Transmission, sharing and wisdom of the indigenous peoples of North America

Protecting and sharing

The vision that Grand-father T8aminik and I carry is one they inherited from his father, Tom Rankin, and William Commanda. These remarkable spiritual guides always believed in the importance of opening their doors wide to those who felt attracted by the First Nations universe, regardless of their origins.

This makes our task exciting, but also complex, as we have to walk a fine line between the joy of sharing and the need to protect certain elements of tradition. Otherwise, there’s too great a risk that the teaching will be diluted or even lost.

It is with this in mind that we have chosen to offer a variety of programs for in-depth learning and healing journeys. Everyone’s participation helps to keep the transmission of knowledge authentic, alive and lasting. Workshops in Quebec and Europe are given in French only. N.B.: All these workshops are held in French. But it is entirely possible to organize them in English on request.


“ Immense Migwech to both of you and to the whole group for this Mikana course. Impossible to control my tears and the feelings in my body every time I listen to you and am in the presence of your teachings, chants and ceremonies. In the real world as well as at a distance, the magic works. “


” Thank you so much for this beautiful Mikana we did together. It has overwhelmed me, capsized me, offered me hope and despair, opened doors and windows and left me on the shores of a new world to explore with these new eyes. The lessons we’ve learned together will stay with me forever. It becomes my new compass to continue my Mikana among your Mikana. “


” Thank you for such a rich workshop. What a gift I’ve given myself! It was time for me to come back to myself. The Sacred Fire workshop is really a perfect tool for getting back into the process. And I assure you: the power of this workshop can be experienced despite the virtual. “


“Discovering my emotions…What’s going on inside me, what makes me vibrate… Discovering my essences… Working my master strings… An incredible workshop, challenging, so beautiful, surrounded by caring people, and with very high quality teachers. “


“What’s refreshing about Le Feu sacré en soi (and La Leçon de Sitar)is that you discover yourself from the light, less from the shadows, even though you know they’re there. Diving within ourselves in search of the beautiful, without focusing all our energy on our wounds. Beautiful moments of joyful healing. “

“What are the teachings with Dominique and Marie-Josée all about? An encounter with oneself, a connection with Mother Earth, a deep cleansing of the heart and mind. What it brings: a vision of life that’s simple, beautiful and good. Respect for nature and those around us. Strong, authentic bonds. “

“I’m so grateful for all the teachings I’ve received from you over the years. I’ve learned to know my own resources better, set clear intentions, live in the present while keeping in touch with ancestors and trust rather than waste time trying to control what might happen. “


“We’re lucky because the ceremonies have survived despite colonialism and because some elders like Grandfather T8aminik actively share them with everyone. Chi meegwetch, grandfather! It’s a real work of reconciliation. “


“Marijo, this tool you’ve created with La Leçon de Sitar (and Sacred Fire workshop) is brilliant! I now accept who I am. I don’t have to try to heal that part of me that’s my sensitivity. I just have to learn to listen to it differently, without comparing it to others! “


“Experiencing the sacred fire, the pipe ceremony, the Matato, the meditations and speaking circles “in real life”, it’s just wow! It is entering into communion with oneself, one’s elders and all life.

It’s being part of something bigger than yourself, getting lost and finding yourself there at the same time! It’s sharing these 3 intense days with your brothers and sisters, a gang that is now part of my family. We laughed, we cried, we sang, I still feel their presence. This wonderful and unforgettable healing course reconnected me with my whole being, nourished by wisdom, gentleness and love.”


Some questions you might have:

Do meditation and mindfulness have a connection with indigenous traditions?

Definitely! The vocabulary won’t necessarily be the same, but all the practices taught by authentic medicine men and women point in this direction. Perhaps it’s worth expanding on the meaning of the word “medicine”: In native traditions, medicine is a very broad term that has more to do with than just making remedies to heal the body. Rather, medicine is about everything that makes us physically, emotionally and mentally healthy. So it’s a very holistic view of health.

As a result, meditation plays a key role in the indigenous approach. It may not be practiced sitting on a cushion, with any other image one might have of mediation as conceived in the East. But it’s clear that the ceremonies, rituals, silent retreats and, of course, the close contact with nature are all elements that encourage us to develop our inner listening, calm the mind and move towards greater self-knowledge.

