Saugeen Ojibway Nation holds 1st Cultural Camp weekend

September 30, 2013

First Nations

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Saugeen Ojibway Nation held the first 'Fall Harvest Cultural Camp' on the weekend, Sept. 27 - 29 (2013).

The event was organized by Lori Kewaquom and featured a variety of activities and speakers, including a lecture on ash trees and the Emerald Ash Bore infestation by Richard David, an herbal walk and herb preparation by Joanne Kewageshig and hunting waterfowl by Doran Ritchie.

Lori Kewaquom

"We are trying to explore out traditional way of life," explained Kewaquom, "and how we relate to the land and natural elements."

Geraldine Deenik

Geraldine Deenik, who has conducted sessions several times in the past, spoke about the natural independent foods.  "It's very unfortunate," said Deenik, "that, once upon a time, agriculture was protected but now it's all about the money and big business.  We have lost sight of what it is to 'live off the land'. "

Charlie Nixon of the National Farmers Union also spoke on the variables that affect farming, crops and land use today.

Former Co-ordinator of CUSO (Canadian University Students Overseas) in Africa countries, Nixon spoke on several issues that relate to land usage.

Charlie Nixon

According to Nixon, one of the most pervasive techniques being used is genetic modification of crops and the treatment of corn seed in order to produce more ethanol-used corn products.

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"The treatment of corn seed with pesticides in North America (neonicotonoids) is killing our bee population at an alarming rate and, without them, we have no pollinators for crops." 

He went on to say that corporate land takeovers for development are rapidly depleting farm land at an alarming rate and the widespread use of petroleum-based products and farming techniques is creating an unsustainable way of life, both for the farmer and the consumer. 

While some of the presentation were on a serious note, there also fun and games for others.  The children had the opportunity to take part in games and there were beading and dreamcatcher-making classes. 

The weekend wound up with the feast of harvest foods from the community gardens ... something everyone had been waiting for.

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Monday, September 30, 2013