Atayokan: Traditional Living Skills Retreat

About the Experience

‘Atayokan’ is of the Cree language meaning ‘Sacred Story’. This retreat will help you reconnect with yourself by connecting with the land. 

The retreat was designed and will be led by indigenous guides Tracey Klettl and Brenda Holder, two sisters of the Aseniwuche Winewak or the “Rocky Mountain People”.  This retreat offers an authentic experience of shared stories and skills taught through the strong women in Tracey and Brenda’s indigenous lineage. Some of these women were fire carriers, medicine women, and knowledge keepers.

This retreat offers opportunities for women to walk a path that explores and awakens ancient knowledge from long celebrated roots. Participants will experience exceptional programs to explore and cultivate balance and the tools to carry it into everyday life.  Through the teachings of their Grandmothers, Tracey and Brenda share traditional knowledge and skills to foster self-reliance and confidence. Teachings include traditional plant medicine, archery, equestrian skills, sacred earth walks and indigenous living skills.

This retreat welcomes you to the sacred and serene foothills of the beautiful Canadian Rockies north of Calgary, Alberta. All the comforts of life are provided in a quiet and secluded area, allowing for breathing space and familiarity.

Refresh your spirit, reconnect with your senses and build new friendships! Leave with a better sense of your own personal sacred story.

Click here to see the full itinerary!
Atayokan: Traditional Living Skills Retreat

About the Experience

‘Atayokan’ is of the Cree language meaning ‘Sacred Story’. This retreat will help you reconnect with yourself by connecting with the land. 

The retreat was designed and will be led by indigenous guides Tracey Klettl and Brenda Holder, two sisters of the Aseniwuche Winewak or the “Rocky Mountain People”.  This retreat offers an authentic experience of shared stories and skills taught through the strong women in Tracey and Brenda’s indigenous lineage. Some of these women were fire carriers, medicine women, and knowledge keepers.

This retreat offers opportunities for women to walk a path that explores and awakens ancient knowledge from long celebrated roots. Participants will experience exceptional programs to explore and cultivate balance and the tools to carry it into everyday life.  Through the teachings of their Grandmothers, Tracey and Brenda share traditional knowledge and skills to foster self-reliance and confidence. Teachings include traditional plant medicine, archery, equestrian skills, sacred earth walks and indigenous living skills.

This retreat welcomes you to the sacred and serene foothills of the beautiful Canadian Rockies north of Calgary, Alberta. All the comforts of life are provided in a quiet and secluded area, allowing for breathing space and familiarity.

Refresh your spirit, reconnect with your senses and build new friendships! Leave with a better sense of your own personal sacred story.

DAY ONE: MEDICINE WALKS

You will be met with a warm welcome at 8 am in Calgary at a predetermined rendezvous location (i.e. hotel close to the airport or the Calgary Airport).  Your guide will then drive you and your group to the Painted Warriors Ranch located 1 hour from Calgary.

Upon your arrival at the ranch, the friendly staff will help you get settled into your cozy ‘glamping’ canvas wall tents, and then you will meet for a brief group orientation over hot coffee or tea and refreshments.

Following orientation, you will head outside for a walk in the forest and be introduced to the traditional uses and medicines from the plants based on the Cree culture.

After a wholesome lunch, you will have an introductory archery lesson!  You’ll learn proper safety and form and have a fun filled time learning new skills.  

Late afternoon, you will learn traditional native beadwork and how to make a medicine bag, finishing it off with a lovely beaded pattern.  

 

DAY TWO: TRADITIONAL INDIGENOUS LIVING SKILLS

After a wholesome breakfast, your leaders will invite you to a smudging ceremony and begin the day with a sacred earth walk.  This meditative walk will bring a positive start to the day. This morning you will learn traditional indigenous living skills: learn to start a fire without matches and the role of the firekeeper in traditional societies.  Your guide will also demonstrate how resources are used from the earth for everyday tools.

After a delicious lunch, we will continue learning traditional skills.  This afternoon we will learn to build a smoker, smoke meat and make pemmican while learning about the teachings and stories behind this skill.

The whole group will then get together for a raw food preparation session, and together you will prepare an evening meal while learning the benefits of eating food such as vegetables, nuts and fruits in their natural state.

Enjoy some social time around the campfire before turning in for the evening.

 

DAY THREE: CREATING NATURAL MEDICINES

Today after breakfast, you will have the opportunity to take part in a yoga session. The rest of the morning, you will be making natural medicines from plants that have been gathered off the land.

After lunch, you continue with your creative day by making soaps with natural ingredients. Enjoy another healthy dinner and finish off the evening with a natural spa treatment, using plants that you have gathered, taking part in a fun group foot soak and facial treatment.

 

DAY FOUR: ARCHERY

After breakfast, start the day with a sacred earth walk and morning yoga session.  We spend the rest of the morning practicing archery learning wildlife identification and bow hunting techniques.

After lunch, you spend more time in the forest learning shelter building and natural navigation. There will be some time to relax before dinner and this evening your raw food chef will show the group how to make a delicious campfire dessert!

 

DAY FIVE: HORSEBACK RIDING

We will start our morning with a session on horsewomanship where we will explore how a horse connects with us and why this is so important.  We learn how to read and understand, then communicate with the horse from the ground.

We’ll spend the last part of the morning learning some riding basics so when it’s time to hit the trail we will do so safely and with confidence!

Our afternoon session will be spent on a trail ride where we will have a little taste of backcountry riding!

 

DAY SIX: BLESSINGS

Enjoy breakfast together and finish your program with a special blessing walk: a final walk to take with you, a connection and blessing from mother earth.  

After a final mid-day meal together, the shuttle will transport you back to the airport in Calgary where you can either continue your holiday in Alberta and beyond, or catch flights home.

Click here to see upcoming trip dates to book your spot!