Peyakôskan: One family, one bond, one nation

Cree teachings with Knowledge Keeper Marilyn Dykstra

Saturday, July 8, 2023

This event has passed.

A patch of bright yellow dandelions with green leaves, photographed from above. Partially obscured.

Photo: April 17: Hike, Shannon, CC BY 2.0

Event details

Free, registration required.
Canadian Museum for Human Rights, Bonnie & John Buhler Hall, Level 1
Language and Accessibility:
This event is offered in English.

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.


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

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.