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.
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.
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.
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.
At a health fair with Kenora Chiefs Advisory/WNHAC Health to promote healthy living in the community, I came across this simple but understandable example. Now located in the waiting room of the Naotkamegwanning health clinic, I am showcasing just how much refined sugars in commonly consumed drinks. Refined or processed sugar, unlike natural sugars found in fruits are the largest factor for diabetes.
What is Diabetes?
Diabetes is a chronic disease where the body can not properly store and use sugar that comes from food and beverages taken in.
How to prevent? Get tested once per year, whether or not you believe you are at risk.
Rethink before you drink:
Coke : 14 spoons
Gatorade: 11.5 spoons
Ice Tea: 10.5 spoons
Sunny D: 4 spoons
Vitamin water: 8 spoons
Red Bull: 7 spoons
What are the alternatives for other drinks: Water, infused fruit flavored water, teas without sugar, and an Anishinaabe twist – spruce tea.
Why is this important to me as a health care worker?
I’ve been a health worker for so many years and I’ve seen so many people go through amputation due to diabetes. It is why care to help the community to live a healthy lifestyle by promoting health related workshops. Our biggest community event is the Biggest Loser Challenge from May to August.
Sandra Tom is the Community Health Representative at Nataawgonebik Health Services.
During the month of October, Grade 4 students completed a social studies unit on Canada. They learned about the different regions in Canada and completed a poster research project based on one province or territory in which they then presented to the rest of the class.
Sagaate Ranville completed his project on British Columbia. “I learned that British Columbia is the third largest province and the most westerly province in Canada,” he said.
I’m very proud of the effort they put forth into researching some of the basic facts of their province/territory.
Grade 5 Pumpkin Carving
By: Lillianna Taylor White
It was a gushy day in the Gr. 5 classroom on October 23rd as we carved out pumpkins. We used a big spoon, our hands and knives to remove the insides.
We were separated into groups because there were only four pumpkins.
The pumpkin was slimy inside. It was gross. Our teacher, Charlene White, asked Breanna and Cody to cut out the top for us.
There was a lot of pumpkin guts but we kept the seeds, washing them in water.
The seeds were going to be cooked, but that never happened because it was so busy. We were all over the place and our teachers were busy so we had to clean all by ourselves.
In an interview, Ms. White said the idea came from when she taught grade 4 a few years back. She says it was to see what pumpkin can offer us.
She said she was disappointed that we ran out of time that day and couldn’t roast the pumpkin seeds. “It would have been an opportunity to let them try it,” she said. “You can put flavor on pumpkin seeds like salt and vinegar or ketchup flavor.”
We did do a draw to see who got to take the pumpkin home.
By: Jerrah Chesson
On Halloween, the costumes were cool and scary at Baibombeh School, when participants met in the gym for a costume contest.
In grade 5, Lilli was Samara from The Ring, Charlie was Pennywise the dancing clown, Hayden and Dominika were skeleton figures. I was in a black suit with glowing glasses. We also watched a movie and it was really scary.
“This year there was a zombie walk and I was one of the zombies,” said Dominika Oshie. “It was really awesome and really fun.”
The Emotionless Girl
By Emma Tom Paypompee
Raina is emotionless. She makes a lot of fake smiles.
She is 17 years old. She wants to make people happy so she pretends she has emotions.
When she was 13, people called her a freak because she was emotionless. When she was 15 she made four friends. Her friends would bully her and some didn’t want her to be her friend anymore. When she was about 16, she stopped acting that she had emotions. This made her parents sad.
She is 17 now – almost 18. She has a boyfriend now and he is kind. He teaches her two emotions, sadness and happiness. She told her parents and they are happy. She is happy. She is making new friends. She now has about six friends. Her boyfriend is happy that she has made a lot of friends. They teach her how to not be shy.
Her mother bought a house for her and her boyfriend. Her dad gave her money to buy food.
She is almost 19. When she is 19, she is going to look for a job.
She wants kids. She hopes her kids are not emotionless. She will try to teach her or him emotions.
Three years later, she is 21. Now she has a kid who is one year old. The kid is not emotionless, but she can read minds.
She is 30 and her kid is now nine. Her kids’ names are Kate, Jack and Sky. Kate is oldest, Jack is six, and Sky is two years old.
People call Kate a freak because she can read minds. Raina told her people called her a freak because she was emotionless.
Gr. 6 Poetry
By Virginia Loon
If I had one wish, I’d wish for thirst of knowledge unequaled by anything in my life.
Then I’d study, and nothing would stop me.
