Cree teachings with Knowledge Keeper Marilyn Dykstra

Sacred teachings and self-growth

Tags for Cree teachings with Knowledge Keeper Marilyn Dykstra

A person pours water from a copper cup into the cupped hands of another person. Partially obscured.

CMHR, Aaron Cohen

Event series details

Join Knowledge Keeper Marilyn Dykstra to explore Inninewak (Cree) ways of being and thinking within the principles of wahkowtowin.

Wahkowtowin –­­­ which translates to kinship – highlights how relationships, communities and the natural world are all interconnected.

Participants will discover and reflect on their connections with each other, with balance and with human rights through teachings and a traditional tea.

These workshops are part of a monthly Wahkowtowin and Ways of Being series. Each month, we will explore a variety of moon, pole and tea teachings in the Cree tradition.

Upcoming sessions

The Mating Moon – How do we stay thankful in the era of swiping?

Date: Saturday, September 23, 2023,
Time: 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

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Much like the rings in a tree, relations do not step over one another but rather respect connectedness, inter‐relatedness and thankfulness. Each year, we learn and add to our understanding of our place on earth.

This workshop will explore the complexity of relating within Wahkowtowin. Some teachings of the traditional matriarch will be discussed. Traditional does not mean old and out of date but rather tried, tested and perfected. Let’s investigate how the matriarch is still viable and how to date, mate and relate in a modern world while we enjoy some Elderberry tea.

Migration Moon: Share a pipe ceremony and potluck

Date: Saturday, October 21, 2023,
Time: 11:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.
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Migrating is a difficult yet wonderful transition in life. We envelop ourselves in the teachings of the pipe – Nîkân isîhcikêwin, "the way ceremony was conducted since the beginning of time." This is the way of our ancestors.

The pipe teachings give us the plan to walk the red road, rooted in ancient knowledge and custom, that we humans migrate.

Let’s celebrate the momentous migration that our animal family members will make during this moon. We will send them off with a pipe ceremony and then we will share a potluck lunch. Please bring a food item to share with the rest of the group. Dishes, cutlery and echinacea tea will be provided.


Date: Saturday, November 25, 2023,
Time: 11:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.
Description to come

Good child rearing

Date and time: Saturday, December 9, 2023,
Time: 11:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.
Description to come


Date and time: Saturday, January 26, 2023,
Time: 11:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.
Description to come


Date and time: Saturday, February 24, 2024,
Time: 11:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.
Description to come


Date and time: Saturday, March 23, 2024,
Time: 11:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.
Description to come

Past sessions

Learning to fly right

Date: Saturday, July 29, 2023,
Time: 11:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.

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When geese learn to fly, they do it in stages – flying low at first until they gain resilience and confidence. The same is true for all of us. Before we fly high, we must learn and practice.

Join Knowledge Keeper Marilyn Dykstra as she leads this workshop on the significance of the flying up moon and cleanliness in Cree teachings.

Marilyn will explore the importance of rites of passage, of making “clean” decisions that keep us true to ourselves and to natural law. She will share strawberry tea and discuss our connections to the three generations that came before us and the three that come after.

Peyakôskan: One family, one bond, one nation

Date: Saturday, July 8, 2023,
Time: 11:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.

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Peyakôskan is a Cree word that means one family, one bond, one nation. Kinship is only a part of the story; it’s also about how we relate to others. In the traditional Cree community, efforts are made to not “step over” relations and relationships. This can happen in many ways, including by failing to follow natural law that dictates our responsibility to care for both our earth and our human family.

In this workshop, Knowledge Keeper Marilyn Dykstra will explore the openness of kinship, how family is defined, how all things have a spirit, and how we relate.

She will discuss grief, honouring those who have gone before us, and the belief that nothing truly dies but rather continues in a different way. And she will talk about what we can learn from the process of molting, where animals shed their hard outer layers so that new growth can take place.

During the workshop, participants will make their own fur drop earrings, to mark the season animals often shed their fur.

What’s love got to do with it?

Date: Saturday, May 6, 2023
Time: 11:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.
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Love thrives in all living beings, driving so many of our actions. But how do we learn to live with love in a soft way, like a frog on a lily pad? How do we learn to experience love when it becomes jagged like a mint leaf? How do we focus on all our relationships and not just the most passionate ones?

Come and learn how to grow your own sense of love through the teachings of Grandmother Moon and finish our experience together with a full moon ceremony for women and Two‐ Spirit people.


Date: Saturday, June 3, 2023,
Time: 11:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.
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Faith and relationships give us hope and protect us in life’s turbulence. Faith lives in each being. With this hope in us, we grow from mistakes, grow in relationships, and move forward in a better way.

We are small beings, or little eggs, on Mother Earth that are beginning a path of discovery and making a commitment to growing in faith. Each day, our Grandmother Moon rises and reminds us that we can continue, no matter how many clouds distort our sight. We clean our minds with sage, so that the clouds will clear just as our Grandmother does when she wanes.

So how do we grow faith? How can we move forward on this path of discovery? This session is not to change anyone’s faith, but rather give space to look at their own, understand the benefits and learn how to grow it. Come and enjoy a cup of sage tea while we look at these things and end our experience together with a full‐moon ceremony for women and Two‐Spirit people.

Marilyn Dykstra is a status Bill C‑31 First Nations woman from northern Manitoba. She has been immersed in a working matriarchal system that practiced Indigenous ways of thinking and being since she was born. Alongside her family, she has participated in many peaceful social justice movements.

Marilyn uses her matriarchal knowledge as a foundation for her work in the Indigenous community, which has been ongoing for over thirty years. She still follows her matriarchal teachings, but she has also spent her life learning traditional knowledge and passing the teachings on.

She is a pow wow dancer, knowledge keeper, and she carries the responsibility of a bundle. She happily participates in naming ceremonies, sweats, pipe ceremonies, moon teachings and more.