Dr. Dave Courchene — Nii Gaani Aki Innini (Leading Earth Man)

Elder and Knowledge Keeper, Anishinaabe Nation

Elder Dr. Dave Courchene — Nii Gaani Aki Innini (Leading Earth Man) — is a respected Elder and Knowledge Keeper of the Anishinaabe Nation who has devoted his life to sharing Indigenous knowledge, carrying a message of hope, peace and environmental stewardship.

From lighting the sacred fire at the United Nations Earth Summit in 1992, to sharing the stage with spiritual leaders, including the Dalai Lama, Elder Dr. Courchene’s leadership has had a global influence.

In 2002, he founded the Turtle Lodge International Centre for Indigenous Education and Wellness, a sacred lodge recognized internationally and by Indigenous Knowledge Keepers as well as the Assembly of First Nations and the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs as one of the most important gathering places for Indigenous Peoples in Canada.

Elder Dr. Courchene is the Chair of the National Turtle Lodge Council of Knowledge Keepers.