Hi everybody. Memashkegaabowek ndizhinikaaz. Adik ndoodem. Opwaaganisiniing niindonjiba. Niibing niindonji. My Spirit name is Standing Strong. That’s one of them, I have two. My clan is Caribou and I’m a member of the Red Rock Indian Band. I live here on this land that I call Niibing so I respectfully acknowledge this sacred land known to me as Niibing which is “it is summer” on the western shores of Ktichigaming (the great lake), the traditional homelands of the Anishinaabeg. It is between Animikii-Wiikwedong (Thunder Bay), the traditional homelands of Fort William First Nation, and Gichi Onigaming (Portage) the traditional homelands of Grand Portage Band of Lake Superior Chippewa. I am in relationship with this land which loves me, protects me, sustains me, entertains me, teaches me, and so much more. I could go on for an hour about the land itself, how it cares for me.

We’ve been doing the medicine wheel teachings. Today it’s about the north. They’re all my favourite but I’d say the north is definitely my favourite. They’re all my favourite. And to be clear, that this is my understanding only. So, every single individual would have their own understanding, every community, every family, every region. This is only what I have absorbed as my understanding.

So now we’re going to talk about an animal in the North. The one we’re going to talk about today is ma’iingan – (mah-iing-gun) or Wolf. Ma’iingan was definitely one of my first guides, and I do actually have a chapter in my book that I would like to read that talks about my experiences with waabi-ma’iingan or grey wolf.

“Chapter 12 – Grey Wolf Comes Into My Life
I started seeing her around the same time that I was waking up. She appeared to me three times before I understood what the signifi¬cance of the sightings were.
The first time that I saw her was on the short regional road between Highway 129 just past Chapleau on my way to the Sultan logging road, on one of my many trips between Thunder Bay and Sudbury which is about a 12-hour ride. She was on the left side of the road, I was driving alone, it was a snowy day and she watched me go by. Later I would realize that she was confirming that I was on the right path. I will be providing more about this type of messaging in my next book.
The next time I saw her was on the corner of Junot and John Street in Thunder Bay and again I was driving alone. It was at night and I saw her in my rear-view mirror. When I tried to look back to catch a glimpse of her, she was gone.
Then the final time I saw her was just past the border before heading up Mount Josephine in Minnesota, United States. I was a passenger in my brother’s vehicle and my brother was driving me to South Padre Island, Texas to see our mother and her husband on December 24, 2006. This was during the Christmas holidays. She was magnificent.
She was standing on the left side of the highway and she was point¬ing me towards Texas. Her tail was up, her head was up, and she was standing there so proudly. It is difficult to express in words what I felt at that moment but somehow, I knew she was about to change my life and I was open to it.”

I wanted to share that waabi-ma’iingan is definitely one of my animal spirit guides.
So, January 22nd, 2007, Elder Albert Mendamin of Shoal Lake #39, informed me after a ceremony that I was a Lodge Keeper and that waabi-ma’iingan or grey wolf was one of my guides. I have a very special place in my heart for ma’iingan.

The season, of course, is winter. We would say biiboon – (bee-boon), “it is winter”. We know that the Earth is resting. We are resting. It is quiet time. I was expressing earlier how it sounds differently out in nature when there is snow on the ground.

The Earth element that we would be talking about for this one would be wind or air, and you would say noodin – (noo-din). The air we need to breathe is the life-giving force that we cannot see. We need air.

The time of day, now we’re pointing to the North, it is night, it is dark. Time of rest. We could say dibikad – (dih-bih-cut) which is “it is night” or “it is dark”. The stars are represented in the northern section of the medicine wheel. They mirror what is below and represent those that have gone before. They also represent ways of understanding and navigating at night using constellations. Now I do not know anything about constellations except maybe the big dipper and the little dipper. But people used to travel knowing the constellations. They knew that by following a certain constellation in a certain direction they would get to where they wanted to go. I envy people that have that knowledge and have those gifts.

Finally, what we are going to talk about is the Elder stage. You would say gichi-aya’aa – (gichih-yah-ah). This is the stage of life that I am in now as an Elder. I will be turning 65 in July, I’m pretty happy about that. I love being an Elder. I always have. I love being a grandmother. I know that in my head, I looked differently than I looked outwardly, physically. I have realized that I am the Elder or the person that I’ve always been searching for, and I have become that person. I’m really grateful for that, and all the wonderful things that you get to do as an Elder. It’s almost like reverting back to childhood because we have a lot of freedom. You have a lot of freedom being an Elder, there’s not so many expectations on you. So, it’s wonderful!

