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 where "Land-Based Teachings Learning Centre" came to her as a name for our new place. During the Pipe Ceremony, Dan had a vision of a blue thunderbird "whose wings were outspread, covering this land here that we are on." Our name is a combination of these two visions.
The first part of our name, "Ozhaawashkwaa Animikii-Bineshi", means Blue Thunderbird in Anishinaabemowin. The second part of our name, "Aki Onji Kinimaagae' Inun", means Land-Based Teachings Learning Centre.
After the naming ceremony, we feasted 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
As we learn to pronounce our full Ojibwe name, Mary and Dan have offered us a shortened version, "Aki Centre". This means Land Centre.
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 Anishinaabemowin.