The Turtle Lodge in Sagkeeng First Nation is a place I try to visit regularly, my family is from Sagkeeng and I spent most of my summer’s there growing up. It is a place I like to call home, but The Turtle Lodge is the place I feel most at home. I first discovered the lodge in 2011 and had the opportunity to attend the 8th fire ceremonies last year in 2013, it was an experience that I will hold dear to my heart as a integral part of my spiritual journey.
I will begin first by telling you the story of how the Turtle Lodge was built. Elder Dave Courchene shares the story about how he built the lodge with volunteers and donated materials, he made a point that the lodge need to independent of government funding. Dave shares a vision he had about a place of healing and gathering for all people, for the world and brought that dream to life by sharing his message. Dave to me is a man that made his dream come true literally! The vision of The Turtle Lodge came to him in a dream and he dedicated his life to making it a reality. He understood the importance of the lodge and the role it would play in may different people’s lives.
I know it made a difference in mine, I rediscovered my culture here. I turned it away for some time after my grandmother had died and managed to reconnect through Dave and his 7 sacred laws. I was given the opportunity to embrace my cultural background through ceremony and teaching at The Turtle Lodge. I feel as if I am coming home every time I step foot through those doors, and there are always loving smiles there to greet me.
The Turtle Lodge is not in Winnipeg as I said in my earlier blog, but it is a place of spiritual architecture and it is where my journey begins.
It is the beginning of my path, and my journey away from home into the city. It is the beginning of my story because it is at The Turtle Lodge that had opened my eyes to another side of architecture that I could not understand through reading books and taking classes. I was taught that any physical space can have it’s very own living energies, and based on my own perspective I would like to share what I interpreted those energies to be in the city.