Mentorship is the Key to Learning and Growing

By: Isaac Kavanaugh

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Roland White drafts ideas for the group (Photo credit: Isaac Kavanaugh)

Earlier this month I attended a conference dedicated to youth of treaty three dedicated to the importance of mentorship in college or university.

Six of us high school students from Whitefish Bay attended the Grand Council Treaty Three youth mentorship conference held in Fort Frances at the La Place Rendezvous Hotel on January 11 and 12.

One of the things that stuck out to me was a presentation by Dr. James Makokis from Saddle Lake First Nation. He introduced himself in his language which is Little Boy Drum (Anishanabe name). He talked about his Cree background and how the Ojibway and Cree culture and language are similar, just taught differently and how the language is said. He also talked about the Alberta Jasper Park mountains and how you can see the marks left from the Creator and the great Nana Boozhoo.

Uniquely, Carol Easton the Fort Frances Tribal Health Unit gave a presentation about sexual education. During the presentation they talked about how to get tested and how the Sexual Transmitted Infections (STIs) are all different, how they affect the body, and how to receive treatment.

The next presentation was about human trafficking and how this sexual exploitation is happening around us. Speaking about trauma and survivors, they explained how one can recover from such a monstrous act with the help of support workers and seeking help. They explained that the main spots for human trafficking takes place in Fort Frances ON and Thunder Bay ON.

They did a demonstration on how young girls get caught by the traffickers. To explain, she set up a profile of a little girl (aged thirteen plus) and within twenty minutes that profile she made as an example got 35 friend requests on Facebook from older men, she also said that traffickers will use language like “I can help pay your bills”.

On the final day, they asked us to write down our insights and how we felt. Asking what we would like to see at the next conferences, many of us across the different nations said language and culture. When asked to share from our table, many of my peers asked if I would speak but I told them that I cannot always be responsible for them but to speak for themselves – that they have their own voice and experiences.

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Corban Crow speaks for his table (Photo credit: Isaac Kavanaugh)

Corban spoke of our table’s suggestions on the next conference locations including Kenora and Winnipeg. Baibombeh teacher Roland White spoke saying he was happy to see youth engage in wanting to see more native language. He also recommended that the next time youth be split up so that they can meet each other better.

Isaac Kavanaugh is a Grade 11 student at Baibombeh Anishinaabe School.

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London! Paris! Rome! The Baibombeh Anishinabe High School Travel Club

Travel Club members Adam Skead and Ireland Bird with her mother Leigh Green at first fundraiser Bingo December 10, 2018 at Baibombeh Aninishinaabe School Gym (Photo Credit: Xavier Ranville)

By: Marietta Patabon

The Baibombeh Anishinabe High School Travel Club is open to students enrolled in grades nine through 12. In May 2019, a group of 10 – 12 students and four chaperones will take a nine-day educational tour of three of the oldest cities in the world: London, England; Paris; France, and Rome, Italy! The tour was set up through EF Educational Tours Inc. at www.eftours.ca with expert travel consultants & tour guides that help every step of the way. Each student is currently working on fundraising ideas to help cover the full cost of their travel expenses.

As of January 2019, students should have already made two payments and are still fundraising in order to reach their goal. All students are currently working on their passport applications to ensure that they are prepared to travel.

Bingo Dabbers at Travel Club’s First Fundraiser Bingo December 10, 2018 at Baibombeh Aninishinaabe School Gym (Photo Credit: Elena Kejick)

To date, the travel club will already have hosted two merchandise bingo’s as well as one Christmas raffle. The first bingo was held on December 10th, 2018 and raised a total of $700. The second bingo was held on January 13th, 2019. This bingo did not get the turnout the club had hoped for. However, the bingo carried on without any profit gain. The Christmas Raffle gained a total of $2,066. Students and families have also taken to individual hockey pool’s, and mini draw’s.

Travel Club’s First Fundraiser Bingo December 10, 2018 at Baibombeh Aninishinaabe School Gym with food canteen (Photo Credit: Elena Kejick)

Here are some upcoming events the Travel Club will be hosting:

Merchandise Bingo, Monday, February 11, 2019 at Baibombeh School. Doors will open 6:30 p.m. Stay tuned for the Poster and list of Prizes. An announcement will be made soon for the next BIG Raffle with excellent prizes and where to purchase your tickets. Another fundraiser for the club is a cute one, candy gram sales at Baibombeh School for Valentine’s Day, orders can be made at the school. Lastly, the travel club will be at the Family Day Pow Wow, a canteen and a menu will be posted via Facebook.

