Pikangikum First Nation
The Stories The Wind Carries

2018 JOURNAL (Sept 5th, 2018):

We are extremely grateful, humbled, and honored for the opportunity to visit Pikangikum First Nation last week.

 

We were warmly received by a community that not only opened their doors, but also their many stories to us. We met with Elder Amie Owen, who shared a meal of moose meat and bannock with us, and told us about his experiences in residential school; David, who kept an eye on us in the hotel; Lucie Strang, who shared both her experience as a Native Language teacher in both oral Ojibwe and slavics, over multiple generations in the community, as well as her gift as a star quilt maker; Shirley Keesic, who is leading Restorative Justice Circles throughout Northern Ontario communities; Walter Latt and Marvin McKay-Keenan, who are managing the impressive new school, Eenchokay Birchstick School; Daniel Keeper, the Assistant Director of Education for the Pikangikum Education Authority; gifted visual artist Mario Peters, who showed us his studio and shared his artistic process and the teachings within his work; Ryan Saunders, who works at Project Journey and facilitates outdoor education engagement and employment opportunities for local youth; Andrew Mattacchione, whose hospitality helped us feel at home; Anne Warner, who treated us to breakfast during the power outage; and Elder Matthew Strang, who was ready to share with the creation stories connected to the water, land and people of Pikangikum.In a short week, we had a taste of life in Pikangikum with a busy orientation week for the 200+ teachers before the first day for students, a 2-day fishing derby, a power outage, a fiddler and country rock concert hosted at the Community Centre, a 2-day water outage, visits to the community centre, the nursing station, the school, the Northern, a walk around the lagoon, and many, many meals at the one and only restaurant in town.The reserve faces many challenges and we are grateful to those who openly shared their heartfelt, sincere experiences living and/or working in Pikangikum.

Pikangikum First Nation

Aug 29th - Sept 3rd 2018