June 23, 2018

National Indigenous Peoples Day

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In cooperation with Indigenous Peoples’ national organizations, the Government of Canada designated June 21 National Indigenous Peoples Day. June 21 is the summer solstice and is the longest day of the year. It is a time for celebration and the perfect time to celebrate the culture and heritage of Indigenous Peoples.

It is a wonderful opportunity to become better acquainted with the cultural diversity of First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples. In the southern Ontario area there are Chippewas, Ojibway, and Mohawks to mention a few. The word “Toronto” means “the meeting place” and there are many urban indigenous peoples in Toronto as well. This creates a beautiful tapestry of different cultures in Toronto.

Let’s look at the deeper meaning of re-acquainting ourselves with our indigenous friends and neighbours. Our earth is in trouble and many of the answers to regaining balance again lie within the wisdom of the indigenous culture.

On National Indigenous Peoples Day, I attended a medicine wheel ceremony. Since it was the summer solstice as well, I felt this would be a meaningful way to celebrate. The ceremony was led by two beautiful indigenous women.

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After the introductions, they used an abalone seashell to mix the tobacco leaves, the sweetgrass, the sage, and the cedar. Then they lit the mixture and using an eagle feather began to smudge all the attendees. Smudging is a way to create a cleansing smoke bath that is used to purify the body, aura, and the ceremonial space.

In cooperation with Indigenous Peoples’ national organizations, the Government of Canada designated June 21 National Indigenous Peoples Day. June 21 is the summer solstice and is the longest day of the year. It is a time for celebration and the perfect time to celebrate the culture and heritage of Indigenous Peoples.

[/fusion_text][/fusion_builder_column][fusion_builder_column type=”1_3″ layout=”1_3″ spacing=”” center_content=”no” link=”” target=”_self” min_height=”” hide_on_mobile=”small-visibility,medium-visibility,large-visibility” class=”” id=”” background_color=”” background_image=”” background_position=”left top” background_repeat=”no-repeat” hover_type=”none” border_size=”0″ border_color=”” border_style=”solid” border_position=”all” padding_top=”” padding_right=”” padding_bottom=”” padding_left=”” dimension_margin=”” animation_type=”” animation_direction=”left” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_offset=”” last=”no”][fusion_imageframe image_id=”2853″ max_width=”” style_type=”none” stylecolor=”” hover_type=”none” bordersize=”” bordercolor=”” borderradius=”” align=”none” lightbox=”no” gallery_id=”” lightbox_image=”” alt=”” link=”” linktarget=”_self” hide_on_mobile=”small-visibility,medium-visibility,large-visibility” class=”” id=”” animation_type=”” animation_direction=”left” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_offset=””]https://charleneday.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/medicine-wheel_002-300×159.jpg[/fusion_imageframe][/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container][fusion_builder_container hundred_percent=”no” hundred_percent_height=”no” hundred_percent_height_scroll=”no” hundred_percent_height_center_content=”yes” equal_height_columns=”no” menu_anchor=”” hide_on_mobile=”small-visibility,medium-visibility,large-visibility” class=”” id=”” background_color=”” background_image=”” background_position=”center center” background_repeat=”no-repeat” fade=”no” background_parallax=”none” enable_mobile=”no” parallax_speed=”0.3″ video_mp4=”” video_webm=”” video_ogv=”” video_url=”” video_aspect_ratio=”16:9″ video_loop=”yes” video_mute=”yes” video_preview_image=”” border_size=”” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” margin_top=”” margin_bottom=”” padding_top=”” padding_right=”” padding_bottom=”” padding_left=””][fusion_builder_row][fusion_builder_column type=”1_1″ layout=”1_1″ spacing=”” center_content=”no” link=”” target=”_self” min_height=”” hide_on_mobile=”small-visibility,medium-visibility,large-visibility” class=”” id=”” background_color=”” background_image=”” background_position=”left top” background_repeat=”no-repeat” hover_type=”none” border_size=”0″ border_color=”” border_style=”solid” border_position=”all” padding_top=”” padding_right=”” padding_bottom=”” padding_left=”” dimension_margin=”” animation_type=”” animation_direction=”left” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_offset=”” last=”no”][fusion_text columns=”” column_min_width=”” column_spacing=”” rule_style=”default” rule_size=”” rule_color=”” class=”” id=””]

It is a wonderful opportunity to become better acquainted with the cultural diversity of First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples. In the southern Ontario area there are Chippewas, Ojibway, and Mohawks to mention a few. The word “Toronto” means “the meeting place” and there are many urban indigenous peoples in Toronto as well. This creates a beautiful tapestry of different cultures in Toronto.

Let’s look at the deeper meaning of re-acquainting ourselves with our indigenous friends and neighbours. Our earth is in trouble and many of the answers to regaining balance again lie within the wisdom of the indigenous culture.

On National Indigenous Peoples Day, I attended a medicine wheel ceremony. Since it was the summer solstice as well, I felt this would be a meaningful way to celebrate. The ceremony was led by two beautiful indigenous women.

After the introductions, they used an abalone seashell to mix the tobacco leaves, the sweetgrass, the sage, and the cedar. Then they lit the mixture and using an eagle feather began to smudge all the attendees. Smudging is a way to create a cleansing smoke bath that is used to purify the body, aura, and the ceremonial space.

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The gift of the north is the place of winter, white snow that reminds us of the white hair of the elders. It is the place of wisdom, the place to think, analyse, understand, problem solve, and gain insight, to name a few.

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The gift of the west is place of darkness, the unknown, going within, of dreams, of prayer and meditation. It is the place of testing, of perseverance, reflection, silence, respect for elders and awareness of our spiritual nature, to name a few.

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The gift of the east is the new day, renewal, new beginnings, and rebirth. It is the place of innocence, spontaneity, joy, hope, trust, warmth of spirit and the capacity to believe in the unseen, to name a few.

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The gift of the south is the sun at its highest point, the place of summer, of fullness, youth, physical strength and vigor.  It is the place of the heart, generosity, sensitivity, compassion, loyalty, noble passion and love, to name a few.

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The medicine wheel is the representation of all things connected within the circle of life. There are over 100 relevant traditional teachings given of the medicine wheel.  Each teaching holds its own meaning and purpose. When we explore these teachings, we see it is a way to see the relationship we have to mother earth. It offers balance and simplicity and answers to these troubled times.

My invitation to you is to explore the Awakening the Dreamer, Changing the Dream symposium. It is filled with indigenous wisdom. Contact me for the upcoming events.

To your good health,

Charlene

Also, check out my other blogs:

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About the author 

Charlene

I’m a Canadian, gluten-free, tai chi loving, great-grandmother. I live in Ontario and love helping people get healthy again.   I use all the experience I have gained in the almost 5 decades to help you live a life full of vitality with great clarity and focus.

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