Niska Pisim (Goose Moon): A return to happiness

Cree teachings and tea with Knowledge Keeper Marilyn Dykstra

April 27, 2024

A large goose spreads its wings in front of a body of water. Partially obscured.

Photo: Jill Rogan, Geese Wings, CC BY 2.0 DEED Attribution 2.0 Generic

Event details

Cost:
Free, registration required
Location:
Canadian Museum for Human Rights. The group will meet in Bonnie & John Buhler Hall, Level 1 and proceed together to Level 6.
Schedule:

Saturday, April 27, 2024, from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

Language and Accessibility:
This event is offered in English.

It is the time of year when we open our doors again and welcome our Wahkowtowin community back together after a long winter. The fourth pole of the tipi creates the door to our home and brings us the teaching of Happiness during the rise of the Goose Moon. The four poles also provide us with the structure to celebrate the Goose Dance ceremony.

During the Goose Moon, we share empowerment and leadership skills, which provide our families with encouraging direction. The goose reminds us of our teachings of hope and our ultimate protection when we open our doors to our community because they are our reflection of resilience during difficult times.

The wings of a goose may show signs of fatigue after their long flight, but like the shoulders of our ancestors, they never gave up. Those same ancestral shoulders hold space for us to be here.

Let’s share tea and celebrate our sacred happiness as it swirls within our deep Wahkowtowin connection.

Workshop

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.