Grandmother Francine is anishinabe, traditional knowledge keeper and medicine woman, she has been working for many years within the school system guiding & supporting teachers and staff members with the First Nation, Metis and Inuit curriculum, her teachings are given from kindergarten to university students. Traditional keynote speaker, she is also a Water Walker raising awareness about the challenges and the importance of Water.
In 2018, she was invited to speak at the United Nation Pre-Session in Geneva, Switzerland representing the Anishinabe Grandmothers’ Water Walkers defending our human rights to Clean Water.
In 2016, she represented the International Council of the Grandmothers of the Moondance at the International Astronautical Congress in Guadalajara, Mexico to speak on behalf of the Water and to meet with Nasa and the United Nation.
In 2015 she created a program for women and her project won the Therese Casgrain Equality Award.
In 2013 she wrote a chapter on Water in the book " Words of Peace in Native Land" and she is the author of many French articles on health, education and climate change.
Grandmother Francine has been the grandmother of the Clarence Creek Unity Sundance for 9 yrs and the grandmother of Waseskun Moondance for 6 yrs. We can say that her involvement in the community, her spiritual approach and her dedication to Water makes her an authentic Anishinibe kwe grandmother and one that walks her talk.
She is a graduate from the Institute of Holistic Nutrition since 2019 and a retired accountant after 32 years in the field. If you wish to know more about grandmother Francine's professional life, you can visit her here
What Grandmother Francine has to say:
My quest for water began in 1999, I attended & facilitated several ceremonies over the years and I met Grandmother Josephine Mandamin in 2011, I knew she would be my guide and my elder for several years. In my culture, it is important to recognize our elders and mention where our teachings come from. I have had many elders in the last 30 years but today I would like to recognize three elders who have taught me so much and who I loved dearly and miss every day:
Grandmother Lillian Pitawanakwat of the Ojibway nation, she passed on January 4th 2011
Grandfather William Commanda, who left this Earth walk on August 3rd, 2011
Baba Stuart Myiow SR. Kanien'kehá:ka from Kahnawake, passed on February 13th, 2018
And of course my grandmother, Kokum Alphonsine Bédard, who passed in 1975. She was my first teacher; a midwife and medicine women from many generations. My mother is also a wonderful medicine woman and a survivor. She still teaches me and guides my every step, even today, she is now 90 years old. I'm an anishinabe grandmother and I was born and raised in the city and I am proud of who I am !
I strongly believe that healing begins with ceremonies and in my culture we have all the tools needed to help ourselves and others, that is why I am on this path sharing my culture, my medicines, my ceremonies, my songs and my knowledge. I am a mother, a grandmother and a great-grandmother and I am so grateful to have such a beautiful family.