Elders gather in AOK for fun and learning

Bingo was a popular event at the Noojmowin Teg Bwaachwedaa (let’s visit) Elders Conference, as seen by the enthralled looks on the faces of Gene and Susan Bebamash. photos by Michael Erskine

AUNDECK OMNI KANING – The Noojmowin Teg Bwaachwedaa (let’s visit) Elders Conference was held at the Four Directions Complex in Aundeck Omni Kaning February 12 and 13.

The conference began with opening remarks and a hand drum welcome, with Tammie Assinewai providing the emcee services.

Chantelle Taylor and Kim Genereaux provided an introduction to maajiiwin (light exercise) and author Kenn Pitawanakwat and Estin McLeod delivered teachings on the immune system.

Workshops at the event included a storytelling contest (won by Maryanne McGregor), music and dancing (Elijah Manitowabi was to provide the tunes but was unable to make it), sacred tobacco teachings (with Estin McLeod), crafting sessions, Anishinaabemowin animal bingo, immune systems and self-care, foot soaks and massage, charades and games as well as a host of giveaways and prizes.

On the second day of the conference, David Pitawanakwat was firing up the oil for an outdoor fish fry while inside, a host of crafting sessions included leather rose making, beaded friendship bracelets and medicine bag making, while Terry Spanish conducted the ever-popular Anishinabemowin animal bingo.

Charades were the word in the final set of games, conducted in Anishinabemowin by David Pitawanakwat.