Dear family and friends!
I’m very excited to share with you about our cross-cultural learning week at the Roseau River Anishinabe reservation! It was an absolutely incredible week! At the beginning of October we drove out to the reservation from Roseau River Bible Camp every day. We had the privilege of listening to our hosts, Peter and Colleen, tell us stories of the Anishinabe culture. We got to hear the Anishinabe creation story, how the clan system came to be adopted, about the treaties that were imposed on them by the Canadian government and how much of their way of life was lost as a result. We also got to hear stories from people such as Sitting Eagle, who told us how he has come to embrace his heritage in a world where his culture is often perceived as inferior. We were able to learn about some of the traditional practices of the Anishinabe people, such as the importance of leaving tobacco leaf when you’ve taken something from the earth, and how to sing a powwow song in Cree. These experiences were eye-opening and provided many of us with an understanding of this way of life. This learning is so important for us as we think of how we can be part of healing relationships with First Nations peoples.
Every morning on the reserve, we would meet with different members of the community. We would often sit around the fire and listen to the stories and teachings of Anishinabe history and culture. In the afternoon we had the opportunity to contribute to various projects under the sage guidance of our new friends. We were taught lots of skills that were new to most of us, like: building a lodge out of poplar trees, what a sweat lodge consists of, baking bannock, beading, making dream catchers out of metal wire, and even skinning a few deer.
We wrapped up the week by going to Winnipeg to participate in the Climate Strike or for free time at The Forks. We also went on a small hike to a swinging bridge over Roseau River and had a BBQ at Colleen’s house to celebrate 11 years of Outtatown partnering with the Anishinabe community at Roseau River! All in all, an absolutely great week!
Catch ya next time!