Kumik Elder Lodge
COVID-19 Kumik closure
Due to the coronavirus outbreak, the Kumik is currently closed to visitors.
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What is the Kumik?
The Kiche Anishnabe Kumik (Kumik) is a Lodge where federal employees in the National Capital Region can learn directly from Indigenous Elders through teachings, guidance and advice. There is also a chance to engage in cultural awareness workshops with from Indigenous facilitators to enrich understanding and promote reconciliation.
The Kumik can begin or be a continuation of one's participation in Algonquin traditions and ceremonial cycles while also offering opportunities to experience the cultures of many Indigenous peoples throughout the year. It is a culturally safe space to facilitate understanding and cooperation between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples.
The Kumik offers services and activities on a regular basis throughout the year including:
- individual visits with Elders
- group visit with Elders
- art and craft workshops
The Kumik was created in 1990 due to difficult working conditions experienced by Indigenous employees in the aftermath of the Oka crisis. Indigenous Elders were contacted and contracted to provide essential guidance and counselling services to both Indigenous and non-Indigenous employees of the department in the National Capital Region.
The mandate of the Kumik is to help Crown-Indigenous and Northern Relations Canada and Indigenous Services Canada better serve Indigenous peoples by promoting enhanced cultural competencies through the shared experiences of Indigenous Elders and Knowledge Keepers.
The Kumik aims to:
- support and provide guidance to employees concerning cultural awareness, inclusion and diversity
- enhance employees' awareness of Indigenous peoples' oral histories, contemporary issues and cultures through traditional arts and crafts, teachings, discussions and exposure to ceremonial practices and traditions
- help employees grow spiritually by having Indigenous Elders and Knowledge Keepers assist them on their path to healing and wellness
- The lodge resides on traditional Algonquin territory
- As an employee resource, services provided within the Kumik are reflective of the diversity of First Nations, Métis and Inuit practices, ceremonies and teachings
- In order to respond to employee needs, Kumik services are provided by a diverse mix of respected Elders and Knowledge Keepers with different teachings and skillsets that are unique to the communities, land and peoples they represent
- Elders and Knowledge Keepers providing services in the Kumik are recognized by their communities for their experience, knowledge, spiritual leadership, philosophy and practices
- The lodge follows the traditions, customs and protocols of the Elder or Knowledge Keeper providing the services
- Kumik policies and procedures respect federal government policies, guidelines and, ethics and values
Who are the Elders?
Elders can be of any age or gender and are defined differently depending on their community. For example, in the Algonquin Nation an Elder is someone who possesses spiritual leadership given by their cultural and traditional knowledge. However, all Elders are recognized because they have earned the respect of their community through ceremony, wisdom and living in harmony and balance.
Elders live their lives according to deeply ingrained principles, values and teachings. The Elders who come to the Kumik share their traditional teachings and lived experiences. They help us to nurture the relationships that we have to all of creation while reminding us of the responsibilities we have to ourselves and each other and help people with work-related and personal issues. Each Elder has a specific role, such as healer, medicine person, seer and storyteller, or traditionalist.
- provides spiritual counsel and support
- shares traditional knowledge, beliefs and spirituality
- conducts traditional ceremonies
- transmits oral history and leads talking or sharing circles
- provides opportunities for federal employees to gain cultural competencies by enriching their understanding of Indigenous peoples' history and culture
The Elders who come to the Kumik are selected based on their experience as mediators, their spiritual and traditional knowledge and their capacity to pass on these experiences to others. Elders are brought in from across the country and efforts are made to reach out to as many nations, settlements and communities as possible.
Elder referrals can be made by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Crown-Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada
Kiche Anishnabe Kumik
10 rue Wellington
Gatineau QC K1A 0H4
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