Burn Tobacco

Treaty 2 Territory

The far off hum of vehicles on the highway. A flock of geese settling onto the water just out of sight. The crackle of the fire, the chirp of the crickets, and the caw of the crows.

At the end of July, Allen invited me to take part in a sweat lodge at the Ginew Healing Lodge, and receive my spirit name.

Over thirty years ago, I began my teaching career in the local nation of Sandy Bay and later took a position in Ebb and Flow. For those 16 years, the idea of having a spirit name seemed out of reach.

The beat of the drum. The voices lifting prayers to the Creator. A butterfly flutters in and out of the lodge door.

I know now that it was not the time back then. Allen’s invitation was planned by the Creator for a time in which my spirit was ready.

This time, Allen invited my husband, David, to take part in the sweat lodge and receive his spirit name. David has had a reoccurring dream since he was young. In the dream, he comes out of a lodge and spends three days in seclusion.

He was honored to accept Allen’s invitation.

I attended the Healing Lodge to support David in his journey. I was honored to be able to offer tobacco to the grandfathers during the sweat.

Burn Tobacco – release your burdens to the Creator.


Zoongi Gaabawa Keetahbih Mukwa (Strong Standing Circling Bear)

Valerie McInnes – LLL Bundle Holder