The second family nature walk in High Park – Teachings by Blu Waters, Joce Two-Crows Tremblay and Catherine Tammaro. A wintery, icy, muddy walk, white pine, goldenrod, sumac, rock, animal, burial mounds and much more teachings… three sisters soup and blueberry bannock, songs and sharing. Then we got our hands dirty making some art to invoke Spring! This work to Indigenize High Park is slow. Its not the intention of THPS to just familiarize settler people with Indigenous thought and ways, but to unsettle and decolonize conceptions of, and relations to the Land and sacred sites.
THPS is excited to announce our second Family Nature Walk to be led by Elder Blu Waters, who was a member of THPS during the time of struggle to protect Snake Mound. Ojiibikens will also provide kid centered art activities. Drumming and singing and ceremony around a sacred fire.
This weekend, THPS, Ojiibikens and High Park Nature Centre completed the first of four Indigenous led nature walks. The walk was led by Donna Powless who did medicine wheel teachings and gave plant knowledge. Also in attendance was Catherine Coming Day Tammaro who offered Moon teachings, Joce Two Crows Tremblay who did a Pipe Ceremony, Coyote Watson who kept the sacred Fire, and Jennifer Lafontaine who made Three Sisters soup and blueberry bannock also followed by teachings and kid play.
Indigenous and non-indigenous, chosen and related families joined us on this wintery day within the time of the February full moon for a sacred fire, teachings, ceremony and play. Songs were sung, wooden medallions were painted with different medicine wheel interpretations and then strung with two row color beads, a delicious feast was eaten, and then more songs, drumming and play going well past our scheduled time!
This event was a significant step in THPS’s work, alongside other Indigenous People/s and groups to further the Indigenization of the High Park lands, which are significant and sacred to the Haudenosaunee people.
Thank you to all the Indigenous families and people who showed up and shared the medicine of your being – this event was for you and for everyone who holds these sacred lands with love.
Thank-you to all the volunteers, and to Nature Centre staff, Jon, Jenny and Emily, who provided great settler ally support to this event. Thank you to Lisa Lavoie and Susan More from Red Wagon Collective for helping out as well.
Please join us for our next walk:
led by Elder, Blu Waters
Saturday, March 16
11:30 am – 1:30 pm
Please Join THPS, Ojibiikens and the HP Nature Centre for the first of four planned Indigenous led nature walks.
Donna Powless called us together for a THPS volunteer appreciation picnic at Bear Mound. It has been a while since THPS had a gathering so it was good to see everyone and catch up. As a group we are all still committed to protecting sacred sites in High Park and elsewhere in Toronto. We will be attending High Park Citizen’s Council meetings again and producing a pamphlet for High Park visitors on Indigenous History.
We feasted on cornbread and fruit salad. Marlene Bluebird Stickings and Joce Tremblay brought Ojibway tobacco plants seeded and grown at the Stop’s urban agriculture program to gift to THPS members, as well as to plant around Bear and Serpent Mound.