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The Saulteaux Nation – Spiritual Life

Saulteaux religious and ceremonial life reflected their mixed woodlands and plains existence. Woodlands tradition led to the development of the Midewiwin or Grand Medicine Society, a secret religious order attended by both Saulteaux men and women. The Society specialized in elaborate healing ceremonies, and kept written records on birchbark, a practice unique to the Saulteaux. They also practiced the Shaking Tent Ceremony, in which a medicine man would converse with spirits in a small lodge to obtain their aid.

Influence from plains peoples introduced concepts like the Sun Dance into Saulteaux spiritual life. The Sun Dance involved ritual sacrifice to the spirits, and was typically practiced over a period of four days.

Albers, Patricia C. “Plains Ojibwa,” in DeMallie, Raymond J. Handbook of North American Indians, Volume 3, part 1 of 2. Washington: Smithsonian Institution, 2001.

The Applied History Research Group. “European Contact – Canadian Shield: Ojibwa and Cree.” Canada’s First Nations. University of Calgary. http://www.ucalgary.ca/applied_history/tutor/firstnations/ (accessed July, 2006).

Sultzman, Lee. “Ojibwe History.” First Nations Histories http://www.tolatsga.org/Compacts.html (accessed July, 2006).

Zitzmann, Tara Rose. “Saulteaux.” E-Museum @ Minnesota State University, Mankato. http://www.mnsu.edu/emuseum/index.shtml (accessed July, 2006).

Canada’s Digital Collections. “The Saulteaux: Historical Background of the Saulteaux People.” A Saskatchewan Experience in a Traditional Tipi Camp. http://collections.ic.gc.ca/tipicamp/ (accessed July, 2006).

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