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Mindimooyenh “One who holds things together”

Mindimooyenh “One who holds things together”

As we are out harvesting our medicines, here are a few teachings. Mindimooyenh, the Ojibwe term for a female elder, best embodies how Ojibwe society perceived a woman’s power. In the Ojibwe language, it literally refers to “one who holds things together.” Older women who often had a ceremonial tie and expertise with plants and

As we are out harvesting our medicines, here are a few teachings.

Mindimooyenh, the Ojibwe term for a female elder, best embodies how Ojibwe society perceived a woman’s power. In the Ojibwe language, it literally refers to “one who holds things together.” Older women who often had a ceremonial tie and expertise with plants and medicines had a more finely attuned connection to the earth’s manidoo, or spiritual power.

Through their labour and control over certain resources, women continuously renewed relationships to their relatives in the human and spirit world. In day-to-day life, “one who hold things together” was a reference to the economic competence and organizational skill that Ojibwe women, especially grandmothers and those in their maturity, exercised within their families and communities.

Far more than merely designating an “old lady”, mindimooyenh – an idea born of women’s autonomy – evokes the status, strength, wisdom, and authority of the older female in Ojibwe society.

Source: Brenda J. Child – Holding Our World Together: Ojibwe Women and the Survival of Community (2012)

Mashkiki Gitigaan,” this garden of “Ahki” Earth, provides the Anishinaabe with all the things that they need to survive and is the substrate of “Anishinaabe Izhitwaawin.” This is a term that is difficult to translate but often glossed as ‘Anishinaabe ways of life‘.

The concept connotes a constellation of ideas like belonging, intimacy, and connectedness of a person within the wholeness of a place. An Anishinaabe is embedded within an environment that is both material and spiritual. We call this today, our Natural Laws.

In return for this abundance of gifts provided to the Anishinaabeg, the Creator also placed a moral, “custodial” responsibility upon the Anishinaabe that calls the principle of “Gimiinigoowizimin Gaaganawendang.” This, too, is difficult to translate but an English gloss that communicates this concept is ‘keeper of the gifts‘. This gloss contains both the idea of the gifts given for the survival of the Anishinaabe as well as the moral responsibility the people bear to the Creator.

The Knowledge Council is set to harvest for “Mashkodebizhikii-wingwashk” sage on Thursday Sept 3rd at Lake Audy Bison Pasture.

Miigwech!

Waabishki Mazinazoot Mishtaatim, Life Long Learning Lodge Keeper

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