Comments about Manitonquat from gkesedtanamoogk, Wampanoag elder and teacher of Native Studies at the University of Maine:
“The work that You have been engaged with over the many years—raising Communities in centered humanity–spirituality–is really at the Heart of the Sacred and the greater promise for the future. …maintaining a People’s History is both a fine art and an evocative response to the incoherence, tyranny, and cynicism of modernity.
“Manitonquat is one of the Wampanoag Nation’s leading national treasures.”
ELLIKA LINDEN is the wife of the late Story Manitonquat (Medicine Story), an elder of the Wampanoag Natives. Ellika lives in the community of Christiania in Copenhagen. She moves to support the Circles around Europe in the summer months with Simon Jamnik. Before she met her husband, Manitonquat, Ellika was an actress and director with theater companies around the world. She wrote children’s plays, also directed them, created scenography, posters, and puppets and has often performed them in Scandinavia. Earlier she toured many countries with a Swedish theater group, studied mime with Marcel Marceau in Paris, and worked in children’s television in Stockholm. Since 1985 she has been holding Circle Way workshops and camps with Manitonquat.
Ellika Lindens talent enriches the circle and often helps to break the ice between the people in the Circle. Her warm and pleasantly naive nature allows people to open their hearts and allows them to simply be themselves. She and Story have complemented each other for decades in the Circles. In addition to having traveled through Native American culture together, Ellika has also traveled to other parts of the world and had insights into other ancient cultures of our planet, such as the Masai in Africa. She brings her wisdom of heart and experience into her life and Circles in an incredibly kind and genuine way.
She is also often invited to hold longer circles and meetings on the female theme. Her simplicity and her love for nature and all living beings greatly influenced the Way of the Circle, and supported the work of the creation of the Circle, as we know it today.
As the third pillar in the work of the Circles in Europe, Simon has come to serve the next generation of circles. In 2013, Manitonquat and Ellika met Simon for the first time. From the following year, onward, Simon decided to accompany Story and Ellika on their summer journeys. He supported their needs and whatever was asked of him on the tours through the European camps. Over the years Simon has learned a lot in the Circles, in addition to organising the tour in the summer and contacting the organisers, he supported the Circle and the people in countless ways, becoming an indispensable part of their group of three. As Story and Ellika often mentioned in the Circle, “Simon remembers everything like a computer”.
In winter Simon works in Switzerland as a psychiatric nurse near Lake Zurich. He also works with young people as a social pedagogical practitioner with particular attention to experiential training.
When Story retired to America with Ellika in 2018 to spend the last moments of his life in his homeland, he asked Simon to continue the Circles in Europe. Story often said: when I’m gone, Simon will be there to continue with the Circles. Now, together with Ellika, he is leading the Circles at a European level. In a leadership position, Simon brings trusted strength in the forms of a well-organised mind, courage/ability and willingness to do whatever needs to be done, an incredible talent and understanding for human motivations and conflict resolution, and a great, playful sense of humour. Simon not only remembers the teachings passed down from Story, he also lives these principles in an admirably balanced way.
Simon and Ellika’s dream is that the Circles continue to exist in the spirit of Manitonquat Medicine Story and take root ever more deeply in human culture.
Ellika and Simon continue to share the vision of Story (Manitonquat), who understood that changing the world has something to do with learning again, to live in circles, where all human beings belong, feel heard, accepted, understood and cared about. Especially, now, when the world is experiencing the pressures of separations, circles bring us back home into connection with ourselves, each other and our beautiful mother earth. In the circle, we are reminded of our roots and our belonging within the Great Mystery. We enjoy stories and teachings about the Old Ways, our Original Instructions, and the practice and enjoyment of being in the field of listening, playing, celebrating, giving thanks, humility, honesty, generosity, courageousness, wisdom and beauty.