For those wishing to visit the Place of Reflection in person, here are some suggested guidelines:
- Anyone is welcome; the Place of Reflection is open to all who wish to visit.
- Approach the space with respect and care.
- As per the direction of the Elders, you may walk into the circle from any direction.
- You may leave offerings (tobacco, water, medicine plants) at the centre stone. Please do not leave large items that can easily blow away.
- You may bring stones from your territory or home representing your lost loved one and place them anywhere around the inner or outer circle.
- Please do not remove stones.
- Please let others know about this site.
The Water Protocol at the Place of Reflection
The water protocol was given when the stones were placed. Lyndon Tootoosis explained the Place of Reflection to Elders to gain advice about how to do the placement of the stone circle and how to honour them.
Water is life-giving to all humanity. In many Indigenous traditions, when a loved one passes to the spirit world there are ceremonies done, including feasts. Songs and prayers accompany the lost loved one as they begin their spiritual journey. The family and community come together to grieve and support one another.
Today, we have loved ones who have been lost and there is no resolution; we do not know where they are or whether they are alive or have passed. These loved ones are wandering. The Elders shared that this is especially painful for families and communities. Long ago, loved ones may have been lost but it would have been in the course of their livelihood, such as while hunting, trapping, fishing or travelling. The situation of MMIWG2S+ is much different.
The water is given at the stone medicine wheel in honour of those who have been lost through sudden violence, and those who are still missing. The water connects all of us on this land – Mother Earth. By offering water we provide sustenance and relief for their spirits, and a way for families and communities to remember them and keep hope alive that they will be found, or that they will find rest.
Visitors can also put tobacco or other medicines, such as sage, sweetgrass, cedar as an offering, but please know, it is not necessary to put anything down. It is appropriate to simply visit and spend time in the stone circle among the ancient stones who hold the memory of our missing and murdered loved ones and all those who have been lost. We have all lost loved ones, we have all experienced loss in some form, and this is something that connects us all as humans on this Mother Earth.
We acknowledge that the land on which we gather, and where the RCMP Heritage Centre is located is Treaty 4 territory, which is the traditional territory of the Anihšinābēk, Nêhiyawak, Dakota, Lakota, and Nakota Peoples, and the original home of the Métis Nation. We recognize and acknowledge their culture and contributions.