Maskomicic: The man who invites us to create our own rituals

Maskomicic. © Guillaume Vincent

A few weeks ago, we had the pleasure of talking with Fernand Niquay, whose Atikamekw name is Maskomicic (pronounced Maskomishish), which means “Ice crystal”. The close relationship he has with Mother Earth and the elements could seem naïve. However, life, which is full of surprises, encourages some of us to recognize and follow synchronicities and signs of fate.

This sixty-year-old medicine man with smiling eyes talks peacefully about some of his personal history. Fernand lived a nomadic life with his family until the age of six. He has wonderful memories that he joyfully recounts, such as winters during which the whole family, snowshoes on their feet, pulled the sleds and moved confidently across the snow-covered landscape.

Maskomicic’s eyes darken, however, when he begins to speak of the nine years which followed that happy childhood. The residential school left marks that are still perceptible. Fernand stops talking and the silence is interrupted only by the sounds of children playing in the park: the same children that the elders allow to play about during the ceremonies, because, “it’s through playing that child learn.”

Creating one’s own rituels

Cut off from his roots and the learning from which he should have benefited in his youth, Fernand created the rituals necessary to his personal growth. One of these ceremonies simply allows him to centre himself and position himself in the “here and now”. First Fernand strokes the Earth with one hand and directs the other towards the sky before closing them and bringing them to his heart: “the Sky and the Earth”. One hand then moves behind his back to catch his past, while the other grasps the energy found before him: “the past and the future”. Lastly, he extends his arms to each side to bring to his heart the female and male energies.

“The key is to live the present moment” he maintains. “It’s of no use to imagine what will happen. It’s better to remain in the heart and in the energy of Maternal love which returns in strength in the present.”

Old and new energy

According to Fernand, the most recent passage of Halley’s Comet, in 1986, had the effect of initiating a change for the Earth, the Sun and the Cosmos. The new era, to which “those who advance” are headed, will be in all ways different from the era of old energy to which “many are still attached”. Fernand sees this transition in everything, but recognizes that everyone moves forward at their own speed.

“Previously, human beings were restrained and could not tolerate certain energies which were too strong. The spirits were present on Earth to protect them. The work of the spirits has now been transferred to the human being,” he submits.

Recognizing the signs

Fernand has many, many stories about the signs that have guided him throughout his life. One of them happened in October. Fernand is an excellent hunter, mainly of moose, and he believes that someday, all humankind must stop hunting. One morning, when he had a moose in his sights, a bird stopped directly in his line of vision. It was a sign, according to him, that the time for him to stop had arrived.

“The signs come when they see fit,” Fernand explains. “I have tried many times to make them appear, but without success. You can choose not to pay attention, but the bird made me understand that if I ignored its warning, I might be injured or injure my friend. I stopped hunting that day. Mother Earth, through nature, decrees the code of ethics and sends us messages,” he continues.

“Some animals must stay alive, like a moose that I’ve had in my sights many times but which, for various reasons, I have never been able to bring down. It’s not right to keep trying. Respect, peace, love and tolerance are the foods of the Earth Mother. They are what have to be put into place. It’s important to walk the line of life, the line of the heart,” Fernand concludes.


More from this author by clicking on his photo below.

Guillaume Vincent


Guillaume Vincent305 Posts

Rédacteur et journaliste de profession, Guillaume Vincent a fait ses armes au sein de l’agence QMI. Il s’est joint au Tremblant Express en 2014. Promu en 2017, il y assume depuis le rôle de rédacteur en chef et directeur de la publication. / A writer and photojournalist by profession, Guillaume Vincent won his stripes in the QMI agency. He joined Tremblant Express in 2014. Promoted in 2017, he has been editor-in-chief and co-publisher since then.


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