MISSION OF THE TURTLE LODGE
The Turtle Lodge ~ Anishnabe Mikinack Kinamakamik Inc. ~ is an Anishnabe place, open to all people, for reconnecting to the Earth & sharing ancient Indigenous knowledge, based on the 7 Sacred Teachings.
Built in 2002 based on a vision received, the Turtle Lodge is founded upon spiritual, land-based teachings that bring balance to life. It has been built for our children ~ the center of our lives. Our fundamental goal is Mino-Pi-Mati-Si-Win – A Good and Peaceful Way of Life. The Turtle Lodge is based on the Seven Sacred Laws and the Eight Paths of the Medicine Wheel, the ancient universal values of the Anishnabe People of Turtle Island (North America).
The Turtle Lodge offers Children, Youth, Adults and Elders the opportunity to come together in a sacred environment for:
- Traditional teachings
- The sharing of Indigenous perspectives on how to have a good and peaceful life.
The Turtle Lodge is a place for sharing our universal and ancient knowledge, and also, a place for sharing among people of all races and nations.
HISTORY OF THE TURTLE LODGE ~ A Vision
The Turtle Lodge in Sagkeeng First Nation was built in 2002, in fulfillment of a vision received many years ago. For the First Peoples of America, visions and dreams have always offered guidance in life. Following our visions has helped us remain connected to the Great Spirit and the land. A vision helps us to realize the significance of spiritual reality and that it is directly connected to nature.
A vision was received of a Turtle Lodge and a Village of Peace. At the heart of the village was a lodge, built in the shape of a turtle. Around the “Turtle Lodge” were four smaller turtle-shaped lodges in each of the four directions. People of every colour were coming out of these lodges and walking toward the central lodge. Animals (predominantly horses and buffalo), people in a garden, and elders talking and laughing around a fire were seen. An eagle circled in the sky above.
Meaning of the Vision
- The turtle for the First Peoples is a symbol of truth. Through the vision, the Elders interpreted that humanity had been given the gift of a lodge of truth, which would bring healing to people and peace to the world.
- The central lodge confirms that it is time for all peoples to join in the centre.
- The four smaller lodges represent the balance of life. It was told that the first Turtle Lodge would “give birth” to other lodges.
- The people working in the gardens reflect that our survival is connected to the land.
- The sacred fire represents the entrance for our ancestors to come and give us guidance and direction, and how important it is to remain connected to our past.
- The eagle flying in the sky is a sign of the Great Spirit giving blessing to the vision, and also, how important vision is in finding hope for the future, and offering direction and meaning in life.
- The horses and buffalo are there to show how we are connected to nature.
Over 25 years after the vision was received, the Turtle Lodge was built by volunteers, as a labour of love, in Sagkeeng First Nation. Bringing this vision into reality has been a testament to the survival of the First Peoples of America. The Turtle Lodge facility is still in progress, with more additions planned.