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Let it Snow! Winter/Holiday Photo Contest Judging

By: Karli Zschogner, Community Journalism Trainer, Journalists for Human Rights

let it snow! photo contest
(Photo Credit: Karli Zschogner)

Thank you to all who submitted content for past and current photo contests. The overall hope and goal is to encourage appreciation for one’s own creative eye and mind or to be the first to capture that split-second moment as a type of storytelling. Not only can you take pride in your work, but know that you can make earnings off of your work. Photojournalism is a thriving contribution. Just consider The Atlantic’s “Hopeful Images from 2018” or Time Magzine’s 2017 Best Photojournalism.
More locally, there is the power of Nadya Kwandibens, Anishinaabe from the Animakee Wa Zhing #37 First Nation in Northwestern Ontario. As Red Works, she has been featured in Photographers Without Borders under the Indigenous Rising portrait series.
For Let It Snow! Winter/Holiday Photo Contest showcased in December’s Naotkamegwanning Mazina’igan’s third issue, I have taken into consideration many factors including the adherence to the theme and instructions of submitting with a caption or photo essay. creatively, and the use of the rule-of-thirds.
The diversity of submissions evoking the full range of emotions: happiness, joy, peace, gratitude, and sadness, resulted in a very difficult challenge with the 14 photos submitted. So much so, that I increased the number of winner prizes. It became especially difficult when it came to respecting the baseline of following criteria of providing descriptions.
Congratulations to everyone who has submitted! Very big step! Chi Miigwetch for this opportunity!

kiara lynn bird
First Place Winner of December’s Let It Snow Photo Contest of Sunrise on Naotkamegwanning Mazina’igan Cover (Photo Credit: Kiara Lynn Bird)

1st ($100)Kiara Lynn Bird – This photo was taken as the sun was coming up during a winter morning. This tree has been around since my grandparents have lived in this exact spot; it reminds me they are never too far. Grateful for this season and even more grateful for the beauty that surrounds Naotkamegwanning.”

  • Shadow/silhouette
  • Creativity
  • Timing
  • Detail/Focus
  • Rule-of-thirds

2nd ($50) – Ozawaa Paypompee – “Throwing snow. There is happiness in snow when you go outside and embrace the snow. The outdoors are freedom.”

ozaawaa paypompee 2
Second Place Winner of December’s Let It Snow Photo Contest – “Throwing snow. There is happiness in snow when you go outside and embrace the snow. The outdoors are freedom.” (Photo Credit: Ozawaa Paypompee)
  • Timing/Movement
  • Rule-of-thirds
  • Inspirational Power

3rd ($25) – Cayne Kakeeway – “A beautiful sunset on the snow laden hills of Whitefish”

cayne kakeeway - a beautiful sunset on the snow laden hills of whitefish
Third Place winner for December’s Let It Snow Contest: “A beautiful sunset on the snow laden hills of Whitefish.” (Photo Credit: Cayne Kakeeway)
  • Colour Contrast
  • Timing
  • Clarity
  • Lines

4th ($15)Damon Hunter – “A stretch of burnt handrail from a house fire’s remains”

damonhunter - a stretch of burned handrail from a house fire's remains
Fourth Place Winner of December’s Let It Snow Photo Contest – “A stretch of burnt handrail from a house fire’s remains” (Photo Credit: Damon Hunter)
  • Rule-of-thirds
  • Clarity, Detail and Focus
  • Creativity/Lines
  • Newsworthiness
  • Current/Potential Social Impact

Notable Mention:
Caidy Indian – (December Baibombeh Pow Wow – smiles) No caption

caidy indian19
Notable Mention of December’s Let It Snow Photo Contest at December Baibombeh School (Photo Credit: Caidy Indian)
  • Inspirational Power
  • Timing/Movement/Action
  • Rule-of-thirds

Honorary Mention:
Maria Blackhawk – “Frozen Lakes, Ice Roads, and Unique Opportunities” with Essay with photos (See Naotkamegwanning Mazina’igan Link)

maria blackhawk - ice roads 3
Honorary Mention of December’s Let It Snow Photo Contest : Wolf Running : “Frozen Lakes, Ice Roads, and Unique Opportunities” (Photo Credit: Maria Blackhawk)
  • Creativity
  • Timing, uniqueness, rarity
  • Clarity
  • Reflection
  • Rule-of-thirds

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

maria blackhawk - ice roads 1
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.

maria blackhawk - ice roads 3
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.

maria blackhawk - ice roads 2
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.

Naotkamegwanning Ambulance Services

Gabriel Barnes and Dean Smith pose outside of the Naotkamegwanning EMS building (Photo credit: Ozaawaa Paypompee)

By: Okima Paypompee

On October 15, Primary Care Paramedic Gabriel Barnes of Naotkamegwanning Ambulance gave Layla Monias, Arianna Jack, Angel Cowely, Ozaawaa Paypompee and I a tour.

InterviewingEMS - Ozaawaa Paypompee
Inside the Ambulance (Photo Credit: Ozaawaa Paypompee)

He took the time to show us the ambulance truck sirens, turned on the lights for us, and showed us all the different types of equipment that is used to save lives.  This included a monitor to check the different heart beats.

Paramedic Gabriel Barnes showing different heart monitor (Photo Credit: Ozaawaa Paypompee)

They have a competition to see who can raise the most for the community Toy & Food Drive.

Paramedic Gabriel Barnes (Photo Credit: Ozaawaa Paypompee)
Paramedic Gabriel Barnes (Photo Credit: Ozaawaa Paypompee)

There are currently 32 staff employed at the Naotkamegwanning Ambulance. They are open 24 hours. Call 911 in an emergency.

Snap, Crackle, Pop! Wild Rice Harvesting at Cultural Camp at Whitefish Bay

Elders and youth come together for a three-day cultural knowledge sharing camp at Naotkamegwanning Roundhouse

Kelly Kavanaugh watches a child stir wild rice (Photo Credit: Jazlyn Copenace)

By: Carter Nash, West Ranville, Jaryn Joseph, Arianna Jack

The sound of drumming, the smell of smoke, the scraping of rock, and the popping of wild rice were sights and sounds of pride at the Naotkamegwanning roundhouse.

Dylan Jennings was one of many cultural trainers parching or harvesting  wild rice at the first annual Shawendaasowin Cultural Camp held on October 23-25, 2018.

Dylan Jennings makes a traditional handheld drum (Photo Credit: Virginia Loon)

Jennings, or Maskode Bizhikiins, (Little Buffalo) of  Bad River Band of Lake Superior says he started harvesting as a young person.  “I was probably 10 or 11 when I went out harvesting with my cousin,” he explained.  His grandma, aunties and uncles taught him how to harvest manoomin.

Virginia Loon
Youth stirring wild rice (Photo Credit: Virginia Loon)

As part of his identity as Anishinaabe, he said, “Harvesting connects everything in creation.”   He remembers important virtues such as patience, respect and love.

“Harvesting wild rice is a lot of work, but necessary,” said Jennings.  “It makes us hard and honest workers when we remember how to do things the old way. It also helps to keep us grounded and humble.”

Jazlyn Copenance
Karli Zschogner, journalism trainer stirring wild rice (Photo Credit: Jazlyn Copenance)

Jennings said he enjoyed the dialogue between the young people and elders. “It was invaluable to hear the experiences of the elders and the way they used to harvest and live.”

He said he enjoyed being in the community and sharing his knowledge. He was happy that Shawendaasowin invited him.  “The community is truly blessed with so many great teachers, young people and knowledgeable elders,” said Jennings.

1st- Oct23-25 Cultural Camp - Virginia Loon
Elder Evelyn Tom scraping deer hide (Photo Credit: Virginia Loon)

The cultural camp involved people from in and out of the community, including students from Kenora’s Beaver Brae Secondary School.

Other cultural workshop activities included community art, tikinagan baby carrier making, deer harvesting and hide scraping, ribbon skirt making and soapstone carving. Daily feasts followed.  A traditional powwow closed the event.

Young participants take part in soapstone carving (Photo Credit: Brayden Nash)

Carmen Bird, or Giizhibabenacesiik of the Sturgeon Clan, is Director of Services for Shawendaasowin Child and Family Services. “We don’t usually see cultural activity event opportunities in our community, so this is one of the things we were able to bring forward because of funding that we have received,” she said.

The smiles of generations with Carmen Bird (right) (Photo Credit: Ocean Sky Tom)

The idea for this cultural camp came from the Jordan’s Principle Initiative. Jordan River Anderson was a young Cree boy from Norway House, Manitoba who didn’t get the service that he required and he had to be away from home to receive medical care.  He had to stay in a hospital, and while there, he passed away while the provincial and federal governments argued over who should take responsibility for his costs and didn’t speed up any process for him to be at home where he should have been.

Scraping deer hide (Photo Credit: Jazlyn Copenance)
Scraping deer hide (Photo Credit: Jazlyn Copenance)

Funding from Jordan’s Principle is to provide students, youth and children access to required services at home. The cultural camp fell into this category.

Bird believes it is important to retain cultural teachings and traditions from elders within the community.  “We can come together once in a while with educators, our skilled people, the ones who have talents, our organizations and our elders.”

She said Shawendaasowin plans to host future cultural camps.

Roland White
Cultural Camp Pow Wow (Photo Credit: Roland White)

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.


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.”