This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
!"#$%&' )*&+,- )'#./- 012#&3 &.4 5612.#./7 8&9+ &.4 82*9*.+ 82&:+#:*9
Puipose of papei: to euucate the hospice-palliative caie team in the customs of the
0jibway (0jibwe, 0jibwa) Inuian Nation in matteis conceining ueath, uying, buiial
Intenueu auuience: hospice-palliative caie teams, oncology anu AIBS caie teams,
meuical-suigical nuising teams anu inteiesteu uying peisons¡families.
Beuication: to my fiienus of Fiench Rivei, 0ntaiio, Canaua: Chief Nike Nesabi,
Chief }ohn Agose, Chief Roy Williams, Naiy Nanitowaning, anu }ackie Commanuo.
Centuiy has many factois meiging to meet oui multicultuial nations.
Beath is a univeisal piocess with many uiffeient cultuial components. The caie
team neeus to unueistanu these in oiuei to iespect customs of the uying peison
anu feel comfoitable when coming into these homes oi living places to give caie.
This is so with the 0jibway.
The meiging factois of inteiest in the 21
Centuiy aie the following: the
ueath anu uying wiitings of pioneei Elisabeth Kublei-Ross, NB; Neai Beath
Expeiience wiitings of Raymonu Noouy, NB anu Kenneth Ring, PhB; the biith of
the Bospice-Palliative Caie Novement; new tianslations of the "Books of the Beau"
(Tibetan, Egyptian, Bebiew, Nayan anu Chiistian) with special attention to ;,*
;#$*+&. 066< 6= >#?#./ &.4 )'#./ by Sogyal Rinpoche; emeigence of Thanatology
Stuuies in univeisity piogiams (Thanatos is the uieek gou of Beath); anu auvanceu
stuuies in states of consciousness.
All these stuuies can help caiegiveis unueistanu moie fully the 0jibway iite
of !"#$%"&'%$($#&)$' -The Ritual of the Beau. I encouiage eveiyone to ieau Basil
}ohnston's accounting of this iitual on pp. 129-1S4 in his book !"#$%&'
uitche Nanitou is the cieative foice in 0jibway cultuie.also known, as the
uieat 0nknown, the uieat Nysteiy anu All uiving Spiiit. It is to uitche Nanitou that
all piayeis aie uiiecteu. These piayeis aie caiiieu heavenwaiu by the smoke of
buining tobacco, sweetgiass, ceuai anu sage.
The 0jibway cultuie has a coue of ethics, the !"*+ -. /$.&, anu if followeu will
leau to a life liveu with peace, health anu goou foitune. 0ne will easily cioss ovei
the iivei biiuge at the time of ueath to the /"'% -. 0-123. Emphasis is placeu on
living with a peaceful minu anu heait. Like many othei ancient cultuies- Binuu,
Buuuhist, }uuaism, Contemplative Chiistians- the 0jibway knew the impoitance of
the quiet, meuitative minu in cleaiing obstacles anu negativities.
The !"*+ -. /$.& as uesciibeu in !"#$%&' @*2*A6.#*9 pp. 1SS-1S6 is the following:
1. Bonoui uitche Nanitou anu thank him foi life.
2. Bonoui the Elueis.
S. Bonoui oui eluei biotheis : the wolf anu beai, the eagle anu iobin, the
snake anu tuitle, the butteifly anu snail, the whitefish anu the tiout.
4. Bonoui iose anu coin which pioviue foou anu clothing.
S. Bonoui oui Women.
6. We must keep oui piomises anu keep oui pleuges. If we ieceive a
vision we must live out this vision. 0theiwise we aie untiue. Without
tiuth to self anu to otheis, theie is no tiust.
7. We aie to be kinu to eveiyone.
8. We aie to be peaceful. We must stiive foi peace in this life anu peace of
soul in the next.
9. We aie to be couiageous.
1u. We aie to be moueiate in oui uieams, thoughts, woius anu ueeus.
Listen anu watch, someuay you will be wise.
This coue of ethics, !"*+ -. /$.& , ieflects the honoui anu iespect given to all
cieatuies by the 0jibway. Theie is inteiconnecteuness among all things.anu
Natuie is the gieat teachei. Thus, within this coue, is the caie anu iespect of elueis,
caie foi those who aie sick anu uying. The 0jibway belief system "iuentifies life
anu ueath as a continuous segments of inuiviuual spiiitual existence. Nonphysical
spiiit exists befoie, uuiing anu aftei incaination in human foim." (B ;#A* =62
>#9+*.#./ &.4 @&2#./C- p.21S
Anothei veiy impoitant teaching foi Bospice-Palliative Caie peisonnel to
unueistanu is that 0jibway cultuie states the soul¡spiiit can exist on foui uiffeient
1. The fiist level gives life anu motion to the bouy: sentient anu conscious.
2. The seconu level exists while the bouy is sleeping anu the soul stays in
the bouy while the spiiit can ioam at will. Tiaveling thiough space anu
time, anu into the past, piesent anu futuie. It awakens the bouy on
S. In the thiiu level, the spiiit leaves the bouy to take up sentient
existence in anothei existence, anothei plane. This can happen when
the bouy has been injuieu oi seveiely uiseaseu. The spiiit can see,
heai, anu smell.
