Recent Activities

Media Coverage by Erika Engel

Spring Equinox 2022 News Article and Event Sharing

On March 21st, 2022 we gathered and made meaningful connections with each other for the Spring Changes of Seasons. See below for the articles created by Erika Engel. The Spring ceremony was lead by Elder James Carpenter.

Our next Change of Seasons will be on June 21st 2022! The news article for the Summer Solstice is linked below. The event will be facilitated by Painted Sky, and Heather McIntyre.

Summer Solstice 2022 News Article and Event Sharing

Meet pipe carrier Painted Sky who is Bear Clan Ojibwe from Treaty 3 Couchiching Fort Frances. His dad is from Cape Croker and his mom is from Couchiching Fort Frances. His western name is Gary Johnston, however his preferred name though is Painted Sky.

Painted Sky is a third-generation survivor of the Residential School system. His mother is a former member of the Truth and Reconciliation Committee of Canada. Painted Sky also participated in the Idle No More and Every Child Matters walks. Painted Sky works for Canadian Mental Health Association in Toronto. He also facilitates ceremonies.

Meet Heather who has called Collingwood her home for over 40 years. Her family of origin is rooted in Georgian Island and she is part of the Aajiijack Crane Clan with the helper of Waazhaashik ( Muscrat Clan) on her grandfathers side. Because of all of these blessings she walks the world as a “two eyed seer” and actively holds space for deep healing conversations to be initiated. She is an active community member and Indigenous Life and Wellness Coach that helps to bridge gaps for our Indigenous community by teaching, and sharing.

Fall Equinox 2022 News Article and Event Sharing

The Fall Solstice starts at 4 pm with vendors and the food sharing table!

At 5 p.m. Elder Jeff Monague, whose Indigenous name is Myiingan Minonaakwhe, will teach about ceremony, what it means, and ceremony etiquette. Myiingan Minonaakwhe is from Eagle Clan and is a former chief of the Beausoleil First Nation on Christian Island. 

Jillian Morris will be sharing poetry at the solstice gathering. Morris is Kanien’kehaka and a band member of Six Nations of the Grand River Territory. She is from Turtle Clan, and is the current poet laureate for the Town of Collingwood.

Following the teachings and ceremony, Jennifer Mcfarlane will be leading participants in Indigenous-centred games. She is Métis and lives in Wasaga Beach. 

Ipeelie, Minonaakwhe, Morris, and Mcfarlane represent four nations – Inuit, Anishinaabek, Haudenosaunee, and Métis respectively.

Winter Solstice 2022 News Article and Event Sharing

The Winter Solstice begins at 4:30 pm and will run until 6 pm. We will have Three Sisters Soup, Indigenous games, a Fire Keeper and some knowledge sharing from Elder James Carpenter (Grey Cloud). Dress warmly! Please click the link below to learn more about the event.

As of now, this is the fourth and final Change of Seasons Gathering for the year and we will see if there will be more gatherings in the future.

We are excited to share that we have invited Anishinaabe Elder/Knowledge Keeper Grey Cloud (James Carpenter) who is also a traditional healer to help us welcome the winter! Grey Cloud has done and continues to do the necessary and vital work in the form of wellness and healing for many of our Indigenous people. We are excited to have him help us come full circle from Spring to Winter in the final Change of Seasons Gathering of the year. in a new tab)

Spring Equinox 2023 News Article and Event Sharing

Part of the news article reads, “The four seasons will be welcomed once again this year with a gathering and celebration of Indigenous culture at the Awen Circle in Collingwood. 

This Tuesday, March 21, there will be a change of seasons ceremony and gathering starting at 4:30 p.m. with local resident and Métis woman Jennifer McFarlane, whose Indigenous name is Thunderbird woman, facilitating the ceremony

Anishinaabe elder and traditional healer Grey Cloud, also known as James Carpenter, will be leading a pipe ceremony during the event, and Muckpaloo Ipeelie, a local Inuk, will share Inuit teachings on Sila (Mother Nature). 

Ipeelie was one of the original organizers of the change of seasons events, which began last spring. She started them as a way of creating space and events for the local Indigenous community to come together, meet others with Indigenous heritage, and celebrate in their traditional ways. ” Click below to read more.

Change of seasons gatherings return to Awen Circle – Collingwood News (

Summer Solstice 2023 News Article and Event Sharing

Erika Engel created a photo catalogue of the event in the summer.

The photo journal reads,” The summer solstice change of seasons ceremony took place on Sunday, June 18 from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. at Awen Gathering Circle in Collingwood at Harbourview Park. 

Leading the event were Heather McIntyre and Jennifer McFarlane. James and Lori Kewaquom, both knowledge keepers from Saugeen First Nation brought teachings on the strawberry and its medicine, as well as gratitude and love as medicines for healing. 

Ashunyung, a drum group from Georgina Island performed songs as part of the event, and Opichi Commanda kept the sacred fire.” Click the article to view the photos of the event.

IN PHOTOS: Summer change of seasons ceremony at Awen – Collingwood News (

Fall Equinox 2023 News Article

“Traditional dance helped woman reconnect with Indigenous heritage”

This fall’s celebration of Mother Nature in her change of season was celebrated by 3 knowledge sharers: Sharon Rigby in the photo who shared about her traditional Anishinaabe dance; Ode’imin Kwe for Anishinaabe jingle dress dance; and knowledge sharer Sheila Robson from Cape Croker.

Sharon helped to spread awareness about the event by participating in a Collingwood Today article and shared some of her personal experiences. “Traditional women would dance along the outside of the powwow, they took their spots along the edges, and I feel like traditional dancing is very much a representation of how I felt as a child growing up,” said the mother of five. “I was not really participating in my culture, and not really aware of the full extent of my heritage. But when the traditional women were invited into the powwow to dance, I feel that’s my reconnection right there. Going from the outside in.” Sharon continues to share about her journey in reclaiming her dance and learning her heritage. Read the article below.

Dave West a local photographer also took beautiful photos of the event. See link below.

Photo Coverage by Dave West Photography of the Fall Equinox 2023

Indigenous Changing of the Seasons: Autumnal Equinox Highlight Photos – davewestphotography