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Unique Dry Stone Walling project at Saugeen continues

May 24, 2014

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'The Crew'

(L-R) Kenny McGrath, James, Matt Wolfe, Tyler Kewageshig, Nathan Thompson, Dallas Thompson, Lead Instructor Dean McLellan,  Mike Henry, Henry Madawoub, Ronnie Ritchie and Shane Richie

Traditional Friendship Circle dance

The largest dry stone walling project in North America is in our own backyard at the Amphitheatre at Saugeen First Nation and on Thursday, May 22nd (2014), visitors were invited to see first-hand the ongoing work.

Saugeen Shores Mayor Mike Smith admires the craftsmanship of the new stone work

Headed up by Dean McLellan and with special guest, Andrew Loudon, Master Craftsman and Chief Examiner of the Stone Walling Association of Great Britain, the men of Saugeen First Nation are learning the artistry of creating stone walling. (To read more about the course, Click Here )

McLellan, who lives in Holstein, ON and is only one of six in North America with the designation 'Master Stone Craftsman', says that the project is attracting international interest with other stonemasons wanting to volunteer for the chance to work on-site.

"I am simply amazed at the quality of workmanship on-site," said Loudon.  "The men of Saugeen are just learning this craft and I've rarely seen this level of craftsmanship for those just beginning."

Nathan Thompson ...

... and Tyler Kewageshig

Young Saugeen First Nation men are very excited about the the project and learning a new skill that is almost an art form.  "I am going to stay with this project as long as I can," said Nathan Thompson.  "I have learned so much and am honoured to part of this."

"I have learned a lot too," said Tyler Kewageshig, "and I really want to stay with it.  I've found that I really like working with stone."

Event organizer, Jennifer Kewageshig, presented a 'Ribbon Shirt' to Andrew Loudon

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The public celebration on May 22nd not only featured a tour of the site but also a display of traditional drumming, singing and dancing by the Smoke Trail Singers who travelled from Alderville First Nation on Rice Lake to take part int he ceremony that was followed by a traditional lunch of corn soup and fry bread.

 

Bruce Smoke of the Smoke Trail Singers of Alderville First Nation performed a traditional 'Crow Dance'

The Butterfly Dance

Traditional regalia

 

 

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Saturday, May 24, 2014