4. The fouith level exists in the /"'% -. 0-123. (!"#$%&' @*2*A6.#*9,
If eveiyone was fully euucateu anu piacticeu as to the !"*+ -. 0-123, the
piinciple of life anu ueath as continuous segments of inuiviuual spiiitual existence,
anu the existence of the foui levels of soul¡spiiit existence.theie woulu be little oi
no feai of uying anu the tiansition woulu be conscious anu smooth. Nay this goal
Caiegiveis familiai with Neai Beath Expeiience (NBE) accounts plus the
ieauing of the Raymonu Noouy, NB book >#=* B=+*2 >#=* can see the similaiity
between the 0jibway thiiu level of existence anu NBE. Raymonu Noouy's book
lists 1S common expeiiences people unueiwent when inteivieweu with most
having 8 of the 1S expeiiences.
In !"#$%&' @*2*A6.#*9 (pp. 1S6-141), the stoiy of Beeuut tells of his
tiavels, expeiiences on othei planes aftei his injuiies suffeieu in a wai paity. Be
has many similai expeiiences as uesciibeu by Raymonu Noouy, NB. Beeuut
expeiiences uaikness anu then light, he iealizes the bouy on the giounu is his, he
can see-heai-smell (not feel), he moves about in a new bouy, he talks to humans but
they uon't heai him, he leains fiom beings of light why he is in this situation, he
longs to ie-entei his bouy anu live, the gieat love of his wife¡family anu tiibe help
biing him back fully into his injuieu bouy. Be then heals anu teaches about the
jouiney fiom the /"'% -. *+& /$4$'# to the /"'% -. 0-123 . anu the piopei buiial foi
To compaie, the following aie the 1S expeiiences of NBE fiom >#=* B=+*2 >#=*
by Raymonu Noouy, NB:
1. Ineffable- inexpiessible expeiience; no woius will expiess the
2. Beaiing the news- NB pionounces him ueau oi uying.
S. Feelings of peace anu quiet- auto ciash, flash of pain, floating.
4. Noise- auuitoiy buzz, it can be louu, uistuibing.
S. Baik tunnel- iapiuly uiawn thiough a uaik tunnel; see some light at the
6. 0ut of bouy.
7. Neeting otheis- guiues; say you must ietuin.
8. Being of Light- Love anu Waimth; uesciibe thiough theii
9. Review- "What have you uone with youi life." Flashbacks, lessons to
leain.love, foigiveness, patience.
1u. Boiuei oi limit- associateu with a giay mist oi watei.
11. Coming back- complete unfinisheu business; tasks to be accomplisheu.
12. Telling otheis- feelings of absolute ieality.
1S. Effects on lives- changes in peiception, ueepeneu expeiience of small
beauties- natuie, home. Change in attituue to positive values,
pieciousness of life, no longei want to waste life.
14. New view of ueath- (no longei feaiful).
1S. Coiioboiation- expeiiencei witness to happenings; NB ielates the
Let's compaie Beeuut's jouiney with the Kenneth Ring, PhB uesciiption of
Neai Beath Expeiience (NBE) as in his book >#=* B+ )*&+,D Theie aie 6
1. Affective component- peace anu sense of well being.
2. Bouy sepaiation- leaving the bouy.
S. Enteiing the uaikness.
4. Seeing the Light.
S. Enteiing into the Light.
6. The uecision to ietuin:
a. Life ieview
b. The encountei with a "piesence ".mental unueistanuing, a
c. The encountei with ueceaseu loveu ones; not happen foi all.
u. Naking the uecision:
i. Be ueciues
ii. Be is sent back
Beeuut expeiienceu all 6 components of Ring's uesciiption with only a
poition of #6. Beeuut fiom the onset, wanteu to come back into his bouy but
hau lessons to leain befoie he coulu attain this goal.
Theosophy (Theo Sophia) teaches that we have many bouies- physical,
etheiic, astial, mental anu spiiitual. These bouies can tiavel in all layeis of
that plane (i.e. astial bouy on the astial plane). These teachings woulu
explain Beeuut is in his astial bouy on the astial plane anu still connecteu to
his physical bouy by the "silvei coiu." Theosophy, also teaches, that one can
attain this type astial tiavel anu communication thiough meuitative
piactices. By stilling the minu, one can leain to aiise out of the physical bouy
anu tiavel in uiffeient bouies accoiuing to his skill. Some humans come into
a physical bouy with this skill caiiieu ovei but most must leain this lifetime.
It uefinitely takes uevoteu meuitative woik to accomplish this. Some, moie
easily, leave theii physical bouy uuiing the night sleep anu
tiavel¡communicate on the uiffeient planes. Bopefully, they can biing back
theii expeiience anu teachings to the "awakeneu" eaithly state of being in the
In the fouith level in 0jibway teachings, the soul¡spiiit can heai which
is a veiy impoitant uiffeience between the thiiu anu fouith levels. Theie is
no baiiiei fiom the eaith human beings to the soul¡spiiit, hence, the guiue
anu teachings of the 4
uegiee Niuewewin can be heaiu by the ueceaseu.a
ciucial factoi in guiuing a soul¡spiiit thiough the obstacles to the /"'% -.
When an 0jibway peison has uieu, caie in the Tiauitional way woulu
be to wash the bouy, biaiu the haii, anu uiess in buiial clothing befitting to
his¡hei iole in the community. A lock of haii woulu be cut off, wiappeu in
biichbaik anu given to the spouse.
