About Us

Our Circle has been reviving, promoting, and restoring Traditional Anishinabe Culture in the Ottawa Valley since 1999.

We are an independent not-for-profit organization, and a registered charity, based in Deacon, Ontario, which is at the head of Golden Lake in unceded Algonquin Territory.

Our members include individuals from many different Indigenous Nations from across Canada, regardless of ‘status’.

And although most Indigenous issues are political, we do our best to maintain a neutral and national focus.

Current Priorities

Click above to review our current priorities

Strategic Plans

Click above to review our past and future strategic plans

Contact Us

Click above to see all the ways you can contact us

Our Story

Pictured above from left to right are: Aimee Bailey, Spokesperson; Annie Parker, Founding Secretary; Norma Bailey-Sterling, Founding President. Taken at Aboriginal Day 2017, Pembroke, Ontario.

In 1997, a few friends began to gather regularly to discuss various aspects of Anishinabe Spirituality. As we learned more and more, we decided to create a community training program to re-introduce local Indigenous people to some of our Cultural Traditions. We delivered our workshops to a select group in June 1998, and although not all participants embraced the Teachings, those who did take part did so whole-heartedly.

Our workshops included Teachings by an Elder working with Kumik Lodge (Indigenous Affairs Canada) who agreed to provide us with the Teachings about building a Sweat Lodge, and then to conduct the ceremony for us. We followed her instructions will all our hearts, but regardless, our entrance did not open to the East, which had been the plan; instead, it opened to the South. “The Direction of the Turtle,” she told us, “your Lodge is for Healing.” Thus, our Turtle Lodge came to be.

While still in the glow of ‘Ceremonial Consciousness’ after participating in the Sweat Lodge Ceremony and the Feast that followed, four of our group, all women, lingered on at the site. “We cannot let this end,” we said, “this is too good to let go!” Of course, our management style would be a circle, and so, The Circle of Turtle Lodge was born, to promote the revival and restoration of the Anishinabe Culture and Traditions as a means to enable healing to occur in our community.


Here are some of the projects that we have undertaken since then:

Our objective, since 1999, has been to revive, promote, and restore the Traditional Culture and Teachings of the Indigenous People of the Ottawa Valley. In recent years, we refined our focus to helping Indigenous People access Ceremony and Teachings from Traditional Elders and Spiritual Leaders, you may view our Strategic Plan here.

We’ve been working on this change for a while, but received word late in 2015 that our application to become a Registered Charity had been approved. Should you or anyone in your Circle wish to financially support our objectives, donations can be made directly to us, or securely online through Canada Helps.

We are governed by an elected/appointed Board of Trustees and are subject to an annual audit/financial review. 

Our current Trustees, as of Nov 2021, are:
Norma Bailey (Algonquin)
Alexandra Freed (Cree)
Leigh Miller (Algonquin)
Sarah Yankoo (Algonquin)

Only members can become trustees; only persons of Indigenous Heritage can become members.

Our office of record is 13162B Hwy 60, Golden Lake, Ontario K0J 1X0, but our events take place in various places around the county.

Request free membership to our Circle by clicking here: