top of page

elder services

the maskihkiy team places great value in those cultural and linguistic knowledge holders that keep our traditional ways of knowing, being, and doing alive. these kihtehayak are our mentors, and their teachings provide the foundation for the work we do at maskihkiy.

elder services are currently provided through maskihkiy mondays. this monthly online series offers a 2-hour zoom session where one of our kihtehayah shares traditional teachings that support personal, familial, and community wellness. maskihkiy mondays are open to public registration, and congruent with traditional protocols, are pay-what-you-can with 100% of donations going directly to the kihtehayah sharing in the current session. attendees are not required to donate to participate. participants are also encouraged to make an offering of tobacco (or other offering appropriate to your teachings) to the land where they are located in reciprocity for the teachings provided.

 information on how to connect will be sent to registrants in an email once you've signed up.

congruent with traditional protocols, maskihkiy mondays are pay-what-you-can with 100% of offerings going directly to the kihtehayah sharing in the current session. sessions are otherwise unfunded. hay hay & chi miigwetch to our kihtehayak for sharing out of generosity & love for our communities.


past maskihkiy mondays

During our fourth maskihkiy monday, Nelda will share her personal story of surviving the termination era, and her subsequent journey through trauma and recovery. Nelda's story of determination and survivance after her reservation was terminated in 1954 demonstrates how our tribal ways offer wisdom and wellness as we bring healing to ourselves, our families, and our communities. Nelda’s story teaches us how we can take the difficulties and challenges put in our life’s path and transform them into medicine. All are welcome.

When: May 10, 5pm PST - 6pm MST - 7pm CST - 8pm EST

Where: Online (info provided upon registration)

Azhadaaziikowe (the way the clouds are moving) Nelda Kapishkowit Goodman is from the Menominee Indian Reservation of Wisconsin on her father’s side. Nelda’s mother was an enrolled member of the Potawatomi Tribe of Wisconsin. Nelda’s father was from the Bear Clan, and her mother was from the Wolf Clan. Nelda raised 10 children, and has been married for 40 years to her Ojibwe husband from the White Earth Reservation in Minnesota. Nelda has 17 grandchildren and 21 great grandchildren with one on the way this month! Nelda attended the University of Minnesota from 1986 to 1991, majoring in American Indian studies with an emphasis on the Ojibwe language. Nelda began her career as an Indian Child Welfare advocate. She then worked on her reservation as a research assistant for the Native American Indian Graves and  Repatriation Act. From there, she moved to Minneapolis and went on to work in various social service agencies for over 20 years. Nelda is currently the Elder in residence at the American Indian Family Centre in St. Paul, Minnesota.

In our third maskihkiy monday, Wiisug will share teachings of "Muk kun dwe," how the bear lives its life. Wiisug will discuss the bears' earthen linkages to self care, and its parallels to the human spirit as related to The Way of Our People.

When: April 12, 5pm PST - 6pm MST - 7pm CST - 8pm EST

Where: Online (info provided upon registration)

Wiisug is author of The Way of Our People: Weekly Inspiration for American Indians in Recovery from Alcoholism

Screen Shot 2021-04-02 at 2.28.31 PM.png

Wiisug (medicine root) Donald Richard Wright Sr. is a member of the Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe, and belongs to the Bear Clan and Band of Pillagers.  He was born at the Indian Health Services hospital at Cass lake, Minnesota in 1949, to Zhagiiwegabo (stands alone or walks alone) and Mindimoyenikwe (she holds things together). Richard was raised on an island on the lake called Onigum by grandparents that shared the last linkages to the life of hunting and gathering camps, living in tar paper shacks. Donald goes by "Richard" because the spirit who visited the namer (wa'a) was called Richard, or in Ojibwe, was called Wiisug.  The spirit said the Wiisug is a medicine used daily by all people.  It is the pepper on our tables.  Yet the Wiisug is a medicine that helps to clean the body.  The spirit noted that Richard was a healer of bad spirits, referring to the work he does to help our people heal from drug and alcohol abuse.  Richard has been working treating addiction since 1986.  He started healing addiction by getting off of alcohol himself, and he remains alcohol-free to this day -- setting an example for those he helps.  Richard has a second name of Ahndeg, which means "Crow".  This name came to him as a new born baby.  Richard is married to Evelyn Anne Wright Krueger, a German immigrant, and they have together eleven children, eighteen grandchildren and three great grand children.