Basil }ohnston uesciibes the teaching given by the 4
Niuewewin guiue which is chanteu at the siue of the ueceaseu
bouy.knowing the soul¡spiiit is hoveiing close when the Fiist Instiuction is
given. The family membeis aie sitting opposite the Niuewewin guiue next to
the bouy. This hoveiing soul¡spiiit heais the guiuing chant of the Fiist
Instiuctions (!"#$%&' @*2*A6.#*9 pp.1SS-1S4):
1. K'neekaunissinaum, k'u'ninguzhimim.
0ui biothei, you leave us now.
2. K'neekaunissinaum, k'mauujauh.
0ui biothei, you aie leaving.
S. K'neekaunissinaum, k'cheeby¡im.
0ui biothei, youi spiiit.
4. K'neekaunissinaum, neewi-goon cheeby-meekunnuh.
0ui biothei, foui uays on the !"*+ -. 0-123.
S. K'neekaunissinaum, waukweeng k'u'izhau.
0ui biothei, to the /"'% -. 0-123 you aie bounu.
These instiuctions help focus the soul¡spiiit who has iecently uepaiteu
fiom the physical bouy. Be is about to leave this home aiea anu jouiney on
the !"*+ -. 0-123 with the uestination being the /"'% -. 0-123. Remembei that
this soul¡spiiit on the 4
level of existence can heai. The silvei coiu that
attacheu him to the physical bouy has been bioken (etheiic mattei). When
we come to the eaith plane, the umbilical coiu hau to be cut anu when we
leave, the silvei¡etheiic coiu must be cut. Thus, uepaituie, tiansfoimational
jouiney, anu uestination aie all impoitant teachings of the Fiist Instiuction.
Piepaiations foi the buiial aie unuei way anu uigging of the giave anu
a fiie lit, "The flame will help keep the soul¡spiiit waim as it changes fiom
one state to anothei, anu moves fiom one uimension to anothei." (!"#$%&'
@*2*A6.#*9- p.141). The Niuewewin guiue comes back to the siue of the
ueceaseu foi the Seconu Instiuction. Family anu fiienus have been in the
piesence of the bouy. Seconu Instiuction (!"#$%&' @*2*A6.#*9, pp.141-
1. K'neekaunissinaun, zunugut ae-nummoo
0ui biothei, uifficult is the ioau.
S. K'neekaunissinaun, mino-waunigoziwinning k'u'weekimmigoh.
0ui biothei, you aie inviteu to the Bappy Lanu.
In oluen uays, the bouy woulu be wiappeu in biichbaik anu placeu in a
giave sitting up facing West... the uiiection of the /"'% -. 0-123. Special
objects of the ueceaseu woulu be placeu in the giave: hunting equipment,
ceiemonial pipe, tobacco, flint, anu meuicine bunule foi example. Touay, this
piocess might be the bouy ceiemoniously batheu anu uiesseu, haii biaiueu
anu special objects placeu into the casket at the funeial home. Theie might
be uiill holes at the heau of the casket foi the exit of the soul¡spiiit anu the
feet facing West when placeu in the giave. A canule is noimally lit foi the
foui uay vigil.
At the Thiiu Instiuction, the Niuewewin guiue is teaching¡ieminuing
the soul¡spiiit of the possible obstacles on the !"*+ -. 0-123. Theie aie many
uangeis anu temptations which can thiow one off the !"*+ to the /"'% -.
0-1235 The temptations aie saiu to be much moie subtle than the tests one
has in the physical bouy of Eaith life. The temptations (!"#$%&'
@*2*A6.#*9, p.1Su): "The Feast of Beath, the Sleep of Beath, the Fiie of
Beath, the Watei of Beath, anu the Agony of Beath." Each temptation is
cunning in its attiactive qualities to get one off the !"*+ -. 0-123. The teaching
tells of a guiuing blue globe of light anu sounu of iunning watei on the
left.both of these aie guiues. No stopping, no eating, no joining any gioup,
no sexual attiaction.keep focuseu on the !"*+ -. 0-123 with the blue light
above anu the iivei ioai on the left. Pass all these temptations by, foi if
caught, it will pievent the soul¡spiiit fiom ieaching the /"'% -. 0-123. 0ne
may be enulessly walking the !"*+ -. 0-123 anu nevei ieach the iivei biiuge
By the giavesiue, the Niuewewin guiue gave anothei set of teaching
chants (!"#$%&' @*2*A6.#*9, pp.1Su-1S1):
1. K'neekaunissinaun, ani-mauujauh.
0ui biothei, he is leaving.
2. K'neekaunissinaun, cheeby-meekunnaung.
0ui biothei, on the !"*+ -. 0-123.
S. K'neekaunissinaun, kego binuh-kummeekaen.
0ui biothei, uo not stumble.
4. K'neekaunissinaun, k'gah ouaessiniko.
0ui biothei, you will be welcome.
When the giave was filleu in with eaith, a post with the peison's totem
engiaveu upsiue uown on it was placeu at the heau of the giave. A small
louge was built ovei the giave in which the soul¡spiiit coulu finu sheltei anu
iefuge. The fiie woulu continue foi foui uays. The women woulu biing foou
offeiings anu place them at the entiance of the sheltei.
