Standard Workshops


G’Chi-Nibi – Sacred Water

In this workshop, students will engage their heads, hands and hearts as they learn about the four types of water based on a small part of the Anishinaabe Creation Story. They will discuss and learn more about the reciprocal relationship that all people have towards G’Chi-Nibi as we discuss water conservation, protection, distribution and accessibility as well as brainstorm ways to strengthen our personal relationship with water. They will be introduced to some of the everyday uses of water, such as industrial, ecotourism, agricultural and sacred ceremony.

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Ode-min – Strawberry

Ode-min Giizis is known as Strawberry Moon, and this term is how the month of June is referred to by Anishinaabe people in this area. Strawberries are the first fruit to grow upon Mother Earth, and through the traditional teachings and Creation story of the first strawberry, they teach us about growth, forgiveness, self-discipline and peace. We will explore and compare the varieties of strawberries we have available to us today and discuss the differences in growth rate and production methods. Students will have the opportunity to extract DNA from a strawberry, learn about the structure of DNA and how genetic information is passed through generations. We might even get a taste of this sweet traditional fruit!

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Mishiikenh – Turtle

Did you know that the Anishinaabe and Haudenosaunee calendars are based not on twelve months, but on thirteen moons? Did you know that each of these moons is reflected in the thirteen scutes on a turtle’s back? Did you know that, typically, turtles have 28 outer scutes which represent the number of days in one moon? Do you happen to know what a scute is? We will learn all of the above, and more, in this very special workshop. The program combines storytelling, art, and an active game that will turn students into hatching turtles racing the tide, weather, and predators. This is a classroom favourite with an activity for every type of learner and will cover topics including adaptation, identification, hibernation and human-made challenges facing turtles.

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Gitigaan – Garden

Gardening has always been an integral part of how people engage with land. Through this workshop, students will be invited to learn about how respect, humility and active listening help us to engage in the natural world in ways that sustain us and promote environmental health. The Gitigaan workshop gives students the opportunity to learn about both the science behind why certain plants work while together as well as traditional stories of how these plants came to be. This workshop covers topics such as the three sisters, nutrient cycles, sacred medicines, photosynthesis, pollinators and soil fertility and will expand our definition of what a garden can be!

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Mtigwaaki – Forest

The forest is the place where all of our traditional materials (for building, medicine, food, clothing, and so much more) once came from. For many people living traditionally, the forest continues to be a source of wonder and a way to make a living. Students will hear stories about how human beings share the forest with our animal relatives and will be exposed to a different way of understanding the reciprocal relationship we have with all the beings that reside there. Anishinaabe knowledge and stories will be used in conjunction with scientific principles to explain natural processes such as photosynthesis, tree sap production and ecosystem interactions between trees and insects.

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Ishkode – Fire

Fire, like so many aspects of the natural world, warrants a special kind of respect and attentiveness. In this workshop, youth will have a chance to hear stories of how fire came into the hands of humanity and explanations of the role of the Firekeeper in today's modern context. The bulk of the workshop is a hands on experience where youth will work with multiple methods of fire creation, both modern and traditional in a safely guided space. As they build fires, students will learn the science of this craft, and the three elements needed to sustain a flame. After small groups try their hand at building a fire together, we will join together to cook some Indigenous food delicacies (in the past this has included bannock and Cedar tea)!

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Mashkiig – Marsh

There is no ecosystem more critical to the health of the environment than wetland ecosystems. This workshop encourages youth to engage with and get to know the local amphibians and insects that do such important work for the greater environment. Stories about frogs, biodiversity, medicines and evolution will be shared to highlight the interconnected nature of our wetland systems. In addition, youth will aim to ethically catch, observe, identify and release local amphibian and insects in the marsh and our staff will share some Anishinaabemowin names for these local wildlife. This hands on dirty work, coupled with fun games, interactive simulations and art projects makes the Marsh workshop as multidimensional as the ecosystem it aims to teach youth about!

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