Winnipeg HRC Mtg Minutes (Mar 15 2010)

Present: Kim Melnychuk, Ingrid Grywacheski, Michel Loiselle, Cynthia Thoroski, Michelle Duval, Vicki Asu, Chris Davis

Event: Sweat Lodge, Circle of Life Thunderbird House, 715 Main Street at Higgins

Present:  Kim Melnychuk, Ingrid Grywacheski, Michel Loiselle, Cynthia Thoroski, Michelle Duval, Vicki Asu, Chris Davis

Regrets:  Don Rogers, Meconen Beyene, Alisha Bigelow, Tim Skowran, Tom Hack, Diana Litke, Craig Wood

The March 15 event was rescheduled from November 24, 2009 due to venue mechanical difficulties.  While there were a number of last-minute cancellations by confirmed attendees due to a flu that was making the rounds, the event was certainly worth the wait for those who attended!

From the Notice of Meeting Poster:  The sweat lodge is a spiritual ritual of the Aboriginal culture.  It represents a return to the womb upon which we all came from, Mother Earth.  A Sweat lodge consists of 4 doors. The first door is for the children in our lives.  The second door is for the women in our lives.  The third door is for the men in our lives and is also used for healing. The last door is for the Grandfathers & Grandmothers in our lives.  Each door lasts for approximately 15-25 minutes.  Different songs are sung and people use this time to seek answers and to pray

Elder Frank Walker, assisted by his son, facilitated the sweat lodge.   The sweat itself lasted almost 120 minutes.  This was partially due to the keen interest of attendees in fully participating in the spiritually component of the sweat, and partially due to the intensity and focus of the attendees – which was certainly noted by Elder Frank Walker.

As a sweat lodge is a very intense and sometimes emotional experience, all statements and experiences shared during the sweat remain private and confidential.  All attendees stated afterwards that they had some personal inhibitions prior to the sweat, they would all attend again highly recommend the experience to any interested in First Nations culture.