The Creation of the Medicine Wheel Spirit Singers

When I was thinking of creating the Medicine Wheel Spirit Singers, my vision, in the spirit of the Medicine Wheel, was to get four women together to learn the traditional and contemporary songs; to be the best that we can be by getting together to practice the songs and to instill a sense of professionalism in our singing.  I found it was getting too hard to get all the women in Mushkowzee Ekwewak together; the group had grown too large. I thought it would be better to work with four.

I chose women who, (1) were taking the initiative to learn the songs, (2) who came out regularly to drumming circles, (3) who weren’t afraid to share the responsibility in leading the songs and sharing the teachings, and (4) who were able to meet more regularly to practice the songs or to learn new songs, to try out new ideas, practice our timing and get in sync with one another.

I first offered tobacco to pray for guidance from our Creator and the spirits.  There were four of us who sang at Kitchitwa Kateri:  Freda McDonald, Lori Drazenovich, Arlene Letho (who is no longer with the group) and myself. I thought that would be a good start.  I initially offered tobacco to Freda to be our elder/advisor, and was honoured when she said she wanted to be a part of the Medicine Wheel Spirit Singers. (Peggy Adams joined our group in the spring of 2007.)

My dream was to eventually record a CD or two, and later develop a website so that we can share the lyrics, the translations, and the teachings of the songs with others, as well as to share our stories, our journey.

To honour our group’s spirit name, the Medicine Wheel Spirit Singers, and our new beginning, as leader of the group, I lead a sacred pipe sunrise ceremony in the spring of 2006.  This was followed by a feasting of our drums.  The other women in the group agreed to take responsibility to honour the direction they represent by having a ceremony during their season, whether it’s a feasting of the drums, a pipe ceremony, a full moon ceremony or a sunrise ceremony.

Chi-meegwetch, from Beatrice.