National Aboriginal Day 2016

Pukaskwa National Park

By Joshua LeClair

Although traditions may differ throughout Anishinaabe Nation, there is a common thread that runs through them all. This common thread represents a kinship, and a string of lives that go back to the Original Man. Today, we use kinship to give us the strength necessary to keep our traditions alive. Through respect and honour we support each other on our journey of “Mino Bimaadiziwin”, the good life.

Parks Canada interpreter explaining the birch bark dome wigwam
Parks Canada interpreter explaining the birch bark dome wigwam © Parks Canada

At Pukaskwa National Park, the story of the Anishinaabe people begins long before the parks’ inception and creation. Today, Anishinaabe do not live in the past but do believe the teachings and stories of yesterday will prepare them for the uncertainties of tomorrow. To help share their story, Pukaskwa National Park is hosting a celebration on National Aboriginal Day, Tuesday June 21st, 2016.

National Aboriginal Day will be a day of celebrating Anishinaabe culture and heritage at the park. The day will be filled with cultural activities offering a glimpse into the worldview of Anishinaabe people. Begin your summer season at the Anishinaabe Camp by witnessing a sunrise ceremony, a traditional activity to welcome a new day, new life, and a new season.

The day will include a guided hike in the morning with a park interpreter. For the curious minded, explore the traditional uses of plants in the parks front-country. Learning about the medicinal and edible plants at Pukaskwa, visitors will understand the ‘Gifts of Our Earth’, that were essential to the survival of Anishinaabe ancestors.

‘Bush Tea’
‘Bush Tea’, also known as Labrador Tea © Parks Canada

Connect with locals at the Anishinaabe Camp for a cup of ‘bush tea’ and enjoy bannock-on-a-stick. To complete your day, visit the Fire Circle and listen to the heartbeat of “Mama Aki”, Mother Earth with hand drumming.

To all, we say “bbaa-wiigiiwshinaang”, join us in our celebrations!

the new Fire Circle
Roasting bannock-on-a-stick at the new Fire Circle © Parks Canada

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