  • Voice heals water, each molecule reverberates
  • Get connected to this earth, this earth mother.
  • It’s not “where are you from?” it’s “where do you belong?”
  • Know your ancestral traditions, those that “belong” to you… what you carry.
  • Seek mentorship and be a mentor-medicine person.
  • Talk to the plants.
  • We can no longer be angry in our desire to protect.
  • Unify between communities – Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal.
  • Eating food and understanding local plants, medicines to connect.
  • We are always with/on our mother
  • Go to the river where it is safe and silent, cleanse
  • Ceremony of every day: thanking trees in your own yard.
  • “Silent voice within me is the ever running water.” – Missy
  • Make things special by celebrating the little parts of who we are. Smudge. Ground with special rock.
  • Use your imagination as well as knowledge and local environment
  • Rights of passage ceremony.
  • Finding alignment and unity within different but connected celebrations – breaking down solitude , ie. St. Jean Baptiste and summer solstice.
  • Understanding our own backgrounds
  • We are all on this planet. We are all star people.
  • Listen to our children for knowledge.
  • Sacred breath. Connect with breath and everything breathes….
  • Circles!
  • Write songs and share them to honour land… process for grieving.
  • Sit near an ant hill… aunties…

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