New Group Provides a Safe Space for Women to Build Their Confidence in Speaking

Naotkamegwanning Arena housed some much needed giggles and encouraging applause.

Toastmasters-Karli Zschogner
Front: Darlene Oshie, Rolanda Wilson, Marilyn Leask, Rose Mary Paypompee, Darlene Paypompee Back: Laura Kakeeway, Patricia Biggeorge (Photo credit: Karli Zschogner)

By: Patricia Biggeorge

Ikwewag Toastmasters Club began in the community of Naotkamegwanning in October 2018 at the request of a couple of ladies in the community. Darlene Paypompee was approached because she has been a toastmaster member for a few years.

“I saw a need in the community, and every other community, to learn how to speak in public, conduct meetings, to gain confidence to speak up, to work or join in various committees, and I wanted to support them,” she said, “So, I decided to organize Ikwewag Toastmasters Club where women (Ikwewag) could learn these skills in a social and safe environment.”

Toastmasters is an international network in communication and leadership development.  Some people may wonder why it is called ‘Toastmasters’. Founders of the YMCA realized that a space for encouraging better communication was needed. The name resembled a banquet with toasts and after-dinner speakers.

A Facebook page titled ‘Ikwewag Toastmasters Club’ was launched in early October. Local Indigenous women, 18 years and above, are invited –  not just in Naotkamegwanning, but anyone from neighboring communities.

The first two practices happened in the last two weeks with a minute to speak on a table topic chosen randomly. The ladies chose the topic based on a theme for the meeting. The seven women discussed with each other on how even speaking improv for one minute was exhilarating and they already felt safer and confident.

Darlene said there will be a poll on the Facebook page so that members will have an idea on what to say. The long term goal is to build enough skill and confidence to be able to speak without filler words such as umms and ahhs for 5 minutes. The clubs’ support builds research skills and the ability to speak on a certain topic with confidence.

Joining the club inspires the development of ten goals within a person on public speaking. These are evaluating one’s own speaking ability, preparing and giving speeches, giving impromptu talks, controlling voice, vocabulary and gestures, giving constructive feedback, building confidence, sharpening leadership abilities, improving improvisation, expanding networks, and sharpening speaking, listening, understanding and thinking skills.

It is up to the individual as to when these goals are achieved. The individual can compete in speaking competitions at the regional, national or international level. Membership in the Toastmasters Club provides this small Indigenous community an opening to the rest of the world.

If interested, women can join the Ikwewag Toastmasters Club Facebook page, and are encouraged to sit in on the bi-weekly meetings  starting at 6:00 pm. While the club is for 18 years of age and over, there is the opportunity to start a club for those under 18 years of age, or come to the next meetings.

Membership allows access to regular tips, magazines and competition. Registrations are being accepted, but until a membership of 20 is reached, the club cannot register to confirm its unique bilingual status with Anishinaabemowin.

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Chopping Wood for Elders Video Making

By: Hayzn Tom

I had so much fun making this video from start to finish to finish.

It was on October 11 our first snow day of the season from my Grade 6 class at Baibombeh Anishinaabe School.

I went to the Chi Key Wis Arena and found the journalism trainer Karli Zschogner. There were volunteers outside chopping wood for houses.

I hope you enjoy the video.

 

An unexpected space of truth and reconciliation at Naotkamegwanning roundhouse

In recognition of Orange Shirt Day, Hockey Hall of Famer speaks at Indian Horse screening

By: Xavier Ranville and Wynter Taylor

It was a chilly last evening of September when Naotkamegwanning’s roundhouse was filled with more bodies than it has had in a long time – dedicated to residential school survivors.

The 40 plus community members and guests of all ages enjoyed traditional foods as wild rice and bannock before sitting down for the big screen and local George Kakeway’s similar story of residential school survival through hockey.

“Be who you are because that’s how you survive,” said Kakeway in discussion after the award-winning film adaption of the novel by the late Northwestern Ontario’s Anishinaabe Richard Wagamese.

Indian Horse, follows the fictional Anishinaabe character Saul, and his experience at residential school and his talent through hockey. The story captures many of the realities of racism and ill treatment Indigenous persons have faced.

Sept30IndianHorseGeorgeKakewayRoundHouse_Xavier_recording-WynterTaylor
Kakeway as the only Indigenous boy played hockey in Kenora, later attending Assiniboia Residential School with later Assembly of First Nations National Chief Phil Fontaine (Photo Credit: Wynter Taylor)

The film left many people in tears touched by the story, either seeing for the first time on screen the real experiences of their loved ones or because they had no idea of this part of Canada’s history and what they went through.

Like many adults and elders like Wauzhushk Onigum First Nation’s George Kakeway, the story of Saul and his peers was very much a reality.

“As a survivor it becomes very hard to express what we went through,” he said in the community discussion.

