Dave Courchene – Nii Gaani Aki Innini (Leading Earth Man)


  • Anishinaabe ceremonies
  • 7 teachings (Elder Teachings)
  • Oral History

Dave Courchene – Nii Gaani Aki Innini (Leading Earth Man) has travelled internationally, carrying a message of hope and peace. Dave shares ancient Indigenous knowledge that he believes can act as the foundation in supporting the New Life that Mother Earth is now entering, and that the Elders have confirmed has arrived.

He has created a special place for sharing ancient Indigenous knowledge – the Turtle Lodge – built based on a vision he received many years ago. Indigenous people have always relied on visions and dreams to give guidance and direction in life.

Dave was recently honoured by Indigenous leaders and Elders at the 2010 International Indigenous Leadership Gathering, and with a National Aboriginal Achievement (INDSPIRE) Award in Culture, Heritage & Spirituality, and the Volunteer Manitoba Award for Outstanding Community Leadership in 2012, for the work associated with his message and vision, including the work he has done inspiring young people.

His recent work has involved initiating International Roundtables Supporting Ancient Indigenous Knowledge at the Turtle Lodge (May 2010) and the US Capitol Building in Washington, DC (September 2010), which have been co-led by US Congressman Dennis Kucinich. He delivered the Opening Keynote and conducted the Opening Ceremonies at the 2010 G8 Summit on World Religions.

In 2011, Dave shared the stage twice with the Dalai Lama to bring a message of peace in Newark, New Jersey and Monterrey, Mexico. In the Spring of 2011, Dave initiated the Makoose Ka Win and the Vision Quest rites of passage to take young people of all cultures entering Adulthood back to the land and the Elders to find their uniqueness and promote peace.

Only when we align our human spirit with higher spiritual reality will we find peace. When we become awakened spiritually, we begin to see more, to feel more. We begin to trust the Spirit. (2002)

What it takes is the time and effort of any human being to be able to sit down on Mother Earth and learn to read the laws that we are to abide by if we are to have a happy life. All the laws of Mother Earth are based on respect, love, kindness and sharing. They are all positive – they teach us that we are all connected. (2003)

Long ago our people always followed a vision. That was why they were so connected to the Spirit and the land. Whenever the Spirit gives a vision to an individual it always becomes a vision for the collective. It always leads to a vision of peace for humankind. You must remain firm in your belief in your vision. You must never give it up. (1995)

No matter what race of people we come from, we all desire the same things. We all have the same passion. We want to love. When we nurture the spirit, the spirit will guide us. Spirit is and always will be about guiding humanity to what each of us wants and craves, which is simply to love one another. (2002)

Young people remain our greatest hope for survival and growth as a human race. We are evolving as human beings, as the journey continues in our search for truth. Only the Spirit, not the human being, can offer an understanding of truth. Each nation has to reach out to the highest spiritual level. Let us unite in the spirit of courage, with the willingness to change, heal and transcend. Let us give support to the Young People, our children, as they dream again, because their dreams will be about peace. (1994)