Miigwetch for all your kind donations and support towards our Baibombeh Anishinabe High School students. 

SCREECH! AGH! GROWLL! Traditional storytelling through a graphic novel

By: Landon Joseph

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An example of what the graphic novel looks like inside (Photo credit: Carter Nash)

I recommend the graphic novel Eagle Girl  to other students because it’s about shapeshifting.

Shapeshifting is when a human transforms into a creature. They might look or act like the creature. Shapeshifting is important to many first nation cultures.

The story takes place in the plateau region in western Canada and the United States. The two students in the book I read in grade seven, Shay Feather and Kyle Wolf, find out that they can shapeshift. After meeting Kyle, Shay had a dream about an eagle and a wolf who had Kyle’s eyes.

Shay asked why she felt annoyed and felt a zap of electricity when she touched Kyle, the new boy in town. Her mom told her about her family history of shapeshifting into a eagle and about her family feud between the wolf and the eagle.

When Shay and Kyle confronted each other again, and turned into a wolf and an eagle, somebody got hurt. They realized they should stop fighting.

“Whatever happened long ago between our families is no business of ours. This feud needs to stop right here and now….. With us!,” said Shay.

The main conflict was when Shay and Kyle were fighting in the woods.

I loved the book  for its storyline about shapeshifting. I also liked it because of the art work and the animals.

The book is by Robert Cutting, under Turtle Island Voices, which is a series of 30 levelled readers designed to foster awareness and understanding of Aboriginal cultures for both Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal students, and was published by Pearson Canada.

The following story has been re-drafted one-on-one with journalism trainer.

Ballin’ for Our Elders

By Marietta Patabon

Late last summer, a heartfelt gesture of wanting to provide an amusing time for our elders presented itself to Debbie Meekis. Remarkably, an idea on how to fundraise a Christmas shopping trip for our elders was born.

“I just wanted to take them out where they can enjoy themselves and be out where they don’t have to worry about anything and just to be out,”  said Debbie. She said selling Bingo balls was suggested as the best way to shape this dream into reality.

Debbie works with Naotkamegwanning region’s elders everyday and she holds every recollection of the stories, gifts, and their happy memories she has met thus far.

Our elders adventured off to Black Bear Casino for two nights, and Duluth, Minnesota . Everyone enjoyed themselves, as Debbie recalls. The looks on their faces was the grateful feeling for her efforts of fundraising, she said. A donation of $250 was also presented to one of our elders in need, after an unfortunate event.

Aside from working, and the lack of communication with her family back home in Deer Lake First Nation, Debbie said she enjoys the task of opening all the tabs and sending pictures of confirmation to supporters, which presents as a big undertaking. With the support of Waylon Namaypoke at home, her efforts have been extremely gratifying for family and all supporters, she said.

The last of her fundraising will end after all current tickets are sold and includes for elders’ birthdays, she said.

With all appreciative gratitude from all us here and surrounding supporting areas, Miigwetch!

Recognized animal caregiver: Local resident caring for all living creatures

By: Donna Namaypoke

On Saturday December 8, 2018, just before 11:00 am, my mother phoned me to tell

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Jyles Copenace prepares to capture the snowy owl (Photo credit: Isaac Kavanaugh)

me that she’s over by the garbage can in the west end so naturally my reply is “oh”.  She then proceeded to tell me that she was driving and Brian Copenace, who was sanding our roads at the time, stopped her and pointed towards the garbage can and that’s when my mother saw a beautiful snowy owl sitting in the middle of the road.

“I think it’s injured and there are a couple of ravens bothering it,” she said, asking what could be done. So I messaged Jyles Copenace to see if he was in the community and could go and check on it.

She said she would stay there and wait. I immediately messaged Jyles, who was pretty quick to respond and say he would be right over.

About an hour and a half  later, Jyles messaged me and told me he got the owl and that it was  malnourished but should be fine. He thanked me for calling on him and asking for his assistance. Meanwhile I’m thinking, “Who else would I call” but replied with, “No problem”.

You see, this past summer my mother-in-law called and said there is an injured eagle over by her place. After exchanging a conversation regarding the eagle, we hung up and I continued on with my day at home. About two hours later, she called again and said that eagle had moved.

Sure enough there was this beautiful golden eagle sitting in the tall grass. I tried to go close to it just to see if I could force it to fly away, but it didn’t. Instead it flapped its wings and hopped further way.

