Ontario artists celebrate interconnectedness, healing with Sasquatch

Art has been known to have a healing effect. But it also highlights the interconnectedness of all spiritual beings on the Earth that can help us heal.

That was the focal point of a two-day spiritual celebration at the Native Canadian Centre of Toronto on June 29 and 30; the second annual Art Exhibit and Bigfoot Conference, Ochiskicho Katukaheyknao: Bigfoot Will Heal Us Through “Wahkotowin” and Art.

Hosted by artist Judy Sackaney (Wachi Medowin), the first series took place on Sept. 30, 2023, for Truth and Reconciliation Day, but they moved it to June for National Indigenous History Month.

“What we’re doing here is making history, sharing our teachings with people who need the healing,” the healing practitioner said while standing in front of her paintings. She held one of them, featuring the face of a Sasquatch, and her holding her pipe in front of it.

“This is actually what happened. This is me doing a pipe ceremony,” she recalled of the ceremony she performed along the Ottawa River. “And this is Tukoluvut.”

The Sasquatch in her painting shared its name with her as part of the healing process during her past trip to the Ottawa River outside of Kanata.

“Ochiskicho means Bigfoot (in Cree). Katukaheykano means my healing,” she said, adding that her brother-in-law who is fluent in Cree told her to go to Kanata and say that word. “These guys want me to do this because they want me to let people that they’re here to help us heal.

“Their message is to bring back those teachings because right now, it’s about healing. We are healers and we’re here to help humanity.”

Sabe is the Ojibwa word for Sasquatch and it’s the symbol of Honesty in the Seven Grandfather Teaching.

Brian Baker/The Superstitious Times
Investigator Mike Paterson shares his experiences with Nef, the Sasquatch that he first encountered in 2008.

Connecting with a new community

Mike Paterson has been investigating Sasquatch since 2008 when he crossed paths with one during his time in the woods as a nature photographer. Sackaney reached out to him so he could share his positive experiences with Sasquatch with a crowd of 30 people.

“I’ve wanted an opportunity to integrate (my experiences) with the native culture,” he said on June 29. “There’s stuff out there beyond our audio and visual parameters. There’s high intelligence and it’s not just Sasquatch.”

The day’s presentations didn’t just focus on Sasquatch. Charlotte Tookenay, a knowledge keeper, shared the teachings of the Wendigo and the contrary spirit associated with it.

“Contrary is different in every aspect, even in healing and doctoring, and also giving gifts. Everything normal to me is not normal to you,” she said, outside of the Native Canadian Centre of Toronto. “If you come into my presence and I am light, and if you see my light, well then you’re automatically given the same light.”

Tookenay has five Wendigo spirits with her and she admitted the common misconception

“Every time I watch the TV, it’s always about demons or shapeshifters or skinwalkers. I’m sure (people) have their own entities too, but it is the people themselves that look towards the negative.

“When everyone; you, me, them, the car, the people driving by, we all walk hand-in-hand with the negative and the good. It is the choice that we live, that we present as good, but just as much as our good, so as equal is our negative,” she added. “It’s a choice that we have to make on a daily basis to be a good person, and that has nothing to do with the Wendigo.”

Navajo experience

Also on hand were the Paranormal Rangers team of Jonathan Dover, Michele Meiners and Stan Milford Jr. They were also contacted by Sackaney, and travelled from Arizona and Utah to present their investigations to those gathered at the Native Canadian Centre of Toronto.

Dover and Milford Jr. are both retired Navajo Rangers, the law enforcement for the Navajo Nation, which lies within the states of Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico and Utah. Meiners is an investigative journalist who joined the other two to investigate Skinwalker Ranch in Utah. Milford Jr. has a book coming out in October detailing his supernatural experiences called The Paranormal Ranger: A Navajo Investigator’s Search for the Unexplained.

Milford worked for 23 years with the Navajo Nation Rangers, retiring in 2021, covering a reservation area of 27,000 square miles. Dover and he started heading up a section called Special Projects, which covered dignitary protection, SWAT and sensitive cases.

“We didn’t choose to investigate the paranormal, although we’d had our own, what would be termed paranormal experiences when we were younger and growing up, but we didn’t volunteer,” he recalled, adding the chief ranger at the time recognized that Milford and Dover were effective to help others with sensitive matters.

One case that the two worked on was when two young officers mocked an elderly woman who had a Sasquatch grab one of her animals when she was grazing her sheep camp up in the mountains.

“In that particular instance, the grandmother overheard (the officer) carrying on and laughing with the other younger ranger … But I think she assumed that they weren’t taking this case seriously,” he said. “The chief called a department-wide meeting and brought everybody in, all the rangers in, and essentially, he scolded all the rangers … He said, it doesn’t matter whether you believe in it or understand it or, but to these people, it’s very real.

“And he looks over at me and John and he said, and you two are going, going to oversee or lead these cases.”

Thus Dover and Milford’s journey into investigating the inexplicable across a large swath of land covering places like Monument Rock, Shiprock, Lake Powell and Chaco Canyon.

Meiners wrapped the day’s events with her presentation on how she connected with the two former law enforcement officers and her work with them on Skinwalker Ranch in the Uintah Basin.

All the presentations were live-streamed through Judy Sackaney’s Facebook page, and there are plans for another event in 2025.

Brian Baker/The Superstitious Times
Judy Sackaney, left, joins Paranormal Rangers John Dover, Michele Meiners and Stan Milford Jr. at the Second Annual Art Exhibit and Bigfoot Conference.

Comments are closed.