I’d learn French, German, Latin and Greek. I’d know a bit of Japanese and some Spanish, enough to get by.
I’d study molecular biology and physics, simply because they interest me.
I’d take judo, yoga, and taekwondo and the philosophies behind them.
I’d learn as much geography as I could but not the names: economics, industry, politics, religion.
I’d read about history, but not just the what and when, the who, the why, the how.
And no one would know. It would be me on my own, behind my jester’s mask.
I’d be happy.
The Story of Misuzu Sempai
By: Gwen Paypompee, Gr. 6
My name is Sempai-Chan. I am 17 years old. I am known as the bookworm. My story is about my powers. Funny, eh? No one really wanted to be friends with me just because of my powers.
My powers are mind-reading and I can actually read your mind! I really hope we can be friends. I actually have blue hair, with bright green eyes.
Everyone at the Akademi has brown, blonde, black, any type of normal hair colors (unless if they dye their hair, it’s still normal) and normal eye colors too! Oh, did I tell you? I’m half wolf! No, eh? Well, I really am half wolf!
I love it in the winter times, all the white snow, the cherry trees covered up in snow, so much more! But sadly, almost everyone at the Akademi bullies me. It became a bit physical ever since I got to middle school. Back in Italy I made friends. Now back here in Japan.
Make Sure Your Student Has Set a Goal
By: Ian Crow
First day of high school sets the path for all students. Registration isn’t just a day to sign up to attend. Registration could be the most important day for a student. When transitioning from junior high to high school, students have to have a goal in place. A student should be able to describe to the registration staff his or her learning objectives.
Starting school with a blank transcript only happens once. Grades have yet to be given. Grades given for each course at the end of the semester could have a positive or negative impact on a student’s career choice.
Perhaps a student enters into an elective in the thirdI am not sure what Ian means by the third semester semester and realizes, when it’s too late, that he or she is in the wrong course. They may find that they do not meet the criteria for entering their preferred program when they register for post-secondary programs. This is why it’s important for a student to know what they want to do in life.
When a student receives 30 consecutive credits in high school, he or she will have graduated “on-time”. These could be students who know what they want to do in life and have prepared themselves for further studies and ultimately a career.
Students may, at times, decide to take a slow and steady path, stretching their time spent in school. There is nothing wrong with that, as long he or she is pondering life choices and are headed in the right direction. Students have until the age of 21 to graduate conventional school. Accelerated education is preferred amongst most educators, simply for quality of life purposes. Time spent in school should be kept at a minimum. Youth should experience more in life rather than staying in high school for an extended amount of time.
It is in the best interest of the student that they have a goal. Educators work well with students who have a plan. Deciding what work to assign and courses to offer is paramount to any educator. To stray off a student’s chosen path would be a waste of everyone’s time and efforts.
Equipping a student with the necessary tools to continue his or her educational path is a priority for Baibombeh Anishinaabe School. We wish to provide confidence in their choices and inspire them to work hard on a regular basis. We wish to open their minds and provide them guidance when it comes to choosing a path. A student’s journey begins with their aspirations. Doors are opening all the time. Students must grasp their dreams and work towards them.
Veteran George Crow
By Damon Hunter
For this year’s Remembrance Day, Cody Crow submitted photos and information about his father, George Crow. A poster hangs in the school in his honour. His father, George, was born on March 12, 1940 in Morson, Ontario.
At the age of 29, George signed up with the US Army. Stationed in Germany, he trained recruits to operate tanks. After the war he came back a hero. He was elected chief, and had also taken on the duties of councilor.
He enjoyed singing alongside the community country music club and was regarded as a talented artist.
Girls Wanted: 2018-2019 Curling Season has Begun
By: Sharia Yomi
We had our first curling practice on Tuesday, November 13th. Team members Danton Monias, Corban Crow, Connor Kakeeway, Drayston White and myself are trying out our first year in NORWOSSA Curling League.
As for the rest of the team members, Ireland Bird, Xavier Ranville, and Adam Skead, this will be their third year in the League.
Our coaches, Brooke Swoffer and Jordan Marchand, have taught some of our new members how to slide with sliders. It was not easy at first, but the team got the hang of it.
We only have two girls on our team. I suggest more girls or women should come on out and join our junior and senior curling teams.
Music Club 2018/2019
By: Mike Tokarz
Baibombeh Grade 4 Teacher/Music Coordinator
This school year, Baibombeh Anishinabe School is proud to be able to offer a musical program to our students. Through funding over the last couple of years, we were able to purchase a wide assortment of instruments, from trumpets, trombones, flutes, clarinets, alto saxophones, violins, guitars, drums, percussion, and keyboards.