Not wanting to stress it out, I backed away. I decided to call the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (MNRF). The man on the phone  replied that at the moment they didn’t have the manpower to deal with injured animals and that there were many wildfires in the region. He did give me the name of a woman and a phone number, which I called and left a voicemail.

After waiting and hoping that the lady would call, I decided to call the MNRF again. This time a man asked me where in Ontario.  “Whitefish Bay right by Sioux Narrows,” I said.

“Isn’t there a guy there that helps out injured birds?” he said.  I asked him if he was referring to Jyles Copenance and he agreed.  

I said I would see if he was in the community as it was pow wow season, and usually he and his family are traveling, but luckily he wasn’t. Jyles said he would be over as soon as they are done eating. I told him that we would  wait there with the eagle until he arrived.

He and his family arrived within a half hour and right away he said that it was not a golden eagle, but a young bald eagle! He explained to us that the birds look like golden eagles when they are young and that the feathers change.I had no idea that he knew so much about them.

Jyles and his son decided that his son would walk to the left of the eagle while Jyles went to the right and whichever way the owl would move, then the closest one would throw a blanket on him.

It was all very interesting to watch, especially how efficient they were, like it was an everyday thing.  I asked him a week later how the eagle was doing and he said he had it at his house for a couple days and released it at my mother-in-law’s. It flew away without any issues.

As of this morning, December 10, 2018, the snowy owl was released in good health. Thank you Jyles!

Photo Essay: Frozen Lakes, Ice Roads, and Unique Opportunities

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Honorary Mention of December’s Let It Snow Photo Contest : Sunset : “Frozen Lakes, Ice Roads, and Unique Opportunities” (Photo Credit: Maria Blackhawk)

By: Maria Blackhawk

We are so fortunate to have ready access to area lakes and rivers, especially in winter. We can travel off the highways and on to any of several ice roads. These roads weave their way over and around the islands and shorelines. Your chances of seeing something noteworthy is high.

We live in the digital age, connected by cell phones with the ability to take high resolution photos and videos. There are so many breathtaking images to capture from our everyday surroundings. There is nothing more relaxing than stopping for a moment to take in the scenery and make some observations that would be impossible without the access that ice roads provide.

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Honorary Mention of December’s Let It Snow Photo Contest : Wolf Running : “Frozen Lakes, Ice Roads, and Unique Opportunities” (Photo Credit: Maria Blackhawk)

It’s a time to reflect on creation and your place in it. It’s a time to be humble and realize that you are not the center of the universe. You are part of something bigger and more important. It’s a time to be grateful that you are here, at this moment, able to appreciate what many take for granted.

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Honorary Mention of December’s Let It Snow Photo Contest : Wolf Running at night: “Frozen Lakes, Ice Roads, and Unique Opportunities” (Photo Credit: Maria Blackhawk)

If you are lucky you may come upon wildlife in its natural habitat. You may find yourself really close to wildlife and feel the excitement of a once-in-a-lifetime, close encounter.

There is great satisfaction in capturing a moment in time that you can share with loved ones. Especially when they share in your excitement and awe. I’ve learned to appreciate the everyday routine travels that can become a spectacular event at any moment.

Maria Blackhawk’s photo essay received Honourary Mention in December’s Let It Snow Photo Contest.

Coding makes the world go round, and the games you play

By: Imran Ali

Baibombeh Anishinabe School is pleased to inform our students that we have planned to launch a ‘Coding Club’. Living in an era of space, technology and online entertainment and communication, we are in a competitive, ability-centric world. Across the world, children are learning to code in elementary school.

There are some misconceptions or fears related to coding. For example, that you need pre-requisite courses, that it is very complicated/technical, that it is for math experts, or that it is very expensive to learn.

In this day and age, coding is an important skill that must be acquired during our initial years of learning. In fact, coding is just like learning a language. More specifically, it is knowing and understanding how to say something in different ways – the logic.

Anyone who has some interest and is a bit devoted, can learn it easily. All you need is your computer, Internet and the 3D’s: Desire, Decision and Devotion and the world is yours!

There are many advantages of learning how to ‘code.’ It’s a world full of job opportunities, being self-reliant and creative, and also provides an opportunity for self-employment, without leaving your home or community.

One can design games, develop your own Ojibway language software, build robotics and develop one’s own blogs and websites.

In short, technology has no limits. On your phones, computers and other gadgets, you are interacting with the whole world without leaving your home.

Learning basic code, you can prepare yourself and future generations by learning new skills and knowledge, as well as preserving culture, language and traditions.