Return to First Medicines Gathering 2023

Theme: We are the Medicine

The Return to First Medicines Gathering began in 2012 to share cultural teachings that cultivate wellness in body mind and spirit. This year’s gathering was planned by a leadership council of 7 grandmothers and 7 youth and coordinated by Suzanne Nash at Indigenous Peoples Task Force.

Gathering Schedule

DAY 1:  Morning Session                            

8:00-8:45Breakfast – providedWaconia
8:45-8-55Opening Welcome: Mdewankanton Sioux Community Cyndy Milda Waconia 
9:00-9:15Opening ceremony: 
Youth Lead (Tobacco Ceremony)
Nathan Berglund
Jennifer Cortes
9:15-9:30IntroSharon Day
Suzanne Nash
9:30-10:00Ice BreakerNicole SuttonWaconia
10:00-11:00Good Mind (Ka’nikonhri’:io) Through Grief Dr. Terry MarescaWaconia 
11:15-12:10Grandmother Traditional Healer
“Heal the Healer”
Maestra Rita Navarrete

DAY 1: Afternoon Session    

Time Location
12:15-1:00Lunch – providedWaconia 

DAY 1: Afternoon Breakout Sessions

TimeBreakout 1
Rm: Waconia 5
Breakout 2
Rm: Waconia 6
Breakout 3
Rm: Owatonna
1:00-2:00Soil Health to Human Health

Dr. Kaldis Shetty  

Introduction to Miro-greens

Nathan Berglund
Nicole Christian 

Mike Neumann

Tradition Not Addiction

Youth lead workshop about vaping, commercial tobacco & Alcohol, drugs use.  It’s Not our way.

Kailani Lawrence
Nalia Segura
Michael Perez
2:15-3:15Empowering Men

Empowering men to reconnect with traditional roles and teachings.

Sarah Anderson

Self-Healing work through community connection and traditional medicine sharing.

Victoria Johnson
Grief & Healing:
Mending Broken Hearts

Payton Counts 
Suzanne Nash

1:00-5:00Energy Healing Individual Sessions
Sign up at front desk
Gio Cerise
Renee Butters

DAY 1: Evening Session

5:00-7:00Dinner on your own
7:00 – 8:00

Beadwork 101

Barter & Trade
Jennifer Cortes
Janet Sanchez


DAY 2:  Morning Session  

7:00Sunrise CeremonyMaria McCoyOutside
8:00- 9:00Breakfast – provided Waconia
Cherokee foods, ecological knowledge, and health 
Dr. Melissa LewisWaconia 
10:00-11:00Walking for the Water
Why it is important
Sharon M DayWaconia 

DAY 2: Afternoon Session    

11:00-12:00Fishbowl Ceremony
Linda Eaglespeaker
Donna LaChapelle
12:00-12:30National Indigenous Youth Fashion Show
Culture is Prevention
Co-Created by Ikidowin and Friends Council 
12:30-1:00Lunch – provided Waconia 
1:00-2:00Putting it all together  
Reflections on the Seven Grandfather Teachings

Break out rooms
Love: Winona 1  
Wisdom: Winona 2 
Respect: Chaska 1 
Honesty: Chaska 2 
Humility: Waconia
Trust: Waconia 5 
Courage: Waconia 6 

Drum Circle