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On the left side of the group photo above standing next to the Teepee is Dr. Jane Ross, President of ALL (Association for Life-Wide Living) of Alberta Battle River Health Network with her husband, Jack Ross, who is Secretary and Communications Director. ALL is the sponsor of our Water Blessing Ceremony and the Celebration of Battle River. Jane and Jack are leading us in the Opening Prayer.


The Host and Hostess of these four annual invitational events are Roy and Judy Louis. Last year, during the first Invitational Blessing of the Water Ceremony, they made a commitment to host three more Ceremonies as that is the custom. In the first photo above, they are introducing the Festivities and in the second photo they are intently listening to one of the featured guest speakers. 

Everyone in attendance felt the magic of this day in April, 2012. We all expect to feel the same magic as we celebrate the 2nd Invitational Blessing of the Water Ceremony on April 27th, 2013. The image above depicts some of that magic as birds fly over Battle River in this serene scene. Many have reported that the river seems healthier than before the Ceremony.


This was the first warm sunny day of the Spring Season. Someone reported that three eagles flew over the Teepee during the actual Blessing of the Water Ceremony; and a beloved 96 year old elder named Mary Jane Saddleback chose this first Water Blessing day to transition out of 3D-reality and move on to higher ground.


A beautiful colt chose to make the opposite journey and was born on the day of the first Ceremony. In the photo below, he was one day old. He was named Star after the marking on his forehead. He is now two years old.

While we ate, we were entertained by the viewing of a Fashion Show featuring the incredible designs of Darcy Moses, a Designer who expresses his art through clothing design. These are just a few of the amazing hand beaded and decorated pieces of wearable art. Not one in attendance can forget the red fur-trimmed coat so beautifully worn by this radiant model.

In Photo #12, Dr. James Hardt, Founder of the Biocybernaut Institute, talks to Chief Wilton Littlechild and Emil  Cutknife who both have attended trainings at the Biocybernaut Institute. Dr. Hardt and Chief Littlechild are having a discussion about how effective the Biocybernaut Institute Training is in helping to heal the cross-generational challenges caused by the Residential Schools along with the fracturing of the First Nation people and their culture by the Reservation model. Our love and prayers go out to the Cutknife family as Emil Cutknife passed away after the second Water Blessing Ceremony.


As a result of this conversation and by the invitation of Chief Wilton Littlechild who is Chair of the UN Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, Dr. Hardt and two representatives of Biocybernaut, Alice Miller and Miguel Espinosa, presented in Geneva at the UN International Experts on Indigenous Peoples’ Rights in the summer of 2012. 


In Photo #13, four happy graduates of the Biocybernaut Institute Indigenous Scholarship Program, sponsored by Mr. Allan Markim, share their joy at being in attendance on this memorable day. From left to right, we see Leon Bruno, Tia Wick, Lynne Tomusiak and Trudy Cardinal.

As if these Festivities weren’t enough, there was also a Give-Away. See Photos #14 & #15 above. Both Dr. Hardt and one of his Trainers, Grace Sylke, were adopted by the Samson Cree on this auspicious day. They did their first Sweat together and were given their Cree names.


During the Celebration, they Gave-Away to their new Cree family. Dr. Hardt gave Safeway bags full of groceries to everyone in attendance and Grace gave boxes of heirloom seeds with the above note to her new family.

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We hope you have enjoyed our Photographic Description of “The Feast, Fashion Show and Festivities”. Be sure to continue your virtual attendance of the first Cree Blessing of the Water Ceremony that had not been done for over 65 years by clicking to the next page, “Videos”.

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We Are Cree

A Photo and Word Description of the Feast, Fashion Show & Festivities. The above photo is the Opening Prayer.

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As the shoes piled up in the entry to Roy and Judy’s house more entertainment took place featuring the lovely violinist, Maya Rathnavalu; and there was an amazing art show with several wonderful pieces displayed. In fact, the entire house is more like a museum of First Nation Art and Artifacts than anything else.

 

And, of course, the description of these Ceremonial events would not be complete without describing the Feast. They are amazing with so many choices of delicious food to eat one didn’t know where to begin. In the foreground of this Photo #8 is Roy and Judy’s grandson, Colton, whom they were babysitting for the weekend of the first Water Blessing Ceremony. He was a joyful, curious addition to all the festivities.

 

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Photo #5 shows Chief Victor Buffalo and Chief Wilton Littlechild entertaining us with a comedic rendition of one of their favorite songs. Then Chief Wilton Littlechild shared a serious talk in Photo #6 about an important milestone that had just been reached in regard to UN Negotiations regarding Treaties, which have been in process for decades through the UN Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. Chief Wilton Littlechild is the Chair of the UN group and a Commissioner of the Truth and Reconciliation Committee. Be sure to watch his Video about the TRC on our Video page.


We hope to get the particulars and further developments of those important UN Treaty negotiations in the near future and post them on this site.

 

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Photo #16 is of the garden that Judy planted in the Spring of 2012 using the Give-Away Seeds.

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This Photo #17 was taken the next day, April 22nd (a power number), after Grace heard a strange sound coming from the distance as she was taking pictures of the new colt. Grace is from California so the sound of a flock of Canadian Geese is strange to her. She shot this photo as a flock flew over the Battle River and Roy and Judy’s house.


Out of curiosity, she looked up the symbolic meaning of the Goose. Here’s what she discovered. The Goose represents Bravery, Loyalty, Teamwork, Confidence, Protection, Fellowship, Communication and Determination.

Those are all the things that happened during the Celebration of the Water Ceremony at Battle River. It seems that the Geese flew over to commemorate our  incredible group Ceremonial experience.


Below is one more image of that great river that is about to be blessed again this year. It will also return that blessing with everyone who attends the 2nd Annual Invitational Blessing of the Water Ceremonial Events. Let us share the Teamwork, Fellowship, Communication, Loyalty and more with each other on May 10th, 2014. Let us once again become one people in this magical ceremonial way.

Photo courtesy of the Battle River Watershed Alliance.

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