Fall ceremonies – fasting. People would conduct these themselves with a relative. When the first cold comes.

September- early October, when the plant life has ebbed away and continues into the roots. The sap leaves the tops of the trees and goes into the root system below frost level.

We sit down, give up water and food, friends, and be alone and watch the season close down during fasting time.

Honoring of the Ancestors – Feast of the Dead. Honoring the Spirits. Can be a family function. Ceremony with a feast. Used to have the grotesque dance. Catholics called it dance of the dead. That is how the serpent mounds came to be. We have evidence. Waabkigan. All down the French river, those mounds. And towards Sault Ste Marie. There are about 75-80 of those burial carns.

We don’t find the skulls because these were burned in a ceremonial fire.

Mid-winter ceremonies – February. When the little bears are born. We will see the tips of the trees opening up.

Noomik – softening.

Ziigwan – starts to flow.

Sugaring. Lakes open up. First fish (suckers). When the leaves become a certain size, we start our fasting and ceremonies. Wakes everything up.

Mid-winter – people come together to honor the time when the medicines start to run. The ceremony is to look back at all we had. Everyone brings their food and medicines to share to last the winter. Now we just do this to be symbolic.

Fasting is for spiritual connectedness and gratitude.

Summer – April-May-June-July-August-September is dance time. Entering the time of plenty. We don’t fast in the summer. Food is in abundance. Everyone goes to sundance and pow wows, berry picking.

Honor the water and the fish

Shabogesic – one who sees through. Used to do a fall ceremony. Bear Feast. Nwiichigewin. They would feast on bear and get the fat.

Waaswaanapii – still do the feast of the bear.

Winter ceremonies – calling of snow. Story telling. Moose story. This has all changed because we live in houses now. Story time was a time of learning and visiting. Making snow shoes. Now there is tv and computers and cell phones.

Wiiskaak – ash tree scrape the inner bark – drink for angina. Too much fat.

Cranberry – cleans the heart and kidney after a summer of eating.

Aagammat – to use ash for snow shoes.

Daabaanaak – when we make front sleigh

First snow shoes were probably made from animal guts.

Knots in some wiigwaas trees are used for parkinsons. Yellow birch is used for extreme damage, ie: surgery.

Princess pine – gaakebag

Kim Salt

Wiishkoosing – Wisconsin – sweetgrass country. They speak the same language as us. We were a rice culture once, like they were.