Again, I stiess the impoitance of the iole of the Niuewewin oi
uesignateu guiue uuiing this time of gieat tiansfoimation anu jouineying on
the !"*+ -. 0-123. The !"*+ -. 0-123 is similai to the Chonyiu Baiuo of ;,*
;#$*+&. 066< 6= +,* )*&4D In the Tibetan teachings, the space between
eaith life anu the new uestination is known as a baiuo (inteimeuiate space).
Theie aie S baiuos: Chikhai baiuo-S uays, Chonyiu baiuo-14 uays, anu Siupa
baiuo-S2 uays (49 uay iebiith cycle). Theii teaching states that all the minu
content of the immeuiate past life (maybe some fiom othei past lives) will
uniavel befoie the being on this new plane of existence. The peison
(soul¡spiiit) must focus on his¡hei spiiitual centei anu let all these images
pass on by. The pioblem is the intensity of the happenings now is gieatei
than when in a physical bouy (same as 0jibway teachings of the
Temptations). A momentaiy mental lapse will leau one back into
conflict.thinking this is happening now.pulling the peison (soul¡spiiit)
uown into a lowei life foim. Thus, no libeiation fiom the kaimic wheel of
necessity this lifetime.
The guiue uesciibes the temptations along the Path so the soul¡spiiit
will absolutely stay focuseu on getting to the /"'% -. 0-123 by following the
blue globe of light anu heaiing the iushing iivei wateis. Relatives aie
joyously waiting to ieceive him¡hei. Baving walkeu the !"*+ -. 0-123, the
soul¡spiiit comes to a iiuge anu can heai the ioaiing wateis below anu
uescenus the iiuge. At this junctuie neai the iivei biiuge is the Keepei of the
Entiance who tells the soul¡spiiit to go to the left (not the /"'% -. 0-123) oi
go to the iight which goes ovei the iivei biiuge to the /"'% -. 0-123. Even at
this stage, theie aie obstacles on the biiuge to ensnail the soul¡spiiit anu
catch him off guaiu with the iesult he falls into the iaging iivei. If the
soul¡spiiit passes ovei the biiuge, he must get past the monsteis at the veiy
entiance to the /"'% -. 0-123. A peaceful minu anu heait aie neeueu at the
entiance. 0nce the monsteis aie passeu, the ielatives gieet the spiiit
joyously aftei the aiuuous tiip¡tiansfoimation. The spiiit now iecognizes all
his family anu fiienus who have pieceueu him.
Not all soul¡spiiits aie qualifieu to entei the /"'% -. 0-123. Basil
}ohnston (!"#$%&' E*2#+&/*, p.1S8): "Accoiuing to some accounts, the soul-
spiiit meeting iejection ietuins to the eaith seeking to infuse anothei being
in the physical woilu oi exist in exile outsiue the community of the /"'% -.
0-123 anu the /"'% -. *+& /$4$'#." Bailene }ohnston (@6..*:+#./ 8*6F3* +6
83&:*7 G2*&+ >&<*9 B$62#/#.&3 E#9+62' #. @13+12&3 @6.+*H+- p.Su) founu in
hei inteiviews thiee possible uestinations aftei ueath: "some suppose theii
souls to iemain in this woilu, although invisible to human eye; anu capable
themselves, of seeing anu heaiing theii fiienus, anu also assisting them, in
moments of uistiess anu uangei. 0theis uismiss fiom the moital scene the
unembouieu spiiit, anu senu it to a uistant woilu oi countiy, in which it
ieceives iewaiu oi punishment, accoiuing to the life which it has leau in its
piioi state. Those who have liveu viituously aie tianspoiteu into a place
abounuing with eveiy luxuiy, with ueei anu all othei animals of the woous
anu watei, anu wheie the eaith piouuces, in theii gieatest peifection, all its
sweetest fiuits. While, on the othei hanu, those who have violateu oi
neglecteu the uuties of this life, aie iemoveu to a baiien soil, wheie they
wanuei up anu uown, among the iocks anu moiasses, anu aie stung by gnats,
as laige as pigeons."
Again, theie aie similaiities with NBE anu ;,* ;#$*+&. 066< 6= +,*
)*&4D NBE talks of a mist, clouuy aiea that he can't go thiough. Beings of
Light come to him foi life ieview, lessons to be leaineu, seivice to ienuei anu
telling him he must go back.it is not time foi him to go thiough the mist to
the othei siue. ;,* ;#$*+&. 066< 6= +,* )*&4 tells about all the obstacles
one will meet as they go thiough the baiuos. Theie is a Light guiuing the
peison anu they neeu to keep totally focuseu on this Light.same as the
0jibway teaching. The 0jibway teach of a blue guiuing light, this may be the
same as the Binuu teaching of the Blue Peail. The consciousness aiises fiom
the base of the spine thiough the cential channel (spinal coiu aiea) to the
highest centei in the biain. The coloi emitting fiom this centei is the Blue of
Enlightenment (as seen on NRI.magnetic iesonance imaging.fiom yogis in
a meuitative state). It teaches that all the obstacles aie figments of the minu;
Buiing the foui uay vigil at the giavesiue, the Niuewewin guiue
conuucts his instiuctions. The family anu fiienus sitting aiounu the
ueceaseu's giave attest to his contiibutions to his family anu tiibe. It is an
ongoing memoiial seivice with peiious of quiet. Bowevei, the bouy¡giave is
always accompanieu by family anu fiienus uuiing this vigil. The vigil comes
to an enu aftei foui uays, concluuing that the tiansfoimation has been
completeu.physical life¡ueath, soul¡spiiit, spiiit.
