Letter from Algonquin Grandmothers, attending Wabanaki Confederacy Conference
October 11, 2013
Our travel day was July 31st. It was a beautiful drive but rather long. We arrived late in the evening at the hotel and were anxious to get started in the morning. Because of work, some of the Kokoms couldn’t travel for the beginning of the conference. In attendance were: Shirley Tolley, Jenny Tenasco, Rose Beaudoin, Alice Beaudoin, Liza Chief, Celine Thusky, Judith Thusky, Lola Odjick
The week started with the building of the Wabanaki Confederacy lodge. It is a beautiful Lodge and a lot of work was put in by the Wabanaki. Each Nation was expected to bring their flag. The ceremonies began with the Grand Entry to the Lodge. Kokom Rose brought her staff and had an opportunity to explain the items that were important to her and all the Algonquin Nation. The Wampun Belts were hung in the center ring inside the Lodge as well as all the Pipes. The Warriors and Clans entered first, then the Kokoms and young women. There was the lighting of the pipes, reciting a creation story in their language and singing of a welcome song by the host Nation.
Although it rained for the first two days, it did not dampen our spirit. The women met separately and had a discussion about the struggles that we all seem to be having at this time. The ceremonies continued throughout the day. It was a very heartfelt sharing of our feelings and concerns with other First Nations. Alma made us feel very welcome and we had good food for the days that we were there. Needless to say, we were very tired when we returned to our hotel which was a ten minute drive.
In February, we were invited to attend a North American Indian Caucus meeting somewhere in the East Coast. And then in May, we might have a chance to send one Kokom to go to the United Nation to give a presentation. If our funds permit, this could be a reality. Since then, we have been to an All Chiefs meeting in Wahgoshig that was sponsored by our Tribal Council. In meeting with the Kokoms, it was felt that our leadership need guidance and unity.
We would like to thank you once again for your help in funding this trip to Lake George, New Brunswick. Please keep in touch and keep us informed of any other opportunities where we can provide support to a good cause.
Màmawi Anishinàbe Kòkomisag