Guest post from: Kim Knowles, Alexis Motuz & Sarah Anderson
In September, we shared news about an outdoor fall potluck event with guests and friends from White Owl Native Ancestry and the Faculty of Social Work Indigenous Field of Study Due to several scheduling conflicts it had to be postponed and now the weather is less than ideal for an outdoor potluck.
The plans, now, are for a spring “Maple Syrup Day” event in March or early April. The event will be hosted by Dave Skeen & members of Wisahkotewinowak.
Wisahkotewinowak is an urban Indigenous food sovereignty project in the Wellington-Waterloo Region that aims to empower and strengthen the urban Indigenous community.
Wisahkotewinowak is an Ojibway word that means “the growth of new shoots from Mother Earth where a fire has come through”.
This fall, Wisahkotewinowak received a LoveMyHood grant to host a spring maple syrup celebration in Uniroyal Goodrich Park (in our midtown Mount Hope neighbourhood) and Huron Natural Area. These parks were chosen because they are places where Wiksahkotewinowak leaders have been building relationships with the land and neighbourhood.
The spring harvesting of maple sugar is a time of celebration and ceremony for Indigenous people. During maple season, Wisahkotewinowak will harvest sap from trees in a protected woodlot in South Kitchener. The Uniroyal Goodrich maple syrup celebration will happen on a weekend in March or early April. Sap will boil all day on a mobile sap boiler, starting around 9am. As the sap boils, there will be bannock and tea, clogging and fiddling, and traditional teachings about the sugar moon.
Stay tuned for more details in the spring!