The Grade 4 classroom is home to all of these instruments and they can often be heard in the afternoon from both ends of the school. The program is available to students from Grades 4 to 12. Students are currently working on learning to operate the instrument as well as proper posturing. We are also preparing for this year’s Christmas Concert.
I myself have played Alto Saxophone all my life and I look forward to passing on my knowledge of classical music to future generations and helping this program continue to grow and thrive in our school.
Jazlyn Copenace is working on learning how to play keyboard and alto saxophone in Music Club. “Music Club is really fun. I’ve always wanted to learn how to play an instrument,” she said. “I hope to start a band in the future.”
All members of the community are welcome.
Music Club Weekly Schedule
Monday – Grade 4 Music Club – 12:20 to 12:50pm
Wednesday – Grade 5 Music Club – 12:20 to 12:50pm
Thursday – Grade 6 to 12 Music Club 12:20 to 12:50pm – Grade 4 to 12 Music Club 3:30 to 4:30pm
Recently, I went to a two-day Youth Summit on Climate Change in Kenora with a few other high school students and teachers from across Treaty 3. It was interesting to learn about how climate change will affect the future. Speakers explained in what ways we will notice more climate change as time goes on.
I can already see what it’s doing to the planet and everything that lives on it. When I was a kid, there was a lot of snow, and we could build snowmen and go sliding, but now, sometimes the snow isn’t deep enough to slide and it isn’t that much fun and it’s also dangerous.
I’ve learned from the conference that we can prevent further damage from happening to our planet. This includes being aware of one’s own responsibility to stop putting pollutants into the atmosphere with their unhealthy daily routines.
An example where climate change is being affected the most is in the Canadian Arctic. This was explained by one of the speakers, Dr. John Iacozza, a professor at the University of Manitoba, who has spent over two decades of living and researching in the Arctic.
Iacozza explained in an interview that it is in our lifetime that the effects of warming, on animals and people, will be irreversible.
He said that more recently, people are speaking about the lack of action on climate change and that more of his research and expertise is being called upon internationally.
“More and more, it is understood especially in the Canadian government, climate change is happening and is a major problem in the north as well as the south,” he said. “There are steps being taken, especially with the engagement of the Inuit and the other communities in the north, to deal with climate change.
“To work with economic development in a more sustainable way, we can have both, we just have to do it in a better way that we have in the past,” he said.
Iacozza provided steps youth (and adults) can take in helping to reduce the impact of climate change in the north:
1) Appreciate that climate change is happening and understand that it’s happening and it’s not something that people have made up or things like that.
2) To understand that what we do down in the south effects what happens in the north.
3) Start working with other communities in the north to better understand the impacts of climate change, and that economic development needs to happen in a sustainable way
On the second day, during our lunch break, the organizers handed us a set of questions to answer and hand in for marking. Near the end of the conference, they added up the marks to who answered the most questions correctly.
When they said that the winner was from our school, I wondered who it could be. Then they said my name! I walked up to the front table to receive a MacBook, then later took pictures with it and was congratulated.
The conference was hosted by Grand Council Treaty #3 and was held at Seven Generations Education Institute. Baibombeh Anishinaabe School student attendees were Isaac Kavenaugh, Ireland Bird, Danton Monias, Drayston White, Dorian Fair, Corban Crow, Carmen Loon, Mackenzie Blackhawk, Lucey Oshie and Xavier Ranville.
At the peer helpers program in Kenora, Oct 14 to 16, the Kenora’s Chief Advisory, brought youth from different communities to train and become peer helpers. I went with my friends Jordanson, West, Carter, and our driver/chaperone Daniel (Hoss) White. Health services chose us to go because we are team players and have a lot of friends. We had to ask what a peer helper was and when we found out we were all too excited to attend.
On the first day, we sat and listened to the opening prayers and ceremony. The positive energy at Seven Generations was a feeling to remember. The smell of smudge flooded the building and our senses.
Throughout the first day, facilitators embedded positive thoughts in our young minds. Allan White, a member of Naotkamegwanning, taught us about our clans. I remember him giving all of the youth the microphone and telling us to say our clan and where we’re from and him telling us stories about each of our clans. I was eager to learn about about my clan. My great grandfather, Albert Crow, is a member of the Moose Clan. My grandfather and father are also Moose Clan. I learned that we follow our father’s clan.
