Monday, February 28, 2011

Hanging out in Sagkeeng Ojibway Nation.

I am not a fan of the "First Nation" handle that many Aboriginal (not a fan of the term Aboriginal either) communities go by. It does make sense in some way, but I prefer to be Anishinaabe or Ojibway Nation, perhaps even Saulteaux Nation. Indian Nation is old but I am comfortable with the term Indian. Grew up with it, so used to it. Not many people like the term. Ideally we should be called Anishinaabe.

 The New Health Centre of Sagkeeng. The staff are just moving in this week.

 The atrium of the Health Centre.  Executive Director Ken along with a number of the community members and staff of Sagkeeng.

 A Piece of art by Spotted Wolf to be hung at the new health Centre. Symbolic of the Seven Teachings.

 Alvin and Ken at the new staff lounge of the health centre.

 A blanket with the Seven Teachings represented on the edges.

Darlene Hope at the new Health Centre

 A cloth hanging of the Turtle one of the Teachings.

Danny and my niece Heather at the Wolf FM radio station in the Rez.
My cousin Shigun at the Wolf's Den Restaurant.

Gerry Sinclair teacher at the high school.  Karen Courchene at the Sagkeeng Arena.
High School students speaking with Dad.
My Cousin Marie at the Multi-plex finance office.

Students at the high school hallway. My cousin Allan Randy, the principal of the High School.

Was visiting in the Reserve and wanted to see our new Health Centre. It is an awesome looking building and it should serve our people well.  So here are a few pictures of today's going around the Rez.The old health centre is still a very good building, I think the doctors office and dentist will stay at that building. While administration and other community based programs will be in the new centre.
I stopped in at the restaurant, the Wolf's Den. My cousin Claudette and her husband Renee run the food business. I hope they make good. It's difficult to have a successful business in the Reserve. I sat with my cousin Shigun and visited. He might be heading out to see his wife in BC Hazelton Reserve.  I ran into my good buddy Danny Fontaine. He is currently doing a DJ stint at the local radio station. The Wolf FM radio of Sagkeeng.

Picked up my Dad and we went over to the high school. There is a teacher there, Liz Gray, that takes an interest in local history and tries to get her students to learn as much as possible. I like that idea. Lot of old people are gone now, and with them goes the knowledge of the community.

My Dad and I like to visit at the High School. My Dad likes to talk about the Reserve and the old days to the young people.  Young people do have the best smiles. We need to listen to them and talk WITH them about life and the opportunities that they have. Education is important and I hope they grasp that.

I have some very talented, gifted and generous relatives. They make me laugh with their stories. I was sitting with my cousin and like me, he talks about anything. He likes to make Traditional gifts for the people. He does not charge for his talents. Especially when people are using those gifts (like fans and rattles) for ceremony.  Sometimes people will give him offerings for his gifts. He was telling me that a few members in the Reserve saw him with some of his gifts and wanted some. So he made some. He was telling me they ask how much? Of course he says I can't charge you. But if you want to give something that is up to you. So people did him some offerings and payment for his gifts. He was telling me, "holy, they gave me lots" for those stuff" and he told me how much. I told him "holy, you are going to be shown, that your getting to big."  He laughed and said this old lady went to his sisters looking for him. He was asked to make a fan for her. So he did. By this time he was use to getting some high offerings for his stuff. When he gave her the fan, she was overjoyed and said "wait here". She went out to her car. Anticipation, (wonder what she will give?)  She came back into the house, opened her bag and started to dig in it. She pulled out a pouch of tobacco, opened it, and pulled out a pinch and put it on the table. She went into the bag and started to dig again, this time she pulled out a wooden spoon. She put it on the table. He was telling me "what am I going to do with a wooden spoon?" All the while he was laughing. Laughing at how a Windigokan can come see at the right time. Stopped his head from swelling and showing him what was important.  I like my cousin.

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