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Our Story

 Sky Woman and Turtle Island

A long time ago, there was a Sky World where Sky People lived. The Sky World was lit by a very tall Tree of Light. A young pregnant Sky Woman needed to satisfy her cravings, so she asked her husband to dig around the Tree's roots. This made the Tree of Life topple over and left a giant hole. The Sky Woman gazed into the hole and noticed a water covered world down below.  Curious, she attempted to see better. As she got closer, she suddenly slipped and fell through. An Eagle flying near by caught her and carried her to a Turtle, safely placing her on its back. 


 

A muskrat and other water animals helped her gather soil from the bottom of the Ocean to place on top of the Turtle's back and she planted some plants she had with her. She spread the soil with her feet and then, the land spread to the horizon and the land kept growing on top of Great Turtle's back. 

Sky Woman gave birth to a daughter who then, grew up to be a beautiful young woman. The daughter became pregnant with twins; the father was the spirit of the West Wind. 

Just before being born, the Daughter heard the Twins fighting within her womb.   

The good twin wanted to be birthed the natural way, however, the evil twin wished to come out from under his mother’s left arm and caused her death. The evil twin tricked First Woman into believing their mother’s death was caused by the good twin and became First Woman’s favorite. As the twins grew, they learned they had great powers. The good twin created life, plants and creatures, while the evil twin did the opposite.

The twins eventually had a great battle with neither having an advantage over the other. The good twin, who always fought fair, used trickery to win, but did not kill his brother. Instead, he let the evil twin become the ruler of the night and the good twin became ruler of the day.

About Our Clan Mothers

Meet our Clan Mothers

Find Inspiration With The Wisdom of Our Clan Mothers

Aborigine Bark Painting

The meaning of Clan Mothers within the Anishinabek Solutrean Metis has a rich and historic background. Clan Mothers are viewed and respected as life-givers. 

Motherhood is honored as key to the continuation of the culture and isn't always defined by the biological role, but is understood as a position of leadership and responsibility for caring and nurturing others within the clan. 

Image by Tina Witherspoon

Tribute to one of our Clan Mothers
Clan Mother Barbara Ann has gone downriver in her final canoe ride

In memory of Zau Got Teh Kew "s mother ", Clan mother Barbara Ann",
[80 years young] of Curve Lake First Nation and Hiawatha First Nation.

Image by OhTilly

In Loving Memory of Another of Our Clan Mothers
Grand Chief's mother was the principal clan mother till 2013

OUR ASMIN of Turtle Island
Clan Mothers & Women's Council

Zau Got Teh Kwe is a First Nation member of the Anishinabe First Nations (Ojibwa), and is the wife of the Grand chief, by traditional ceremony, under the Great Spirit.

As an elder, She represents the Turtle Clan teachings of her nation, and practices her traditional way of life, in the north of Ontario. Accessing the foods and medicines of the Boreal and Great Lakes -  St. Lawrence Forest zones. [Anishinabe territories]. 

She assists  the Grand Chief, in areas of research related to the Inter tribal relationships and the histories of the indigenous people of Turtle Island. 

Clan Mother Zau Got Teh Kwe

'Clan Mothers & Women's Council recognize that healing and education must first begin within the heart.'

More about Robbin

coming soon!

Meet Robbin Whacell

'The Clan Mothers & women's council revisit the longstanding Indigenous matrilineal model of healing & living.'

More about Pauline

coming soon

Meet Pauline Stevensen

'The clan mothers & women's council recognize that the time is now for a paradigm shift'.

More about Julie

coming soon

Meet Julie Turcotte

Visit our Governance Page to view the full list of our Women's Council members.

Wise Women's Words

WISDOM FROM THE
CLAN MOTHERS

Threading Process

Life

Life is a moving, breathing thing. We have to be willing to constantly evolve. Perfection is constant transformation.

Artisanal Baskets

Love

You have to love yourself. That's the single most powerful thing.

Image by ALAN DE LA CRUZ

Responsibility

The Clan Mothers ran everything and had the last word. I think that's the answer.

Sing The Water Song

This song was written by Irene Wawatie Jerome for Grandfather William Commanda's 2002 Circle of All Nations gathering. It is recorded with permission from the Wawatie and Commanda families and the Circle of All Nations Foundation and the Elders in Canada.

This Algonquin Water Song expresses loving gratitude for the water and raises the consciousness and connection of women with Mother Nature’s greatest gift. The song is easy to learn, and our hope is that millions of women will sing it, raising their own connection and awareness of the water they interact with daily even in the shower or at the sink. Sing it 4 times, facing each of the 4 Directions.

We believe this is a powerful step to change, leading to both a spiritual as well as environmental shift on our planet.

Story of Stone Turtle

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The story of Stone Turtle

Stone Turtle appeared during our first (post covid) ASMIN/ASKIT gathering that took place north of Toronto in Ontario, hosted by Dr. S. DeVita & G. Riley in August of 2021. The ASMIN members were so delighted to meet in person (after lock-downs)  to socialize, attend a presentation by our indigenous lawyer, Glenn Bogue and Grand Chief. Council members were able to conduct their annual meeting in person.

All participants then proceeded to partake in a sacred fire ceremony as well as a prayer-meditation ceremony to honor Great Creator and give thanks to turtle.

A stone was placed earlier in preparation in the middle of the circle in an open power spot area. The stone's 'Orenda' soon revealed that she held 'turtle spirit'.        

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What turtle means?

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Turtle has a long history as to its meaning:

In the Anishinaabe and other Indigenous cultures, the Turtle (Kéya) is considered a sacred animal representing our Grandmother Earth. Having a lifespan up to 150 years, the turtle symbolizes great health and longevity. She walks on her path peacefully, meeting adversity with resilience and perseverance.

The Earth on Turtle's back:

As the Story of Creation goes, Sky Woman fell on Earth from Sky World and was placed on a giant sea turtle's back by an Eagle. She spread mud from the bottom of the ocean on it's shell with her feet. The soil grew and expanded to the horizon, creating the land. This was the birth of Turtle Island, what we now call North America today. Some Indigenous cultures also refer the whole Earth as Turtle Island. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Value of the Turtle: 

To many Indigenous tribes, the Turtle symbolizes Truth, one of the seven great grandfather's teachings; "To know the Truth is to know and understand all of the original laws as given by the Creator."

Turtle also means protection, fertility, longevity, ancient wisdom, healing, being grounded, safety, determination, and moving through life at your own pace. Its shell is used in sacred ceremonies and also, to dispense medicines as no other container is as sacred as the turtle's shell with its healing properties. Mothers make a leather amulet in the form of a Turtle, placing their newborn's umbilical cord inside for protection and connection to their mother and Grandmother Earth. 

 

This drawing was created by New Brunswick artist, Kayla Lemay. She is a self taught artist and, currently studying Art at St Thomas University in Fredericton, NB. This is one in a series of cards, which will be sold to raise funds for Ocean Conservation. 

 

Follow her on Instagram @kelpycreates

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The Women Speak

The power of a tree: why birch and its bark are so important to Anishinaabe culture | Wiigwaasabak
For Anishinaabe people, the birch tree is a cornerstone of the culture. For generations, birch bark has been used in many different applications. 
The women speak in this documentary. A CBC DOC 

Healing Powers of Birch Bark

Image by John Price

aboutBirch

THE MEDICINE OF THE BIRCH TREE: BEYOND DEPURATIVE

Read more about the medicinal attributes of birch

Visit here

Our Contacts

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