Another important teaching was given by Kate-Lynn Paypompee, also a member of Naotkamegwanning. My favorite part of her presentation was when she gathered volunteers to help her show us what she was talking about. She had five of us come up and grab strings. They were all attached to each other and each one represented something. The first one represented me, the second one represented family, the third one represented friends, the fourth one represented community, and the last one represented the work we do. Then she balanced an egg between all the strings.
After she talked about our job and what happens when you lose it, the person representing your job let go. Then she talked about community and what happens when you lose that, then the person holding the string representing community let go, and so on, until there were two left holding the string with the egg in the middle. The person representing family let go and the egg fell.
Afterward, we had a presentation with elders and adults about helping the communities. The most interesting thing about the first day was listening to the elders speak and learning about the feather teaching. The feather teaching was very interesting to me because the presenter had drawn an eagle feather and showed us her eagle feather. There was a rough part at the bottom and that part meant the learning stage.
The learning stage was learning how to walk, how to speak, and how to eat. In the middle of the feather, there were these sides where it was uncombed. That represented the mistakes you made and where it goes like if you broke into a house or hurt someone on purpose. Then the top of the feather represents where you are more mature and have a better understanding of life.
We had a mental health workshop for an hour. The workshop talked about diabetes and suicide. The diabetes worker explained that youth should be sleeping for 8 hours and adults for 9 hours. There was a suicide speaker, and she spoke about what causes suicide and how we can help stop it.
The icebreaker activities we had two times a day were my favorite part in the program because they were games to enjoy and all the youth had to participate. Some games were embarrassing, but the more we played them, we didn’t care if it was embarrassing. The program taught me a lot of valuable life lessons by listing to our elders and adults.
Our mama, Kathleen Crow, use to tell us the story of how her father, our grandfather Peter White, went to the Hudson’s Bay store when he was a young man. I can relate to the story of my grandfather. Possibly many youth today can also relate as they leave home to attend universities for a better life.
He was still single at the time, just before the 1900s. The store from where we are today known as Whitefish Bay was located far into the north in Hudson Bay, Saskatchewan, nearly 1,000 kilometers away. In that time, there were no roads anywhere in the land. The railways had appeared at that time, but nowhere near our area.
My mother had many sisters and brothers; she remembered well the story their father told them. It was in the summer their father told them that he told his parents he was going to that store way up in the north. He knew his parents were worried but they did not say anything; they told him to be careful. The store was so far away and it would take a long time to reach it.
He had left alone that summer from the small community, taking only his small rifle and a knife to hunt for food as he went. Peter said he was lucky he met another young man on the way, and that he too was heading to up north to go see that store they had heard so much about. They knew it was a company that bought beaver pelts from the natives, and other wild animal furs. Peter and the other youth agreed they would split whatever money they made from the trip.
They collected many pelts along the way. Although it was cold when the winter came and the terrain was harsh, the young men did not encounter any hardships for they were young, strong men. They were adept in making shelters, and setting up camp a few days at a time, hunting beavers to sell. The young men took time to prepare the pelts; drying the skins and making pemmican from the meat. The tools they made along the way were snowshoes, sleds, and bows and arrows.
Still winter, the young men bought horses to carry the food and tools they bought from the Hudson’s Bay Store. My grandfather, Peter White, returned back home in the summer. He had been away all winter. His parents and the community members were so happy to see him coming home. He had brought lots of food for the people, salt, pepper, sugar, flour, tea, and coffee. He had also brought hunting tools for the men.
His parents cooked and had a feast that evening with the whole community. Everyone was so happy.
On Halloween, the newly created BaiBomBeh High School Travel Club hosted an event called the Zombie Run. In this event, the high school students dressed with face paint to look like a community of zombies – a zombie apocalypse.
The elementary students who participated were prepared, scared and eager to run away from zombies outside who could steal their lives away, and the ribbons they had on their clothing.
The point of this event, a great idea of high school teacher Jordan Marchand’s, was to raise money for the club. All community members were welcome. Prizes included a Samsung tablet. The club was also able to raise some funds through a canteen and bake sale.
As a travel club member, I though the event was a lot of fun!
The travel club is hoping to raise enough money to travel somewhere interesting and fun. Some of the places that we have discussed are New York, Orlando or Vancouver. The current plan is to travel in May, 2019. We will continue to host fun events and fundraisers in the upcoming months, including through the sale of our community newspaper, Naotkamegwanning Mazina’igan.
We hope to see the community participate and support our enriching cause.
Naotkamegwanning Arena housed some much needed giggles and encouraging applause.
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.