MINNEAPOLIS — Every morning, around 30 staff members with the Native American Community Clinic get together in an online virtual huddle.
Before the day’s duties are assigned, Elder in Residence Renee Beaulieu-Banks, a member of the Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe, starts out with a quick blessing – first in Ojibwemowin, and then again in English.
“We have conversations with spirits. We invite them to listen. We thank them, offer them tobacco for our requests and for our gratitude,” Beaulieu-Banks says. “That’s what I do in the morning. I do a request for healing. Not only for ourselves, but for the community and each other.”
Beaulieu-Banks also addresses the spirit of COVID-19, requesting that it have mercy on not only the native people, but everyone. She thanks the spirits for bringing the medical team together for this work, calling them “our warriors.” Staff members at the clinic, which provides health