An annual camping assembly northeast of Meadow Lake is steeped in tradition, restoration and renewal.
The event, which is taking place at Flying Dust cultural grounds at Gladue Lake started on Monday, July 9 and will wrap up the morning of Friday, July 13. Tipi building, words from community elders, beading, and quilt-making were among several activities for the whole family. The week also included sessions from speakers on topics such as lateral violence, forgiveness, and medicinal plant use.
Theresa Desnomie-Fiddler, an educator from Yorkton has presented at several points during the camp. One day was about how laughter is medicine.
“I feel that’s really important for some of our people because it seems like a lot of the hardships we go through, we forget to laugh,” Desnomie-Fiddler said. “It brings healing to the body. We played some interactive games as well.”
Desnomie-Fiddler spoke today about lateral violence, which is the phenomenon of aggression towards one’s own family, ethnic group, or community members. Examples of this could include anything from rolling one’s eyes, to oppression at work or home, to abuse. She spoke about the ripple effects that can occur, and constructive ways to deal with it.
“A stressor for a lot of Aboriginal people has been residential school,” she said. “There are generations down that are still affected. So what we’re learning is to not go against each other but to embrace one another.”
Nicole Laliberte has been attending the family camps since she was a young girl, and went as a teen as well. Now as a 33-year-old mother of five, who currently lives in North Battleford for her schooling, she’s proud to bring her children to connect with each other, community member, and the earth.
“It not only brings the different families together and shows us and our children that we’re all one big family basically,” she said. “I think it’s important because, especially with the loss we’ve been dealing with like suicides and people passing suddenly from medical issues, it shows us how to use the earth to as medicine in different ways, and shows each other we’re not alone.”
She said it’s good for people of all ages to attend the camp, but for children, it teaches them to be humble and proud to call Flying Dust First Nation their home.
On Twitter @ReporterKath
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