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Video From the Wisdom Keepers Gathering, and a Water Prayer Personified

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June 21 was National Aboriginal Day in Canada, as well as the first full day of summer in the Northern Hemisphere, a fitting day for the Turtle Lodge’s call to prayer for water.

At the Gathering of Indigenous Wisdom Keepers at Turtle Lodge on Sagkeeng First Nation territory in Manitoba from May 24–27, attended by Indian Country Today Media Network columnist Steven Newcomb and West Coast editor Valerie Taliman, the organizers and attendees sent a message to the world designating June 21, 2012, as a day to offer up a prayer to the life-giving water supplied by Mother Earth. But they also reminded us that every day is a good day to pray on behalf of water.

“Out of the lodges of our Peoples we are being told we have entered a time of great change and opportunity,” the Turtle Lodge said in its message. “The cougar, moose and eagles recently came into the community in the Sagkeeng Territory where the Gathering was to take place, and asked us to speak on their behalf about what is happening to the land. Supported by the Grandfather Drum, the Gathering of Indigenous Wisdom Keepers sends this urgent and prayerful message to the world.”

Elder Dave Courchene, winner of the 2012 National Aboriginal Achievement Award for heritage and spirituality from the Indspire Foundation, recently conducted a water ceremony at the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development known as Rio+20 that wound up today in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. In the video below from the Wisdom Keepers Gathering, which hundreds attended from all over Turtle Island, Courchene reads the message in its entirety. Underneath it is the prayer itself, good on any day of the year, as Turtle Lodge points out.

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