During our second maskihkiy monday, Awanibiisaagaabawigiizhigook will share plant medicine teachings for self-care, including recipes for sacred teas and baths that can be used for cleansing, healing, and overall wellness. Teachings will include protocols for maintaining good relations with our plant relatives. All are welcome.

When: March 15, 5pm PST - 6pm MST - 7pm CST - 8pm EST

Where: Online (info provided upon registration)


Awanibiisaagaabawigiizhigook (Cedar standing in the mist) Donna LaChapelle is an Ojibwe-Dakota woman. She is an enrolled member of the White Earth Nation.  Donna's passion is to teach and share all that she has learned from her Elders through a cultural lens that encompasses history, ceremony, song and language. The Elders gave Donna a foundation to build on her life experience and a foundation that is rich in spirit and the value of ancestral knowledge. Donna's education has been life-long in the study of the Healing Arts and American Indian Studies at the University of Minnesota. Donna is a Faculty member for the Center for Mind and Body Medicine, Washington D.C. and carries a Certificate in Aboriginal Focused Orientated Therapy.  Donna is a UMICAD Level 1 Addiction Counselor and currently works at the Native American Community Clinic in Minneapolis as the Elder in Residence offering Spiritual care to the community. Her contact information is: cell 612 423-1528.


In our first maskihkiy monday, Maria will share an old Anishinaabe teaching called the Aanikobijigan (The String of Lives). The String of Lives that ties us together is the ancestral wisdom, knowledge and resiliency of our ancestors that is encoded in our DNA and is passed down through the luminous Aanikobijigan. Through the Aanikobijigan we are able to heal trauma imprints and tap into the collective cultural wisdom of our ancestors . Our DNA memory wakes up when we begin our healing journey and connects us to our cultural practices. Through healing we can change the structure of our DNA, access the wisdom from the trauma, and begin our journey back to wellbeing. Time is collapsed, healing the past and future within the present moment.

When: February 15, 5pm PST - 6pm MST - 7pm CST - 8pm EST

Where: Online (info provided upon registration)

NOTE: This session provides the foundational teachings for a forthcoming spirit doll making workshop that will be facilitated by Maria in spring 2021. Attendees do not need to attend both sessions, but those interested in making a spirit doll are encouraged to attend this workshop on Aanikobijigan.

Boodaashi Aki Kwe Maria Morin McCoy belongs to the Makwa clan. Her family comes from Mikinaak Wajiwing indoonjibaa (the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa). Maria has 4 adult children and 8 grandchildren, and has worked at the American Indian Family Center in St. Paul Minnesota since 2006. Part of Maria's work is supporting parents and caregivers in traditional parenting and cultural lifewarys. Caregivers examine the parts of themselves that may not have received some foundational pieces such as belonging, love, safety/security, nurturing, trust, bonding/attachment, autonomy and identity as well as infant/childhood ceremonies and teachings. Families begin gently reparenting and relearning how to give those core pieces back to themselves so they can give those gifts to their children and descendants. Caregivers learn to value themselves as sacred by practicing new behaviors and incorporating culture/ceremony as part of their healing journey, while being entrusted with the responsibility of raising our most sacred gifts our beloved children so they can reach their fullest potential. Maria also provides Life Coaching, Reiki/Chakra balancing and workshop trainings using creative expression, and traditional life way teachings/cultural practices to heal from trauma. Maria practices healing ceremonies and other cultural practices, and harvests traditional medicines for community members.

bottom of page