Nation-Based Sovereign-Based Government


Anishinaabe Ways: Enjoy the Medicines during the Winter Season

December 19, 2020

Treaty 2 Territory – The Christmas holidays have arrived. One of the things I enjoy and embrace during the Christmas break is conducting our Anishinaabe traditional ceremonies and creating the medicines. Throughout history, Anishinaabe people moved around the traditional territories of Mother Earth during the season. We’ve always had our traditional lands and resources in the four seasons we embrace. During the spring our people prepared for the summer months. Our natural gardens were prepared for the natural growth for the summer. In the fall, these gardens were ready to be harvested. Our people hunted and gathered in the fall, right in to the winter months.

During the winter months, our Anishinaabe people were settled with their Nation. Our people did not travel very much during the winter months. Ceremonies were conducted. Mishikike (medicine) was made in the form tea over a warm fire. Anishinaabe people would drink the medicines to keep their immune systems strong and healthy.

In Gaagwekwekejieong, one of the ceremonies I really enjoy conducting is Madoodiswan (sweat lodge) ceremony. Madoodiswan purifies our mind, body, and spirit. When my family is gathered at home during the winter months, Madoodiswan allows us to get together and take care of our spirit. Coming out of the madoodiswan makes us happy! During the current pandemic, Anishinaabe people turn to mishkike. We have our ceremonies and we have our traditional medicines. Cedar is a great way to protect our immune system. Not too much cedar! Cedar is a very strong medicine. My suggestion and teaching is to drink a cup of cedar mishikike 2 times per week. There are all sorts of mishkike we can drink to keep our immune systems strong and healthy. By drinking mishkike, we allow for prevention of any flu-like viruses. If you’d like more information on traditional ceremonies and mishkike, we have endless resources of Anishinaabeg who practice our Anishinaabe ways. Everyone stay safe, and enjoy the holidays as we prepare to bring in a prosperous new year! Miigwech! – Makade Makwa, Operations Keeper.

Submitted by: Ray Mousseau, Operations Keeper

Last modified: December 19, 2020

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