George was taken from his home in 1951 at the age of 6.  He talked about his time at St. Mary’s Catholic Residential School in Kenora, that his hair was cut bald and punished for speaking Ojibwe. He expressed that this place, along with its sanitarium, was one of the loneliest places.

“The intent was to assimilate us, not to educate us,” he said.

Like character Saul, he was an orphan at age 10, and hockey had come available for him and he excelled, not just out of interest but a method of survival from experiences.

Wynter Taylor - George Kakeway
George Kakeway said he would use hockey and other sports to get it out of your mind and survival. (Photo Credit: Wynter Taylor)

He said hockey gave him the opportunity to chose to go to Winnipeg’s Assiniboia Residential school which let him study and also gave him time to play hockey. His focus led him to become the chief at his home at the young age of 25.

In October of last year George and his team were inducted into Manitoba’s Hockey Hall of Fame.

September 30, Orange Shirt Day is not just the last day of the month but a national movement, and proposed national holiday of sharing residential school experiences. It remains a hard day for many elders to relive and share, taking courage.

Kakeway Indian Horse Screening Poster
Indian Horse Screening Poster (Photo Credit: Karli Zschogner)

While having heard about residential schools, Judi Cannon, a non-indigenous attendee, was overwhelmed to learn about what was going on inside and outside of the residential schools.

“I can’t even believe it would happen,” she said.  “I don’t understand how people could treat other people that way.”

Cannon, Director of Ontario SPCA for Partnerships and Community Outreach, along with her crew were invited into the community for their second year extraction of unaccounted for dogs.

Event was put on by the community’s journalism trainer and the community’s Women’s Shelter.

Naotkamegwanning Mazina’igan – October 19, 2018 – Issue 1

Naotkamegwanning First Nation’s (formally Whitefish Bay) first newspaper
1. Cover Photo Feature Credit: Roland White
2. Letter from Co-editor – Karli Zschogner
3.the first times harvesting a deer – Ocean Sky Tom
5. An unexpected space of truth and reconciliation at Naotkamegwanning roundhouse – Xavier Ranville & Wynter Taylor
8. Naotkamegwanning’s Hanisha Singers take a national stage in supporting families of missing and murdered – Roland White
11. More than just beauty – Okima Paypompee & Ozaawaa Paypompee
14. Noatkamegwanning fishing derby dedicated to passing of local resident – Damon Hunter
16. Baibombeh Anishinaabe School messages
18. Baibombeh Anishinaabe School – What is Nominal Roll? – Ian Crow
19. Everything You Need to Know: Cultural Camp – Kelly Kavanaugh
20. Baibombeh Anishinaabe School – Grade 1
21. Baibombeh Anishinaabe School – Grade 2 & 3
22. We Can Do Better – Virginia Loon
23. Why are Baibombeh students not getting work done? – Xavier Ranville
24. Anishinaabemowin Workshop -Roland White
25. Elders-in-Residence: Betty Tom – Ozaawaa Paypompee

Noatkamewanning Hanisha Singers take a national stage in supporting families of missing and murdered

People of all ages shared a space of healing through a red jingle dress pow wow held in Winnipeg followed the five-day MMIW Inquiry.

By: Roland White

Families could feel the powerful shivers down their spine as Teddy Copenace solo lamenting song to missing and murdered indigenous women. The Red Jingle Dress pow wow, dedicated to the tragic missing and murdered women and men, was held at Winnipeg’s Lavallee School October 6.

“In’de dabajiitoon gi-nagamowan. (I sing from the heart.) Niminwendan apane gi-nagamowan owe nagamon (I feel good every time I sing this song.)”, says Copenace.

Teddy and Leslie Copenance an Tommy Hunter
Teddy Copenace, Leslie Copenace and Tommy Hunter (Photo Credit: Roland White)

Copenace says him and the rest of the Hanisha Singers volunteered to come to this event to help honour and support families in the healing process.

He describes the particular song, “Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women” on the groups titled album ‘Remembering & Honouring Our Lost and Stolen Sisters’ before he sings. Woke up crying, he says it came to him as a dream of a girl who was in distress and trying to reach out to him but he was unable to help her.

Jingle Dress Dancers
Red Jingle Dress Dancers (Photo Credit: Karli Zschogner)

He explains his wife told him to go outside a make a fire and put tobacco down. While outside, the wind blew and he heard a voice say, “ogimaa- ikwe.” Afterwards he put down tobacco, he heard the leaves rustling like jingles and a voice saying again, “ Okijiichidaa-ikwe  was the one you were dreaming of.”

Desirae Paypompee was one of the red jingle dress dancers that came to participate in the pow-wow. Currently living in Winnipeg, she is originally from Naotkamegwannng First Nation.

