Mide-Wiigwas:
The Giveaway

Mide-wiigwas is a very special ceremony in the Mi’kmaq tradition. It involves having the strength to be totally unselfish and totally giving. At times, it is one of the most difficult things to do, but it always reaps the greatest rewards. As the expression goes, “It is better to give than to receive.”

There are variations on when and how the Mide-Wiigwas occurs, and who participates (i.e. at a wedding, a Powwow, a Traditional Feast, or as a personal commitment). For this Two-Eared Listening Gathering, we are combining several ideas and inviting each of you to be part of this if you wish.

This ceremony is especially relevant for our Two-Eared Listening Gathering. By gathering, we have already given each other the gift of time. By learning about and practicing Two-Eared Listening, we have given our attention, and our willingness to change. To signify our commitment to two-eared listening and our experience together, we invite all attending the Gathering to participate in a personal Giveaway of a special object on Saturday morning as we bring our time together to a close.

To be involved:

  • Ponder this Giveaway ceremony as you spend time at this Gathering;

  • Consider what you are experiencing. Is there an object you own or have been given that comes to mind that reflects your experience that you would like to giveaway?

  • On Sat morning, come and place your object on the Giveaway table which will be covered with a red cloth and the words “Mide-wiigwas--Giveaway” on the front.

  • Following our celebration meal, beginning with the Elders, everyone will be invited to come up and select a gift from the table. It is not important for you to know who gave it; it is important for you to know that it was given with special intention. In selecting, you are receiving the good intentions and commitment of another participant at the Gathering.

Whatever is given, it is most gratifying when the gift is something that is carefully considered for giving. The person gives it anyway, because they have been moved by the spirit to do so. To try to explain it in words is impossible. You have to experience it for yourself, both the giving and the receiving of a gift that is so special. As the giver, as soon as you feel like giving a particular item to someone, the feeling that you experience is that the item immediately belongs to them. Now it’s simply for you to act on it.

Please join in this ceremony if you feel moved to do so. If it is something you wish to only observe, that is a gift in and of itself.

Wela’lin!


*special thanks to St. Georges Indian Band, St. George’s, NL for the outline and details of the Mide-wiigwas as described on their website. For more details see: http://www.sgibnl.ca/mide-wiigwas-the-giveaway/