What role does the sweat lodge play in enhancing self-awareness?

The sweat lodge ceremony (Matato in the Anicinape language) is practiced by many First Nations people in North America. This deep cleansing ritual can be practiced alone or in a group, with the guidance of a trained elder. Specially selected stones are heated in a sacred fire, then placed in a cavity in the center of the hut. The frame of the hut is constructed from flexible saplings, which are bent to form a dome. The saplings are covered with several layers of blankets, sometimes canvas tarpaulins (in the past, furs and bark were used).

For many First Nations, this dome represents the mother’s womb. When this ritual is guided by an experienced person, participants experience a profound return to the origins of life. Inside the dome, it’s warm (especially from the moment the guide places water on the stones) and pitch-dark. These elements help us to let go of our tendency to cling to the world of matter, in order to enter into deep contact with our inner universe.

This sacred ritual has existed for thousands of years. It is extraordinarily effective in helping us to come to terms with ourselves, to let go of past emotions and traumas, and to be reborn as ourselves.

How can I recognize that I have emotional wounds that prevent me from being myself?

Marie-Josée often uses the image of Russian dolls to illustrate this phenomenon. The child we once were was completely himself. Depending on the upbringing we received, the emotional wounds we suffered and the choices we made, we put on different masks and shells in the hope of being better loved and protected. These invisible layers around us are like nesting dolls covering our natural spontaneity. Anyone embarking on a path of genuine personal development will sooner or later be invited to free themselves from these layers that suffocate them.

The word Anicinape refers to the people Europeans once called the Algonquins. When we understand the language and culture of this people, we discover that this word simply means human being. And there’s more! The word anicinape implies that this human being is necessarily in harmony with nature and with his or her own nature.

Anicinape is therefore a true human being. That’s why the spiritual path he proposes helps us to become ourselves again.

What role does forgiveness play in the inner healing process?

It’s perhaps the most important thing on the path to inner healing. In the Anicinape language, it’s interesting to discover that the word forgiveness doesn’t actually exist. Instead, we talk about acceptance. The nuance is important because, by accepting our emotional wounds, we no longer focus on external people or circumstances, but on our own inner world, i.e. where all our transformative and healing power lies.

Grandfather T8aminik is a remarkable example of acceptance and resilience in the face of the unimaginable violence he endured during his time at the St-Marc de Figuerie residential school. It was the wisdom of his people that enabled him to stand on his own two feet. Today, his story inspires thousands of people to find the keys to accepting the unacceptable and giving meaning to what was once so lacking.

Are these courses where shamanic teachings are passed on?

Elder T8aminik and Marie-Josée make a point of not using this vocabulary as far as they’re concerned. Why not? Firstly, because the word shaman does not belong to the native languages of North or South America. Historically, in Canada, this expression has often had a negative connotation, as religious and government authorities used it to denigrate the function of medicine man and medicine woman, associating them with something very reductive, even witchcraft.

Even though Grandfather T8aminik (Dominique Rankin) has received long and rigorous training in healing people. Let’s not forget that where he was born, deep in the boreal forest, there were no hospitals, pharmacies or psychologists on every corner! “If I call myself a healer,” he often explains, “you’ll tend to hand over your healing power to me. You’ll expect me to do things for you. Yet you have everything within you to transform yourself.”

What is the role of a medecine man or woman?

Medecine men and women devote their lives to accompanying those who wish to meet themselves. They have both feet firmly on the ground, encouraging us to find the path to inner freedom and peace. Their role is essentially to help us identify where life is not flowing well within us. They lead us to take good care of our inner sacred fire.

Are online teachings distancing us from traditional medicine?

To tell the truth, Grand-father T8aminik and Marie-Josée hesitated for a long time before accepting the invitation from their friends of La Solution est en vous, which was their first collaborator on this project. It was the pandemic and the confinement of spring 2020 that made them think about the importance of connecting us through new technologies. This forced downtime enabled them to create new ways of doing things to meet technological constraints, while respecting traditions. Of course, they’d love to meet you in person. But they’ve discovered with wonder that new technologies can unite us around something positive, no matter where we are on the planet, and create a force from which we can truly recharge and transform ourselves.