By Jordan Tabobondung, 1st year MDP student
Women together in the Garden for the People. Photo Credit: Shalisha Shorty
Tuesday, June 13th, 2017 was a day of gathering Midewin and Anishinabeg aged 0-85 together to be witness to the Planting Ceremony at the Three Fires Midewin Gitiganiing. As an Anishinaabe and Bodewadomi woman I acknowledge my connection to creation through my relationship with my language, and responsibility to maintain a respectful kinship with beings of creation and pass along my learnings or understandings to the future. Part of the respectful kinship relationship is use of songs, language and spending visiting time with the life that abounds in the areas I visit and inhabit. It has been said by elders and teachers throughout my travels that “the language is important because the use of the language is an acknowledgement of the spirit of that one you are speaking of/to”. From this understanding I have worked to pair my learning of Anishnaabemowin with my learning of the plants used for foods, medicines and craftworks.
|Readying poles for Men’s roles of Planting Ceremony|
I have chosen to return to familiar Great Lakes territories to be close to home to maintain my responsibilities to my immediate, extended and Midewin lodge family as well as extend the understanding of my relationship to the familiar plants and animals of the region.
My MDP field placement at Great Lakes IndianFish and Wildlife Commission (GLIFWC) has been an unprecedented opportunity to continue with my learning of both Anishnaabemowin and Traditional foods as a part of my current educational endeavor at the University of Winnipeg for the Masters of Development Practice: Indigenous Development program. Through my summer work here I hope to become more proficient in acknowledging the sacred spirits of the beings which give of themselves and offer their life to sustain my body and the life that I lead.
|Coloring & learning language from GLIFWC’s Niibin booklets|
It is my hope that through my work I can gain a greater understanding of the south-western region of Gitchee Gumee (the Great Lake Superior), the Treaty areas and rights of the Tribes that are Services by GLIFWC and the processes used by GLIFWC to support their work for the Tribes. I feel this need to understand this region as it is often said “the boarders crossed us” and in reflection of the Anishinabek Nations, Tribes and peoples I am familiar with in Canada I realized that this territory of the Great Lakes region is one that I am most unfamiliar with.
I believe that this summer will give me an opportunity to gain some of an understanding of the many advantages, limitations and differences of the provincial, state and federal legislation of both Canada and the US in relation to Indigenous nations around the Great Lakes Regions.