Cindy Crowe – Standing Strong
Caribou Clan, Red Rock Indian Band

Cindy Crowe is a Lodge Keeper. She holds physical space as well as spiritual space for people. Cindy provides assistance to people with their identities and their life purpose. She also offers tourism opportunities with Blue Sky Community Healing Centre.


Indigenous Engagement and Training

Wake the Warrior Series

This program has been popular among communities looking to support individuals in their personal and career growth. Level 1 of the program is all about building life skills. This past month we’ve had the chance to deliver this week of workshops in:

  • Pic River
  • Grassy Narrows
  • Onigaming First Nation


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Sims Screenings

With Operation Innovation 2.0, the team has continued to travel to communities to screen potential candidates for heavy equipment training! We’ve held screenings at:

  • The ORIGIN Office
  • DSSAB Thunder Bay
  • Fort William First Nation
  • Long Lake First Nation
  • Seine River First Nation

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Personality Dimensions with TBT Engineering

We had an awesome few days with the team at TBT Engineering! As a part of their Team Building week, Charmaine facilitated a PD workshop to give everyone the opportunity to learn more about their unique skills and abilities.

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Neeganii-Iishawin Gathering

Alongside communities, entrepreneurs, economic development leaders, and other exhibitors we had an exciting few days filled with conversations about creating change and supporting First Nations at the event tradeshow.

RES 2024

RES 2024 was a blast! The team had a successful week in Vegas, meeting other organizations and business leaders all working towards economic development with Indigenous nations across North America.

Work Readiness with Nokiiwin Tribal Council

One of our local workshops this month was with Nokiiwin Tribal Council. This workshop focused on professional development and communication in the workplace.

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ImmersiveLink Updates

GardaWorld Security Guard Experience

As part of Operation Innovation, we have partnered with GardaWorld as one of our employer and training partners. This new career assessment will highlight the role of a security guard! The IL team will be kicking off production in the upcoming weeks.  

ImmersiveLink Generation 3

The VR department is currently developing our third version of our technology, built from scratch to be a multiplatform solution, enhance efficiency and reduce weight for our clients, while also improving the workflow and deployment speed for VR content updates across current and future projects. We look forward to bringing the benefits of this significant improvement to our current clients and ongoing projects in the coming weeks.

Honeywell VR Assessment

As part of our collaboration with employer partners, the VR department is working on recreating the process of electrical meter installation, integrating hazard recognition and step-by-step meter replacement procedures. We have taken special care to ensure that the experience feels and looks very close to reality, incorporating PBR material handling tools, techniques such as retopology of photogrammetry models, and tools like Substance Painter into the workflow.

Skills Ontario: Updates for accessibility in English and French

As part of our efforts to make our solutions more inclusive, we have implemented a solution to support subtitles within our 360 video experiences and “a day in the life of” scenarios. This allows us to support multiple languages and enables those with reduced hearing capabilities to access the narratives within our content.

The Sharing Circle with Melissa Hardy-Giles


Harnessing Technology to Capture Indigenous Stories and Traditions

February 29, 2024

Indigenous nations are rich in culture and in history. When it comes to preservation of this knowledge, understanding how to protect Indigenous heritage and capturing it in its true form is extremely important. Read more on the opportunities that new technology offers.

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Community Spotlight

Netmizaaggamig Nishnaabeg

This month we are excited to have the opportunity to facilitate Level One of Wake the Warrior in Pic Mobert First Nation. We will be returning the week of April 8th so keep an eye on registration details!

About Pic Mobert:
Netmizaaggamig Nishnaabeg (Pic Mobert First Nation) is a proud Ojibwe community with two land bases, Pic Mobert South and Pic Mobert North, which lie off Highway 17 approximately 55 km east of Marathon, Ontario, along the beautiful eastern shores of White Lake.

Stay up to date with all activities happening in Pic Mobert on their Facebook page!

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Service Highlight

Wake the Warrior

This program is designed to take individuals through a journey of self-discovery and career exploration. Regardless of the stage they are at, participants will leave with a solid foundation of skills to bring into their job search and future career. Through this three week program, participants will advance through 3 levels that act as the building blocks for each stage of career preparation.

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