This September, the third annual Anishinaabemowin (Ojibwe language) and Cultural Camp was held at Assabaska Ojibway Heritage Park in the Big Grassy River First Nation community. New Gold was honoured to support the event through sponsorship and Shannon Stone and Autumn Windego, Indigenous Community Coordinators for New Gold, participated. The camp connected youth, adults, and Elders to bring back the traditional Anishinaabe way of life. For many years, the Anishinaabe people were forbidden to speak their language and share the teachings of their ancestors. The focus of the camp was to revitalize the language and traditions, connecting with the land and culture through experiential learning. Roy Tom, an Anishinaabe language and knowledge keeper, and other workshop leaders shared their knowledge during the three-day camp. The learning shared over the three days included:
- Building a sweat lodge with willow, ties, and canvas tarps.
- Traditional games used for fun and to settle disputes between nations.
- Everyday language in Anishinaabemowin, including how to introduce yourself.
- Drum teachings, songs, and styles of drums.
- Manoomin (wild rice) – how to use ricing sticks, drying, roasting and dancing on the rice to remove the husks; new methods were also demonstrated.
- Traditional Star Teaching was held at Pegamigaabo School.
The interactive approach taken was key to bringing the teachings to life for the participants to ensure the Anishinaabe language and traditions will continue for generations to come.