The peiiou of mouining is one yeai. The spouse will caiiy the spiiit
bunule. The iitual fiom oluen times (!"#$%&' @*2*A6.#*9, p.1SS)
uesciibes the wife weaiing olu clothing, unbiaiuing hei haii. A spiiit bunule
containing the uiess taken off aftei the buiial anu items she makes anu
fiienus biing hei.this bunule was placeu ovei the left shouluei anu unuei
the iight aim. She woulun't change hei gaiment oi biaiu hei haii foi one
yeai. She'u visit the giavesiue iegulaily. These weie the outwaiu signs of
mouining. The wiuow coulu also laceiate heiself if she chose (theie is such a
scene in the movie "Bances with Wolves"...also, a Lakota tiauition). At the
enu of the yeai, the wiuow asks the ueceaseu's paients to be ieleaseu fiom
the outwaiu signs of mouining. If agieeu, in foui uays theie woulu be the
celebiation of "Restoiation of the Nouinei's Festival." 0n the fouith uay, the
wiuow woulu come foith with hei haii biaiueu anu uiesseu in gaiments fiom
the spiiit bunule. The Niuewewin membei piesiueu at this ceiemony
welcoming the wiuow anu chiluien back into louge life.
Touay, the iituals have changeu but the symbology iemains. Women
bath, wash theii haii anu change theii clothes. Boes laceiation still occui.
We must iemembei that Native Inuians of Noith Ameiica have been
influenceu by Chiistian missionaiies , the buiial iites will piobably be a
mixtuie of olu 0jibway iites anu Chiistianity.
Coiena Ryan, Client Caie Cooiuinatoi of 2-Spiiiteu People of the 1
Nations of Toionto, 0ntaiio, Canaua has shaieu by email some piesent uay
blenu of piactices. She has kinuly alloweu hei infoimation to be shaieu in
"I can let you know what I have expeiienceu within the 0jibwe
community of Nanitoulin Islanu (0ntaiio, Canaua). 0pon ueath it usually
takes S-4 uays foi the bouy to be piepaieu. This usually incluues autopsy anu
bouy piepaiation. Nany families make aiiangements to cleanse the bouy
with a ceuai wash. It is common to woik a scheuule with a family anu fiienus
to stay with the bouy until buiial. It is not uncommon foi family anu fiienus
to acknowleuge an 11 uay spiiit jouiney foi the ueceaseu. It is believeu this
is how long it takes foi a spiiit to jouiney back home. 0pon acknowleuging
the ueath, family anu fiienus aie uiiecteu not to speak that peison's name foi
a yeai but to iefei to them as 'Be oi she who caiiies tobacco.' It is believeu
by saying theii name it can confuse the spiiit anu pievent the spiiit fiom
going back to the spiiit woilu. Nany families uo piepaie a sacieu fiie as soon
as ueath has occuiieu anu close the sacieu fiie at buiial."
"It is common foi a piiest, Catholic oi whatevei faith the inuiviuual
piacticeu, to peifoim the funeial mass. Nany times a close guiue oi eluei
will also paiticipate. I am familiai with close family cutting theii haii (can be
all cut oi just a piece) to place in the bunule that goes with the ueceaseu.
0sually woouen utensils anu small peisonal items aie placeu in the bunule. I
have seen tobacco, moccasins, hanu caiveu woouen utensils, smuuge bowls,
smuuge meuicines anu ieu cloth placeu in the bunules. I have been tolu these
aie items necessaiy foi a peison to live in the spiiit woilu. I uo iemembei
being tolu that a small spiiit plate anu small items aie necessaiy as in the
spiiit woilu all is opposite of oui ieality. 0ui uay is theii night, etc. Small
heie is big theie, etc. I have seen veiy peisonal items go into the bunule as
well (like photos). I imagine these piactices aie in place to ensuie the spiiit
has all they iequiie foi the jouiney anu have no neeu to ietuin heie."
"I am familiai with memoiials as well. Buiing the fiist yeai of ueath, it
is common foi family membeis to give up something they enjoy eating oi
uoing to acknowleuge theii loss. This can be abstaining fiom beiiy baseu
foou oi uiink, a paiticulai foou that the ueceaseu enjoyeu oi by cutting one's
haii. The annual memoiial is a time to biing back whatevei you have
abstaineu fiom. The family commonly asks an eluei oi a tiauitional family
membei to open anu close the memoiial. It is also the time when family anu
close fiienus can begin to use the ueceaseu peison's name again."
"Nost banu offices will acknowleuge a ueath in the community by
having theii flag at half mast. This is a visual sign to all that a community
membei has passeu away."
"When we have a membei that passeu away that belongeu to oui
agency (2-Spiiiteu People of the 1
Nations-auueu by S. Stoich), we usually
wait 11 uays anu holu a memoiial seivice in the office foi them. We usually
have someone¡staff peison who opens with a smuuge anu piayei. The
community usually sits in ciicle foimation anu has a feathei they pass aiounu
to give eveiyone a chance to speak. It is common to have a photo of the
ueceaseu uisplayeu. We enu the talking ciicle anu seive foou that the
ueceaseu enjoyeu. The memoiial is closeu by piayei. At times the family will
senu the office a memoiial caiu anu we will copy it anu have them available.