Desirae Paypompee
Desirae Paypompee, originally from Naotkamegwanning First Nation, joined as a jingle dress dancer and the Winnipeg pow wow. (Photo Credit: Karli Zschogner)

She says it was a pleasant surprise to see her community members partake in the event.

“It was very healing,” she says. “It made me feel apart of something big.”

She says she feels responsible for educating her son about respect. She says she believes that like the Orange Shirt Day movement, youth and adults should be educated about this horror.

“I do have relatives who have lost their loved ones and I also have friends within the city who have lost loved ones also,” she says.

Jingles Dress Dancers - Roland White
Jingle Dress Dancers dance to help heal the pain (Photo Credit: Roland White)

The organizers including Walking Little Bear Candace Arrow expressed gratitude to the Hanisha Singers for dedicating their time and energy in attending the MMIW pow-wow.

She says she started planning this event in February for a space for healing and unity for the affected families. She says the process ended up something much more.

“It kept me clean, it kept me driven and kept me focused” says Arrow.

Organizer Candace Arrow watching female drum group
Organizer Walking Little Bear Candace Arrow watches female drum group (Photo Credit: Roland White)

She says has experienced both sides, being a supporter for children and youth at Red River College, and as a victim and survivor.

“I was nearly taken. I was 14. I was lured by alcohol and the man took me to the river,” she says. “Who knows what he could of done with me. I jumped out of the moving car.”

She was getting very emotional and teary eyed.

She says out of principle, she kept her budget costs below the small missing persons rewards offered for finding missing indigenous girls.

She says she was overwhelmed by the large turn out, raffle and food contributions and considers having it next year.

“If I do have it next year, it’s going to be in every province,” she laughs.

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We can do better

Virginia Loon
“It’s annoying when bullying happens because people will feel hurt when everybody notices what that person said about another person.” (Photo Credit: Virginia Loon)

By: Virginia Loon

Sometimes the reserve is boring, sometimes it’s not.

It can get ugly when everybody fights, but everyone will get along later on.

It’s annoying when bullying happens because people will feel hurt when everybody notices what that person said about another person. It’s just sad.

Everyday I ask myself, “Why is this happening?” But nobody will reply because nobody wants to admit what I am talking about.

It’s annoying and sad at the same time that people don’t own up to their own actions.

I honestly don’t know how I feel about this reserve. It scares me sometimes.

There are people who are mean to me a little bit but you know I ain’t supposed to say anything back. But I do because it needs to be called out.

Sometimes I wish some words would never have come out my mouth but they do.

I wish there was never such a thing as bullying so we could help the community be better.

Naotkamegwanning youth learn respect to wildlife

KelsiB. Carter Nash cutting up meat
Carter Nash cutting up meat (Photo Credit: Kelsi Blackhawk)

By: Ocean Sky Tom

Students at Baibombeh Anishinaabe School got their hands all bloody last Thursday October 4 .

For Grade 7 and 8 Ojibwe language and land –based classes they were invited to Shawendaasowin Prevention Services to learn how to harvest a deer.

Students took turns sawing, slicing, cutting, and washing the meat. Alongside this, they were listening to cultural teachings and documenting with microphones, cameras and video cameras with the Naotkamegwanning’s community journalism trainer Karli Zschogner.

Teddy Copenace, the elementary land-based coordinator, guided them through the process, explaining the sacredness of the deer.

Kelsi Blackhawk photo credit
Student West Ranville jumps in to document audio and video as others take turns slicing deer meat, listening to teachings of Teddy Copenace (Photo Credit: Kelsi Blackhawk)

“The main protocols that I did was that we put tobacco down before we started cutting this deer up,” he said speaking to interviewer West Ranville. “This is someone’s clan and on top of that, the Creator is the one who gave us that deer for us to survive.”

He describes how the hooves are used for pow wow regalia, use the he use the hide as a drum, for moccasins, and a jacket to keep as warm

He also explains that out of respect for the animal, the skull and antlers are left with an offering of tobacco.

Teddy and West Photo Credit-Ocean Tom
Student West Ranville jumps in to document audio and video as others take turns slicing deer meat, listening to teachings of Teddy Copenace (Photo Credit: Kelsi Blackhawk)

Teacher Roland White says he was happy to students working with their hands.

“It’s part of our culture, it’s part of who who we are, to learn about animals,” he said.

Kelsi Blackhawk
Baibombeh students take turns cutting up deer meat and documenting (Photo Credit: Kelsi Blackhawk)

Lester Kavanaugh, the Senior Prevention Worker at Shawendaasowin Prevention Services hosted the space.  He says he got the deer after requesting community hunters to donate wild game.

“I am planning on doing is feeding the students at least once or twice a month hot lunch,” he said.

When interviewed, Sharia Yomi of Grade 12 said she would definitely do this again.

“It was a good experience,” she said. “So that our young know how to skin deer and know the teachings of our animals and spirits.”