Happy National Aboriginal Day!

Today we would like to celebrate our Elders, and share the role of Elders in our organization.

Elders are the leaders, teachers, advisors, role models, and cultural advisors to the community. Elders make culture available to everybody, are people of great wisdom, and are well respected by the community. Elders are responsible for passing on the traditions and cultural responsibilities to the community’s young people, and lead the community in ceremony such as feasts, sweats, and smudges.

Elders are frequently sought out by members of the community who need advice, healing, or protection. Whenever an individual wants to approach an elder, they must first ask the community what is required of them before visiting a particular Elder. Tobacco is an important and sacred element that must always be presented when visiting an Elder. By bringing tobacco, you are demonstrating respect and in return, the Elder will respect and will listen to your questions. Tobacco is used in ceremony such as sweat lodge, pipe ceremonies and prayers. The tobacco that you bring to an Elder will be used in their next ceremony, and they will offer your prayers to the Creator. This is a very sacred process.

At Pathways, our Elders lead us in ceremony and provide guidance on how to incorporate Aboriginal teachings into our programs while also providing us with wisdom and direction for the organization. Our Elders strive to share Aboriginal culture with all who are interested, in a mindful and respectful way. Our Elders also assist us in incorporating the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Calls to Action into the operation and function of Pathways.

If you are interested in connecting with one of our Elders here at Pathways, please email: info@pathwayscsa.org