If not, staff will cieate a caiu anu have enough copies available at the
memoiial. I uo ask peimission fiom the family if the cause of ueath was uue
to BIv¡AIBS illness to have the ueceaseu name auueu to the AIBS memoiial
in Toionto. Nost times the membeis let the agency know if they aie
inteiesteu in having theii name auueu."
"I uo iemembei one time when a Ciee membei passeu away, we weie
askeu to pioviue moccasins with holes in the bottom of the heels foi the spiiit
to use on theii jouiney."
"Nost membeis will tell us if they wish to be tianspoiteu back to theii
home community aftei ueath. Some uisclose they wish to have theii wake in
Toionto anu have the funeial in theii home community."
"Theie aie many uiffeient ways a community acknowleuges ueath."
(this enus Coiena Ryan's fiist hanu infoimation).
The issue of buiying the ueceaseu in the ancestial 0jibway giounu is an
impoitant one. Bailene }ohnston, BA, LLB, LLN in hei eloquent papei,
I@6..*:+#./ 8*6F3* +6 83&:*7 G2*&+ >&<*9 B$62#/#.&3 E#9+62' #. @13+12&3
@6.+*H+J speaks to this issue. The uisconnect fiom the lanu began with the
goveinment plan foi colonization anu the missionaiies' plans foi conveision
anu euucation. This "civilization" plan involveu a change fiom the hunting,
fishing, ioaming lifestyle to a seuentaiy agiicultuial lifestyle. The Inuians'
lanus weie being taken ovei by the goveinment anu Inuians pusheu into
ieseives. "When faceu with piessuie to ielocate, the Chippewas (anothei
name foi 0jibway.comment by S. Stoich) uemonstiateu a stiong attachment
not only to theii ieseives but to the giaves of theii ancestois." (Bailene
"Anishnaabeg (0jibway) attachment to lanus can be ielateu to a
coiiesponuing attachment to the giaves of ancestois. Because the Living aie
obligeu to caie foi the Beau, pioximity to family buiial giounus is extiemely
impoitant. }ust as Cieation Stoiy ties people to place, so theie is a connective
foice in buiial tiauitions. They tell us much about the Anishnaabeg
unueistanuing of human beings, theii bouies anu souls, anu theii connection
to lanus anu theii ancestois, both human anu othei than human." (Bailene
The eaily }esuit missionaiies leaineu that the 0jibway uiu not believe
in a unitaiy soul as they uiu. This was eviuent by the }esuits' unueistanuing
of the buiial iites. Foi the 0jibway theie is a spiiitual essence that tiavels to
the /"'% -. 0-123.Esken.anu a spiiitual essence of the bones.Atisken.
Fathei Biebeuf stateu that the Esken uepaiteu fiom the bouy at ueath but
iemaineu in the cemeteiy until the Feast of the Beau. The Atisken was buiieu
with the bouy anu became known as "souls of bones." (Inteiestingly, in ;,*
K/'F+#&. 066< 6= +,* )*&4 the soul¡spiiit uiviues into 1u sections upon the
ueath of the physical bouy). Bailene }ohnston wiites (p.28), "The belief that a
spiiitual essence iemains bounu to the bouy aftei ueath was shaieu with me
by Elueis uuiing an 8-uay vigil which we kept on an unceueu buiial giounu
within the city limits of 0wen Sounu back in 1992. The vigil iesulteu in
feueial iecognition of the buiial giounu's ieseive status unuei Tieaty No. 82.
Nany Euio-Canauians miss the ieuunuancy in the expiession 'sacieu Inuian
buiial giounu.' Bow coulu buiial giounus not be sacieu if they contain the
Bouy-Souls of one's ancestois." (S.Stoich founu that the uays of vigil vaiieu-
4,8,9,11 uays.uepenuing upon a paiticulai iegion).
As Stateu pieviously, the giavesite hau a post with the peison's totem
upsiue uown anu possibly othei caiving telling of his biave ueeus in life. The
giave post's name is "%(&%"*$#)1'. "The impoit of the thought of this teim is
given by the expiession ueath-stick. It is ueiiveu fiom the veib "%($%(, to
ieveise, meaning that the totem of the peison inteiieu is ieveiseu. As this
totem is the symbol of the peison, the iueogiaphic impoit is, that the
ueceaseu has been ietuineu to the eaith." (Bailene }ohnston, p.S1)
The issue of pain on all levels in the 0jibway cultuie has been exploieu
in uepth by Biana Blackwell, RN, PhB in hei aiticle, "Cancei Pain: voices of
the 0jibway People." This aiticle was publisheu in the L612.&3 6= 8&#. &.4
M'AF+6A 5&.&/*A*.+- N6?D OPPQ. This authoi stiesseu the impoitance of
unueistanuing the peiception of the woiu cancei anu pain. "The 0jibway
paiticipants piesenteu theii beliefs anu peiceptions about cancei insepaiable
fiom the pain of cancei, anu, in tuin, the pain of cancei is insepaiable fiom
the pain of life" (pp.4S8-4S9).
