Among the Indians of the woodlands, the Ojibwa believe that dreams have magical qualities - and possess the ability to change or direct one's path in life.
According to tradition, the night air is filled with both good and bad dreams. From this belief came the idea of the dream catcher, which captures dreams as they float by. Good dreams, knowing the way, slip through the dream catcher's centre hole, drifting gently off the soft feathers to the sleeper below. The bad dreams, which do not know the way, become entangled in the webbing to perish with the first light of the new day. Dream catchers were hung on an infant's cradle board to protect the child, or in lodges for the benefit of all.
The idea that dream catchers accept the good and ward off the bad in the lives of youth has shaped the Dreamcatcher Indigenous Youth Conference. The message for this conference is one of self-empowerment – Dream, Learn, Achieve.
We acknowledge that the land on which we gather in Treaty Six Territory is the traditional gathering place for many Indigenous people. We honour and respect the history, languages, ceremonies and culture of the First Nations, Métis and Inuit who call this territory home.