Cultural Program

Many of the young people at Marymound are of First Nations or Métis descent. At Marymound we believe that cultural awareness and pride are key components to healing. A strong, positive cultural identity can instill feelings of pride; give a young person a sense of place in the world as well as a sense of community affiliation. It is crucial that youth be in touch with their spirit and self to reconnect with their roots.

aboriginalThe healing journey for many First Nation or Métis youth at Marymound begins with an introduction to the cultural services program. Often, it is at Marymound that young people are put further in touch with the value, depth and strength of their own heritage.

The Indigenous Cultural Program is delivered by the Indigenous Cultural Coordinator in conjunction with elders and traditional healers from the local First Nations and Métis community.

Program Description

This voluntary program provides a healthy alternative to high-risk lifestyles. It offers a safe, nurturing place where youth can explore teachings and activities as they start on their journey to become part of the Sacred Circle of Life.

The Sacredness of Life and the crucial importance of its preservation provide the emphases of the program.

Through sharing and talking circles, sweat lodges, teachings, ceremonies and other activities, youth will develop a sense of self-worth, self-understanding, patience and ways to respect and honour life.

The program has proven successful for youth at Marymound, with participants developing enhanced self-esteem and self-identity. Many young people have sought and received their spiritual names and have become actively involved as helpers in the program.

Youth are learning to trust, sometimes even sharing their spiritual dreams. A staff and a pipe that appeared in two young people’s dreams have been crafted according to their visions, making for a very powerful, self-affirming experience.

The program has a strong connection to the drum, the place where youth find their voice and inner strength as leaders in our teachings.

Program Components

This comprehensive program incorporates a diverse range of topics and activities, including:

First Nations History
  • History of First Nations, and Métis history (including understanding and acknowledgment of the Residential Schools System)
  • Sacred law teaching
  • Ancient prophecies
  • Rites of passage.
  • Definitions
  • Story of Creation
  • Introduction to the Medicine Wheel
  • Legends
  • Kitchie Manitou
Sacred Teachings
  • Healers and Medicine People
  • What is a helper?
  • Sacred items
  • White Buffalo teaching
  • Spiritual gifts
  • How healing happens
Medicine Wheel Teachings
  • Values
  • Four Nations
  • Life cycle
  • Doorway Keepers
  • Four Seasons
  • Four Worlds
  • Four Medicines
  • Sharing Circles
  • Talking Circles
  • Full Moon Ceremony
  • Sweat Lodge
  • Cultural Day
  • Naming Ceremony
  • Shake Tent Ceremony
  • Sundance Ceremony
  • Four Seasons Feast
  • Sacred Songs
  • Grandmother Moon Lodge
  • What is gratitude?
  • Who are our Elders and what is their role?
  • What are feasts?
  • Why we hold feasts
  • Giveaways
  • Offerings
Pow Wow
  • What is a Pow Wow?
  • Drumming
  • Singing
  • Pow Wow Club
  • Regalia making
  • Explanation of Cleansing and Healing Medicines
  • Preparations for Medicine Picking
  • Gathering and Preparing Medicines
  • Teepee making
  • Beading
  • Shields
  • Dreamcatchers
  • Painting
  • Traditional jewellery making
  • Rock painting
  • Seven sacred laws
  • Miniatures and more
  • Igniting the Fires
  • Manito-Ahbee Festival
  • Keeping the Fires Burning
  • Turtle Lodge
  • Community Pow Wows