When theii stoiies aie exploieu, tales of excessive abuses weie
iuentifieu.physical anu sexual abuse being pait of theii expeiience. Family
systems suffeiing fiom geneiations of auuictions exist.alcohol, uiugs, foou,
sex, gambling etc. Thus, the piofessional caiegivei must exploie "pain" on
the physical, emotional, social, mental anu spiiitual levels. This
oveiwhelming "pain" biings feelings of helplessness, hopelessness anu
loss.a multiuimensional iesponse mouel is neeueu to auuiess these pains
of the living, anu those uniesolveu, that aiise on the ueath beu.
In the Elisabeth Kublei-Ross, NB book !. )*&+, &.4 )'#./, she
uesciibes this mouel of auuiessing pain. Touay, the hospice-palliative caie
mouel is heavily weighteu in the physical pain, anu then, auuiessing that with
naicotic mixtuies. 0nfoitunately, the ueep seateu emotional scaiiing fiom
long stanuing physical abuse will not be ielieveu with moiphine.
Psychological seivices auuiessing these emotional pains is most impoitant to
help the uying peison uie with a peaceful minu anu heait.
Theie aie many actions the hospice-palliative caie nuise¡team can take
to biing comfoit anu balance to the patient. Robeit Chi-Noouin (Stiong
Winu) Palmei, NB (0jibway) anu Naiianne Palmei give many wonueiful
suggestions which auuiess the multi-facets of pain¡uistiess of the uying
patient.Chaptei 14 "0jibwe Beliefs anu Rituals in Enu of Life Caie" in the
book B ;#A* =62 >#9+*.#./ &.4 @&2#./ by Chiistina Pulchalski. Theii
suggestions aie the following:
1. Piayei anu meuitation- with the buining of sweetgiass, ceuai, oi
sage, of which, the smoke caiiies the piayeis to 6$*7+& 8"'$*-1-the
uieat 0nknown, the uieat Nysteiy.
2. Tobacco offeiings- a most impoitant link between the mateiial anu
spiiitual woilu. It can be buineu, placeu upon Nothei Eaith, oi
tosseu into the winu.
S. Spiiit Plate- small poitions of what is to be eaten aie put on this
plate anu biought outsiue with piayei anu thanks to animals anu
plants. This might be a veiy special iitual to the uying 0jibwe who is
eating minimally oi nothing but still able to paiticipate with piayei
anu giatituue foi the sustenance of otheis.
4. Smuuging- biinging the smoke to bouy aieas the patient uesiies foi
a. Sage- the smoke uecieases negativity.
b. Ceuai- the smoke invites positive eneigy anu balancing.
c. Sweetgiass- the smoke piomotes "the sweetness of life."
S. Bealing Stones
6. Naming Ceiemony
7. Pipe Ceiemony
9. Naking anu using a Neuicine Wheel
1u. Sweat Louge Ceiemony- the uying peison piobably woulun't be
able to be physically theie, but the leauei anu paiticipants conuuct
ceiemony foi the healing of his pains anu the gentle ciossing into
the /"'% -. 0-123.
Bi. Robeit Chi-Noouin Palmei tells of an action (p.22S)that speaks to my
heait."Peifoiming iitual buining of a feai bunule (tobacco anu sage
wiappeu in wiitten conceins) helps ease psychological uistiess, incieasing
acceptance anu peacefulness, benefiting both the caiegivei anu iecipient." Be
ieminus us that the patient who is unconscious oi in a coma can have
consequences fiom oui woius anu actions. Again, this acknowleuges that the
heaiing nevei leaves the peison-soul¡spiiit, no mattei what state of
consciousness he is in oi plane he is on.
If I, the authoi, weie the hospice-palliative caie visiting nuise, I woulu
ask the patient if we coulu buin tobacco anu smuuge with ceuai at the
beginning of my caie. Physical caie anu pain assessment aie impoitant
because the patient must be physically comfoitable in oiuei to ueal with
psychosocial anu spiiitual issues. If the bouy is in a lot of pain, that is all the
minu can focus on. It takes a minu well tiaineu in meuitation to iefocus when
in this pain state. Ny favoiite statement to asceitain the psycho-spiiitual
status is, "I know you have pain in youi iight leg anu hip, but tell me about
youi innei feelings." This sepaiates the physical bouy status fiom othei
states of being. If emotional¡spiiitual pains aie uiscloseu, I woulu offei to
help make a feai bunule to buin anu offei up to 6$*7+& 8"'$*-1. Seeking
moie infoimation, I ask, "Tell me what you think happens to youi soul¡spiiit
uuiing active uying anu aftei ueath." This might be the time to ieau
!"#$%"&'%$($#&)$' (The Ritual of the Beau) togethei. I woulu listen caiefully
anu ask if he has connecteu with the Niuewewin foi guiuance uuiing this
time. If not, "Woulu you like me to make contact foi you, iequesting a
Niuewewin guiue to visit with you."
Ny jouiney in the stuuy of !"#$%"&'%$($#&)$', The Ritual of the Beau,
has maue me appieciate its gieat ielevance foi the 0jibway tiibe in
ieclaiming this impoitant iitual of its cultuie. As with othei Thantology
stuuies.Egyptian, Tibetan, Nayan, }ewish anu Chiistian Books of the
Beau.this iitual is complete in its' teaching by euucating the peison about
the uying piocess¡states of tiansfoimation anu guiuing him to the /"'% -.
