Fall Harvest wraps up at Fort William Historical Park – “Is this on the news?”

Making bannock at the Fall Harvest at Fort William Historical Park
Making bannock at the Fall Harvest at Fort William Historical Park
Making bannock at the Fall Harvest at Fort William Historical Park
Making bannock at the Fall Harvest at Fort William Historical Park

THUNDER BAY – The annual Fall Harvest at Fort William Historical Park shared smiles, fun, learning and Aboriginal history and culture with hundreds of Thunder Bay students over the past three days. The event offered a solid opportunity for students, and for the regular visitors to the Fort to learn and better understand Aboriginal culture and our region’s history.

For participants the opportunity to learn about wild rice offered a real insight into how much work goes into the harvesting, and the preparation of wild rice. As well, the preparation of fish, smoking of meat, and all of the issues which are important to make it through the winter are practiced.

There was also lots of opportunities for fun.

At the drum, young Zack was drumming with the drummers.

Drumming starts at an early age for many young people
The drum is something that young and old alike appreciate.

One of the favourite parts of the Fall Harvest was learning how to make bannock, and of course enjoying bannock.

During Wednesday, one of the young students had a first hand experience with the process of making bannock, watch the video and enjoy.

The smiles and the laughter echoed across Fort William Historical Park for the past three days.

Young people got a look at how life was in the past, and in many cases for many people how it still is. Fall is a season of transitions, and of preparation.

There were five stations for preparing the wild rice. First the rice is dried after it is harvested. Then the rice is roasted. The wild rice is then ‘danced’.

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

Many of the people seeing how much work is involved in the process commented that the price of a bag of wild rice in the grocery store is far too low.

A favourite station for the youth was the puffed wild rice. It is a fast and very tasty treat.

Fall Harvest puffed rice
Making puffed rice with the wild rice proved very popular.
Fall Harvest
Students from Woodcrest dive into the tasty treat at the Fall Harvest

The Fall Harvest wrapped up today for another year. Fort William Historical Park and the CCUPCY did a fantastic job.

James Murray

Special thanks to Nathan Ogden for shooting the video.

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