Autumn traditions demonstrated at Kenj Fall Harvest

Island community encouraged to participate in harvest events

M’CHIGEENG—Kenjgewin Teg Educational Institute (KTEI) will once again be hosting its annual Fall Harvest event, a day of all things fall harvest open to all members, of all ages, of the Manitoulin community.

The fifth annual Fall Harvest is slated for Thursday, September 25 at the M’Chigeeng powwow grounds on Highway 551 with every Island school, as well as schools from Espanola and the North Shore, invited to attend.

Debbie Debassige, one of the primary organizers of the event, explained that the Fall Harvest is designed to teach the traditional ways of harvesting—from fruits to grain to wild meat—and to introduce the ideas and practices surrounding the harvest that have been crucial to Island living for generations.

The event will feature all day harvesting stations and tents, from Wikwemikong wild rice to moose (if all goes well with KTEI hunters earlier that week), fish courtesy of the United Chiefs and Councils of Manitoulin (UCCM) Anishnaabe Police, trapping with representatives of the Sheshegwaning First Nation, canning and preserving and so much more.

The day will also include games and arts and crafts, all with a harvest theme, birch bark canoe making, basket weaving, a medicine walk, traditional teachings and an ‘ask the elder’ component.

New this year, the evening preceding the event, on September 24 at 7 pm, M’Chigeeng elder Alma Jean Migwans will be sharing her knowledge of the water teachings as they pertain to the harvest, and to life, followed by a traditional sweat lodge.

“There’s a whole variety of experiences to choose from,” Ms. Debassige said, “with both First Nations and non First Nations partners. There’s just so much.”

The following night, concluding a day filled with harvest fun, Serpent River First Nation’s Isaac Day Murdoch will be sharing traditional stories of harvest and more by the light of the full moon. Overnight camping is available on-site.

“It will be an evening of listening to stories and sharing stories,” Ms. Debassige said. “And everyone is welcome.”

“We couldn’t do this without our partners,” Ms. Debassige added, noting the UCCM Anishnaabe Police, United Chiefs and Councils of Mnidoo Mnising, Great Spirit Circle Trail, M’Chigeeng First Nation, Noojmowin Teg and the Ojibwe Cultural Foundation.

The KTEI Fall Harvest will be held all day at the M’Chigeeng powwow grounds, Highway 551, on Thursday, September 25, rain or shine. The Wednesday evening water teachings talk will take place at 7 pm on Wednesday, September 24, also at the powwow grounds.