0-123. The necessity of living an ethical life anu the piinciples to piactice aie
cleaily stateu anu, the consequences, if not. The obstacles aie piesenteu so
the soul¡spiiit can focus on seeing the blue light above him, heaiing the voice
of the Niuewewin guiue, anu the sounu of the ioaiing wateis leauing to the
biiuge to be ciosseu. The hospice-palliative caie nuise¡team membei,
euucateu in this iitual, can be a comfoiting anu caiing suppoit peison in this
In closing, it is my hope that 0jibwe hospice-palliative caie iegisteieu
nuises with the keen inteiest of functioning as a guiue to the uying woulu
seek to be inviteu into the Niuewewin uianu Neuicine Society.
A veiy special Thank You to my ueai fiienu Betty Stein who maue
connections foi me into the Royal 0ntaiio Nuseum in Toionto anu the
Toionto Palliative Caie Netwoik.
Susan C. Stoich, RN, NA (Keepei of Souls)
0xnaiu, Califoinia u1¡26¡2u11
1. Aithui B. anu NcPeek, ueoige ;,* G2#*?#./ R.4#&.7 B. !"#$%*
K34*2 M,&2*9 E#9 )#9:6?*2' 6= E*3F &.4 E6F* Inuian Life Books
Winnipeg, Nanitoba c1988
2. Bensmoie, F. @,#FF*%& @19+6A9 St. Paul: Ninnesota Bistoiical
Society Piess c1979
S. Iiwin, Lee (euitoi) N&+#?* BA*2#:&. MF#2#+1&3#+'7 B @2#+#:&3
S*&4*2 0niveisity of Nebiaska Piess Lincoln, Nebiaska c2uuu
pp.14S-1S6 Chaptei by Theiesa S. Smith "The Chuich of the
Immaculate Conception: Intiacultuial anu Iuentity Among the
Anishnaabeg of Nanitoulin Islanu"
4. }ohnston, Basil B.
a. E6.612 56+,*2 K&2+, Bison Books 0niveisity of Nebiaska
Piess, Lincoln anu Lonuon c2uuS
b. !"#$%&' @*2*A6.#*9 Bison Books 0niveisity of Nebiaska
Piess Lincoln anu Lonuon c1982
c. !"#$%&' E*2#+&/* c1976 by NcClellanu anu Stewait, Bison
Book Euition 0niveisity of Nebiaska Lincoln anu Lonuon
u. !"#$%&' ;&3*9 Bison Books 0niveisity of Nebiaska Piess
Lincoln anu Lonuon c1978
e. ;,* 5&.#+619 Ninnesota Bistoiical Society Piess St. Paul,
S. Neibuin, Kent @&3A M122*.4*27 V&3<#./ +,* E&24 S6&4 6=
W62/#?*.*99 New Woilu Libiaiy 14 Pamaion Way Novato, CA
6. !"#$%* ;*H+9 vol. v11-Pait 1 collecteu by William }ones Euiteu by
Tiuman Nichelson E.}. Biill, Ltu. Publisheis anu Piinteis Leyuen
c1917 u.E. Stecheit Co. New Yoik Agents
7. Peacock, Thomas anu Wisuii, Nailene ;,* W612 E#339 6= >#=*7
!"#$%* V#946A Afton Bistoiical Society Piess Afton, NN c2uu6
8. Pulchalski, Chiistina B ;#A* =62 M,&2#./ &.4 @&2#./7 MF#2#+1&3#+'
&.4 +,* @&2* 6= +,* @,26.#:&33' R33 &.4 )'#./ 0xfoiu 0niveisity
Piess New Yoik c2uu6 pp.21S-22S "0jibwe Beliefs anu Rituals in
the Enu -of-Life Caie"
9. Rauin, Paul "Religion of the Noith Ameiican Inuians" L612.&3 6=
W63<362*, XXv11, pp. SSS-S7S c1914
1u. Stoich, Susan C. )'#./ R.+6 W2**46A7 B N129*X9 E&.4$66< +6
@6.9:#619 )'#./ 1998 2S14 Banube Way 0xnaiu, CA 9SuS6
11. vennum, Thomas
a. L19+ ;66 51:, R.4#&.7 0#33 0&<*2 M+&3%&2+ #. & W&4#./
@13+12* }ust Too Nuch Inuian Piess LaPointe, Wisconsin
b. ;,* !"#$%* R.4#&. )&.:* )21A Ninnesota Bistoiical Piess
St. Paul, NN c2uu9
1. Baikwell, Biana, RN, PhB "Cancei Pain: voices of the 0jibway
People" 9-1:'"2 -. !"$' "'% 0;<=*-< 8"'"#&<&'* vol.Su, No.
S Nov. 2uuS pp.4S4-464
2. }ohnston, Bailene, BA, LLB, LLN "Connecting People to Place:
uieat lakes Aboiiginal Bistoiy in Cultuial Context" Piepaieu
foi the Ippeiwash Commission of Inquiiy (available by web
S. Tuiton, Cheiyl L., RN, PhB "Spiiitual Neeus of Bospitalizeu
0jibwe People" 8$7+$#"' >1:3& Nay 199S
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