We are fortunate to have two Divisional Elders to guide and support the staff and students of Seven Oaks School Division.
On September 27, 2018 Elder Dan Thomas and Elder Mary Courchene held a Naming and Pipe and Water Ceremony on this land. Elder Mary Courchene shared that she had a dream about the Land-Based Teachings Learning Centre as a name for this place. During the Pipe Ceremony, Dan had a vision of a big blue thunderbird "whose wings were outspread, covering this land here that we are on."
Our name is a combination of Mary and Dan's contributions. The first part of our name, "Ozhaawashkwaa Animikii-Bineshi" means Blue Thunderbird in the Ojibwe language.The second part of our name, "Aki Onji Kinimaagae' Inun" means Land-Based Teachings Learning Centre.
After the naming ceremony, we feasted the name and put out tobacco for the name. The name is honoured by the feast. We will continue to feast each year to honour the name that was given.
We will mark the territory over which the Bineshi spread its wings. We will do this by placing a post at each corner of the land, and tied to each post will be four coloured ribbons.
This is how we pronounce our name:
Ozhaawashkwaa (oh-sha-wass-gwa) = Blue
Animiki (a-ni-mi-key) = Thunder
Bineshi (bi-neh-she) = Bird
Aki (a-ki) = Land
Onji (oohn-ji) = Where someone comes from
Kinimaagae' (ki-ni-mah-gi) = To teach
Inun (in-nun) = A place of learning
View our videos here
, taken on the day of the Naming Ceremony.
to Elder Dan as he shares how to pronounce our name pronounced in Ojibwe.
As we learn our full Ojibwe name, Mary and Dan have offered us a short version: Aki Centre. This means Land Centre. We commit to recognizing our history here by using multiple languages in our name, even when using our short name.