Being an Oskâpêwis – An essential ceremonial helper

Cree teachings with Knowledge Keeper Marilyn Dykstra

Saturday, January 27, 2024

This event has passed.

A team of black and tan dogs are harnessed together and running, pulling a sled through snowy terrain. Partially obscured.

Photo: Full-sprint, James Brooks, CC BY 2.0 DEED

Event details

Free, registration required
Canadian Museum for Human Rights. The group will meet in Bonnie & John Buhler Hall, Level 1 and proceed together to Level 6.
Language and Accessibility:
This event is offered in English.

Second winter is upon us and we change how we do things. Our teams are no longer fanned out like in first winter but cohesively bound and working together in relatedness. It is time to focus on our responsibilities and obedience to Wahkowtowin and to natural law, which never changes.

Join Cree Knowledge Keeper Marilyn Dykstra to explore three of the natural laws. Learn how we can easily be connected to all our relations because we are all part of the circle, and we can all take on the important role of helper, Oskâpêwis

We will participate in an activity while we enjoy Labrador tea. 


This workshop is part of a monthly Wahkowtowin and Ways of Being series led by Knowledge Keeper Marilyn Dykstra. Each month, we will explore a variety of moon, pole and tea teachings in the Cree tradition. 

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.

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.