Fall Festival treats Thunder Bay students to Anishnawbe traditional Culture

A Northwestern Ontario morning started the day at Fort William Historical Park
A Northwestern Ontario morning started the day at Fort William Historical Park
A Northwestern Ontario morning started the day at Fort William Historical Park

THUNDER BAY – A crisp sunny morning greeted students from Thunder Bay Schools today at Fort William Historical Park at the Traditional Fall Harvest Festival. Students were offered the opportunity to learn about Anishnawbe culture and traditions. There were students from high schools and elementary schools at the annual event put together by the Community Coalition unified for the Protection of Our Children and Youth.

Fall is the time when First Nation, Metis, and Inuit peoples prepared for the long winter ahead. These activities included gathering wild rice, preparing birds, meat, hides, and fish. As well gathering of traditional medicines, foods, and teas are a part of the activities.

students heading to stations at Fall Harvest
Students at Fort William Historical Park headed to stations to learn about First Nations history and culture

Students learned how a beaver is skinned, how fish are prepared, and about the traditional teas that First Nations peoples enjoy to this day.

The morning started out in a normal fall and crisp Northwestern Ontario way. As the sun rose, and students started to arrive at the seventeen stations, the day was off to an amazing start.

rice dancing
Thunder Bay Police Service Aboriginal Liason Constable John Walmark rice dancing.

Students were engaged in making birch-bark name-tags, and other crafts. Participants enjoyed learning about drumming, making fish nets, and gained information as the Elders at the various stations shared their stories.

Tasty Bannock was prepared over an open fire and enjoyed by all.

There is a great deal of interest from a growing number of students in our city in learning about Aboriginal culture. It is a sign that many in our city see as a very positive sign for the future.

Fall Harvest drumming
Fort William Historical Park echoed with the beat of the drumming today as Mother Earth’s heartbeat inspired students and visitors alike.
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