We Are Cree

A Word & Photo Description of the Invitational Blessing of Water Ceremony and Celebration of Battle River

Due to the sacredness of Ceremony, no photos are allowed in the Teepee while a Ceremony is taking place. So, this is a verbal description of the Blessing of the Water Pipe Ceremony followed by lots of photos of the beautiful Battle River that runs right next door to the Louis property where the Ceremony and Celebration took place. The above photo is one of the many views Roy and Judy Louis have of this historic river.


We have entered a time in Universal history which is called the “Ceremonial Ray”. It is a time of Ceremonial Worship and Spiritual Freedom. Indigenous ceremonies like this Blessing of the Water Ceremony performed in Hobbema become more important than ever as the indigenous way of worship takes precedence around the world.

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Out of the blue of Battle River, the first Ceremony started. Some of us were in the house making preparations for the feast. Others were just arriving; but the word went out that the Ceremony was to begin. Ladies in the house quickly pulled skirts over their jeans and slacks as the true and proper way for a Cree woman to enter a Ceremonial space is in a skirt. There is also a proper way for the women to sit in the Teepee or Sweat Lodge with their legs to their sides or sitting on the back of their calves as it is considered improper to sit cross-legged.


Johnnie Crier, a Cree Elder, was our Ceremonial Leader; and Roy, the Host of the event asked him to share a teaching before beginning the Pipe Ceremony. Johnnie told the story of how life was many years ago on the Plains when Cree Bands lived in Teepees just like the one we were all sitting in transfixed by this story teller’s voice. He told of the twelve Moons of the Cree and how the people geared their lives to the moons, which were connected to the seasons and how it was a matter of life and death that they do certain things according to the Moons. The following list of Cree Moons was taken from the Internet and may not be exactly like the wonderful story Johnnie shared; but it will give you the idea of the teaching:

Cree

Northern Plains, Canada




                                      























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January

February

March

April

May

June

July

August

September

October

November

December

gishepapiwatekimumpizun

cepizun

migisupizum

kiskipizun

aligipizun

sagipukawipizun

opaskwuwipizun

opunhopizun

weweopizun

opinahamowipizun

kaskatinopizun

papiwatiginashispizun

moon when the old fellow spreads the brush

old moon

eagle moon

gray goose moon

frog moon

moon leaves come out

moon when ducks begin to molt

moon young ducks begin to fly

snow goose moon

moon the birds fly south

moon the rivers begin to freeze

moon when the young fellow spreads the brush

MONTH

NAME OF MOON

MEANING OF MOON

Click Photo To Enlarge

We were all invited to approach the bucket one at a time and ask for a blessing for ourselves, our families or someone we know. This was a special time as almost everyone in attendance rose, went to the bucket, filled our hands with the precious water and silently and humbly expressed our hearts’ request to Spirit.

Johnnie led a closing prayer to complete the Ceremony; and we all exited the teepee to partake in the wonderful meal that was provided for the occasion. But now we were no longer individual people stepping out of that teepee because somehow, magically, we had become a community. The rest of the day felt different. It was sacred and important and we all felt like we had participated in something powerful. We were connected. We were one people. We Are Cree.

To learn more about the importance of the Battle River, go to the Battle River Watershed Alliance.

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We hope you have been able to feel an inkling of the magic and beauty of attending the Blessing of the Water Ceremony on the banks of Battle River.  Please feel free to share this virtual attendance of the of four Water Blessing Ceremonies that had not been done for over 65 years by telling your friends and relatives about this website.

CREE PRAYER

Kise Manitôw Great Spirit

Kinaskomitinan we thank you

anohc kâkîsikâk today

Saweyiminan bless us to

Kamiyo pimâtisîyâhk have a good life

Wîcihinân tahtoh help us every

Kîsikâw day

Mînân îyînîsôwin give us knowledge

ekwa mîyomâcihôwin and good health

ekosi that’s all

ah hay thank you

RKaminsky 2012

Because the Ceremony started early, people kept arriving; and we all scooted closer and closer together so everyone could fit in the teepee. There’s a man’s side of the Teepee and a woman’s side; and every now and then, a woman would arrive and unknowingly sit on the wrong side of the Teepee until Roy could catch her attention and gently instruct her to move to the woman’s side. In the end, the woman’s side of the Teepee became so full it wouldn’t hold another participant so some woman sat close to the open door on the outside.

At one point, a young, recently adopted woman came with her son. She brought several 2 meter pieces of colored cotton offering it as a gift of reverence and respect to the ceremonial elder who then asked her to bring forward her words to describe the essence of the ceremony.

The ceremonial elder brought out his ceremonial pipe, which was to be smoked only by the men. After blessing the pipe, he passed it to the man’s side of the teepee starting with the man on his left. Each man in attendance smoked the pipe and passed it on to the man to his left.

Once the pipe ceremony was complete, a bucket of Battle River water was brought into the teepee.

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