Kenora Chief Advisory recently welcomed over 600 visitors to our Youth and Family Wellness Camp for our annual Fall Harvest and Feast Celebrations.

The Fall Harvest was held from October 17-20, at the Youth and Family Wellness Camp (371 Strecker Road). Students and community members were invited to come out and participate in activities such as wild game processing, medicine making, and drum teachings.

The Fall Feast was held on October 18, where foods harvested and prepared by the community and KCA staff were served.

Throughout the week, the camp welcomed over 600 community members and children from local schools.

Danika Crow, Manager of Cultural Services for KCA, commented on the importance of a traditional fall harvest, “It’s a way for our kids to learn our traditions, the things we have been doing for years.”

“I remember growing up, we used to have harvests all the time but then they just sort of went away… so when I started doing them again last year, it was my goal to get kids back out there learning about the importance of hunting and other important skills.”

“Knowing how to skin a deer and respecting what you are killing, making sure you are not wasting parts of the animal or being disrespectful to the animal.”

Crow explained that these educational harvests are not just about hunting, they are also about the teaching of survival skills. “We teach them survival skills too, like how to build a fire because I know that a lot of kids do not know how to make a fire or how to cook something over a fire.”

To conclude her comments, Crow said “I would like to give a big shout-out to our drummers and the knowledge keepers that came out because, without them, we can’t pass our teachings along to all the people that come out. And a thank you to all of the participants who came out.”

Chi-Miigwetch to the Bell Let’s Talk Community Fund for supporting our youth mental health project through land-based programming, traditional teachings, activities, and building connections to culture and a relationship with the land. Cultural revitalization is seen as an effective way of preventing/alleviating mental illness among Indigenous youth.

Ogimaawabiitong would also like to send a huge Miigwetch to the Canadian Race Relations Foundation for their support in helping to promote reconciliation throughout northwestern Ontario and Treaty #3.

Check out some of the photos from the day!