Barry Sarazin from Pikwakanagan First Nation, Chuck Commanda from Kitiga Zibi First Nation, Larry McDermott from Sharbot Obajiwinan First Nation, and Plenty Canada Summer Students hosted a gathering to share the language, stories, and teachings of the Anishinaabeg people. The opportunity to educate non-Indigenous youth was seized, as Biosphere Education joined the gathering. Biosphere Education is an organization dedicated to preserving Earths beautiful creatures through storytelling and photo journalism, and for this year’s expedition four youth, led by biologist Dr. Shelley Ball, joined an on-going project to better understand how climate change may affect wild rice, or as it is known by the Anishninaabeg people, Manoomin. By bringing together knowledge holders and the biosphere youth expedition, we created a cross-cultural dialogue that helped gain a deeper understanding of biodiversity for all attendees. Students helped Plenty Canada complete a benthic invertebrate diversity index for McCullochs Mud Lake, a nearby provincially significant wetland, that is home to species at risk such as the Least bittern, and Black tern. This data will be shared in a final report that highlights Manoomin, and how climate change may affect this sacred, and only cereal native to North America.
Chuck Commanda and Cole Williams take the birchbark canoe they built for its maiden voyage.
On July 20, 2018 master birchbark canoe maker Chuck Commanda and his apprentice Cole Williams, with the assistance of Murphy's Point Provincial Park employees, successfully launched a birchbark canoe that was created over a two week period at the park. The canoe launch event included a smudge ceremony, passing of the eagle feather, and guest speaker Larry McDermott, Executive Director of Plenty Canada.
You can read the full story posted by the Perth Courier Newspaper HERE
You can find our full album of photos from the day on our Facebook page
Last Saturday, August 19th, Plenty Canada and Mississippi Mills' All My Relations group hosted a reconciliation event in Almonte at St Paul's Anglican Church, entitled Renewing Our Friendships. We are pleased to report that the event was another resounding success!
There were a number tents set up at the event. One featured information on Plenty Canada, the Circle of All Nations, and an independent arts-based reconciliation project. The event also hosted a number of guest speakers, including Plenty Canada’s own Chuck Commanda and Shaelyn Wabegijig! Throughout the day, Chuck Commanda worked on his birch bark canoe and was there to discuss his work with the attendees.
For the third time this summer, we performed a smudging ceremony at our event. Afterwards, we asked attendees to share their thoughts on reconciliation. The responses that emerged from the attendees were honest, insightful, reflective, and showed much gratitude for what they learned and experienced throughout the day! Find a brief description of responses below.
This week’s invasive species is the zebra mussel (Dreissena polymorpha). Zebra mussels can filter up to one litre of water per day, making the water they are submerged in quite clear.
This week’s invasive species is the emerald ash borer (Argrilus planipennis).
This small insect was first found in Ontario in 2002 and has been wreaking havoc on the province’s Ash trees ever since.
This week’s invasive species is curlyleaf pondweed (Potomogeton crispus). This aquatic plant can grow in low light and low temperatures. Here are some interesting facts about the plant:
This week’s invasive species is Eurasian water-milfoil (Myriophyllum spicatum). This perennial aquatic plant has two look alikes- the native species northern water-milfoil and the invasive species parrot feather. The key difference between Eurasian water-milfoil and northern water-milfoil is that the latter has leaves with 11 or fewer leaf segments. Parrot feather has not yet been detected in Ontario. Here are some fast facts about the species:
Plenty Canada’s appearance at the Stewart Park Festival was another resounding success! Thank you, miigwetch, to everyone who came to visit the workshop provided by Plenty Canada and the Lanark County Neighbours for Truth and Reconciliation on the weekend. Attendees were invited to see the birch bark canoe building process in person, and talk with Larry, Chuck, and volunteers about our reconciliation projects, and the significance of the canoe to the culture of Indigenous peoples.
Similar to our July 3rd workshop, we invited people to anonymously write down what reconciliation means to them, and what they would like to see done about the issue. The responses were both varied and informative--check them out below!
What does reconciliation mean to you? What would you like to see done?
We will continue bringing communities together through further discussion at our events, reigniting the spirit of nation-to-nation dialogue and respect for each other, the land, and our future generations. Stay tuned for more of Plenty Canada’s events including the “Renewing our Friendship” event in Almonte August 19th, the Silver Lake Pow Wow August 26th and 27th, and our traditional feast in mid September.
Plenty Canada wants to hear what reconciliation means to you! Share your thoughts in a comment below.
This week's invasive species is garlic mustard (Alliaria petiolata). Here are some quick facts about the plant: