Treaty 2 Territory – Aniin Anishinaabak. It was a wonderful week in Lake Manitoba last week as we completed our Canoe Camp for the Zaagaate Jordan’s Principle Program. The youth had an awesome time. Every morning we started off acknowledging all life and giving thanks for the abundance of what the land gives us to
Treaty 2 Territory – Aniin Anishinaabak. It was a wonderful week in Lake Manitoba last week as we completed our Canoe Camp for the Zaagaate Jordan’s Principle Program. The youth had an awesome time. Every morning we started off acknowledging all life and giving thanks for the abundance of what the land gives us to have bimaadiziwin (a good life). The learning on the importance of water, respect for water and about sacred waters and a respect for all life. We had our Knowledge Keeper Robert Maytwayashing, come in and share teachings and transfer the knowledge that was shared to him by his mentors over the past three decades.
It was a really interesting week and we had different weather each day of strong winds from south or north and then to calm, but that did not deter the participants. The youth were determined to get in the water and they did. The first thing I heard the instructor say to the youth when she saw the strong south winds was, this is why you do not go into the water with a canoe when it’s windy, is this and I will show you.
She proceeded to demonstrate. So the youth and the instructors went in by the shore and went in the canoe and they tried to paddle but the water flipped them.
The youth learned about safety and the skills of canoeing and paddling and many other skills.
It is important to teach youth about the life skills. The youth need the experiential learning and survival skills to help them in their own lives. Also the importance of a spiritual way of life as our ancestors always acknowledged and lived. It is about their identity. It is what will give them their strength and courage and to be good leaders. It makes me really happy when I see young people so eager to learn and that they’re having a good time and enjoying themselves. If we continue to work with our youth and give them great opportunities for them to learn, we will see a difference into the future. Every child is born with a gift and a purpose. What we need is good mentorship for our youth. If we teach them to be good caretakers of the land and to be good stewards of the land, they will understand that the earth and the land will always take care of them.
This year’s canoe camp was our second year of doing it for our youth in Lake Man, and we will continue. Our plan is to get all our staff trained and to purchase canoe’s so we can do the canoe camp from spring to fall, in our community. The youth had a great experience and it makes me happy to witness it all. It was fun, many good laughs and all in all, a great time. Miigwech to all Zaagaate staff who were also in the water throughout the week helping and assisting. Water is Life.❤️
Contributed By Mary Maytwayashing,
Zaagaate Jordan’s Principle Manager, Lake Manitoba First Nation