Women’s Medicine Wheel teachings at Red River College

By Samantha Don

Elder Mae Louise Campbell opens the door to an empty room in the Red River College (RRC) Exchange District campus. No one has shown up to her teaching on the Women’s Medicine Wheel.

“These teachings are crucial because of what has happened historically,” said Campbell, an advocate in Indigenous forms of women’s healing. “But no one decided to show up today.”

Elder Mae Louise Campbell, 84, sits in the Indigenous Support Centre at the Red River College Exchange District campus after no on showed up to her teaching on March 19, 2018. / SAMANTHA DON

Campbell has held teaching sessions at RRC, with little to no attendance, to teach female staff and students about the Women’s Medicine Wheel and how it can create control and harmony in their lives.

“These teachings are all about empowering oneself,” said Campbell. “It’s about gaining control of your senses and yourself.”

With a high Indigenous population in the community, Rhonda Klippenstein, the Indigenous centre coordinator at the RRC Notre Dame campus, believes that it is important for students and staff to experience traditional learning from an Indigenous perspective.

“These teachings can be applied in many ways in a person’s life,” said Klippenstein. “For people who attend, it provides a different perspective that they are not normally exposed to.”

These teachings are broken down into the four sections of the Medicine Wheel that represent: Body, Mind, Emotion and Soul.

Elder Mae Louise Campbell, 84, wears her Medicine Wheel earrings in the Indigenous Student Support Centre in honor of the teachings on March 19, 2018. / SAMANTHA DON

“I’ve had people cry during a teaching,” said Campbell. “Because the realisation is so strong, it’s like nothing they’ve ever heard before.”

It shows the correlation and the fact that each of these areas are equally important within the self. Each of these focuses need to be equal in oneself in order for the being to feel harmony and their place in the universe.

“It’s time for women to rise up and find their place in the universe,” said Campbell.