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Miskanawah Family Sweat Lodge

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Miskanawah Family Sweat Lodge

The Miskanawah Family Sweat Lodge is a sacred ceremony and is central to the Pathways organization.  It is a safe place for spiritual refuge and spiritual renewal; a safe place to learn, confide in elders, receive teachings and guidance from elders, make new friends, and even to gain cultural awareness for professionals.   We provide this ceremony to support our clients, our staff, and our families. The ceremony is also open to the public.
 

[The Lodge] became a place of healing for me because I’ve lived a colourful life. [..] To be introduced to culture through sweats taught me how to heal and how to thrive in the culture.  Now I love them, I go to every one.  It’s a place of peace and serenity where you can safely let things go with no judgment…”

The Lodge was founded by Patrick Daigneault (Swift Eagle), and is a beautiful place that welcomes all Nations – men, women, and children.  Everyone has always been included and invited.   The Lodge opens doors for families to explore.  Each individual will have a different experience at the Lodge. 
- Elder Patrick Daigneault (Swift Eagle)
 

There has always been animosity between my son and daughter.  Recently, I had the honor of having my son and daughter together with me at the Lodge.   Since coming to the Lodge, my son and daughter have connected and are mending the animosity between them.  They work together and are very supportive of each other now.  The positive changes that have happened in my son since he’s connected with his sister are surprising – they’ve caught me off guard.  It was the initial healing that took place at the Lodge, that’s what’s made this so special.  I feel very lucky and honoured to be part of the Lodge through Pathways – it has been so special to be able to bring both of my kids.”

 - Pathways Volunteer and Supporter

If you would like to learn more about the Miskanawah Family Sweat Lodge, or would like to participate, please contact Pathways at info@pathwayscsa.org.

 

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The Power of a Talking Circle

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The Power of a Talking Circle

Talking circles are an Aboriginal traditional way for people to come together to talk. They provide an atmosphere of inclusiveness, safety and respect that encourages dialogue, learning, problem solving and co-creativeness. When everyone in the circle speaks and is heard in a respectful way our relationships become nutritive, fun and harmonious.

Closeness, [the Talking Circle] brings the team together.  I feel more connected and more connected to my co-workers…”

We begin our Talking Circle by smudging ourselves with sweet grass or sage. We smudge to cleanse and purify our beings. The smudge is a medicine that we use to clear our minds, calm our emotions, and to strengthen our spirits.

 “I enjoy the Talking Circle because it’s a good way to share in a non-judgmental way…”

Many of our sacred objects are used to help facilitate our Talking Circles.  A candle is lit in the Circle to acknowledge the fire spirit which helps us to listen to each other. We pass an eagle feather around to each person, when they hold this feather they speak and everyone else hears them.

[The Talking Circle] has a huge influence on Pathways as a whole […] the sense of community – people can choose how much they want to share. If somebody is struggling, you know about it.  Some things that people share, they probably wouldn’t if there wasn’t that community and trust…”

Pathways CSA acknowledges that the circle itself is sacred and is the Aboriginal symbol of life representing wholeness, harmony, balance, inclusiveness and the many cycles of life.

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