Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Shoal Lake: Lessons in Hospitality

Lodge; meetings - ceremonies

Store and Laundromat service
Went out to Shoal Lake Sunday Night. A beautiful place. The landscape, the trees, the water, the rocks; it's all just fantastic. Even as spectacular is the people. We stopped by to get some tobacco for a Ceremony being held there and my brother met some lady that he knew there, her name is Phylis. She was very very friendly, open and a big smile. It just makes you feel so welcome. We were going out to Shoal Lake for a Shake Tent Ceremony. Eli Mandamin had called my brother Don to invite him to come out. So I tagged along. We stopped by to visit before the Ceremony at Ian's place. Ian had come over to the store to meet us. He is the husband of one of a friend of Don, her name is Gina. We went over to visit at his place. Holy heck does he have view from his backyard. The water looks inviting. Ian, Gina  and their family love to fish. His four year old boy Quinton reeled in his first Walleye the other day. The visit was too short, but it was fun. A bit of teasing and laughter always makes you feel good. Invites where given to come out and fish with them. They gave Don a whole bunch of Walleye. Their brother Ron came over and introduced himself. I know of Ron, through my sister Jean. Ron is a young Traditional Midiwiwin Teacher. He is gifted. He took us to where the Ceremony was to held. But first we stopped to pick some Cedar to bring back home. When we got to the Ceremony site, Ron made sure to let us know that if the Ceremony went on very late into the night that we were welcome to stay at their place. It was late when we got to Shoal Lake and the Ceremony had not yet started.
We went to introduce ourselves at the Lodge. A few people Don knew were there. A young man named Herbert was there, and turns out he is friends with our cousin Frankie. Frankie and Herbert sang on Drum together.
I met this man, not old but not young, and he is one of the Leaders in the community. He was not friendly to me and was kind of surly. Hey that happens. I didn't get a welcome feeling from him. This Councilor should take a lesson from his people. A smile, a warm gesture sure does make an impression.
Eli showed up and we got to visit with him for a short period of time. I haven't seen him in a long while. He is friends with Don, and Eli is Chief of the community. I told him I was sorry to hear about his boy. Eli's Son was murdered in Winnipeg not too long ago.
It was late and the Ceremony was not starting, so we decide to go home. Sadly the big impression of the Councilor sat heavy on my shoulders. Not sure why. I guess it is the protocol of Ceremony, you are going there to support, for healing. I guess I judged him harshly because of all the good people we were meeting that day. It was such a contrast from all the good feelings that we got from the people. Maybe he was going through a rough time, but I didn't get that from him. I just got that he was angry, resentful and unfriendly, oh well.
Anyway, Shoal Lake does make you feel welcome, and happy. I would recommend to anyone stop by the community. If you don't know anyone, someone will talk to you and make you feel good in the community.
Like my brother says, "they have such a good spirit there".


The Store

Ian's View

"and I'll tell you another thing..."

Ron: a Very nice young man

"I'll take to you where the Ceremony is being held"


Inside the Lodge

1 comment:

  1. Great write-up....Miigwetch! It was very nice to meet you all too. It is always good to meet fellow Anishinaabeg on that same road to recovery and rediscovery.

    I am so sorry that you were not able to get the answers you sought....Hopefully one day you will be able to get in touch with another to help with what your brother and nephew came for. I hope i can be of assistance.