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.”

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More than just the beauty

Local aesthetician Jermaine White is helping build girls’ self-esteem one nail, curl, and lip at a time.Ozaawaa2

Jermaine White helps other women build up their self-image (Photo Credit: Ozaawaa Paypompee)

I first went to Jermaine White of Naotkamegwanning earlier this month, curious if she did make-up. Sitting down with her, she made me feel good. She taught me different tips and how I can learn how to do things myself.

I am very happy, she is offering to share her many skills: nails, makeup, and hair salon cuts, colours and extensions, to help others build their confidence.

On Tuesday October 9, Ozaawaa and I went to sit down to interview her and one of her clients.

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Jermaine says she decided to channel her creativity into cosmetics (Photo Credit: Ozaawaa Paypompee)

OP: How did you come into doing makeup? 

JW: I’ve always wanted to be a makeup artist since I was young. I decided back in 2014 after I graduated from high school. I decided to Nuwave (School of Hair Design) in Thunder Bay for hair, nails and makeup.

OP: Why do you do you offer different beauty services?

JW: I’ve always had a passion for  it. I have a creative mind, so I thought I’d put my creatively to use. Why better not then to become a makeup artist!

OP: How does it make you feel?

JW: It makes me feel good to be in this makeup industry. It’s really exciting really. It makes me feel good.

OP: Why do you do this for others?

JW: To give everyone experience, what I can do and show off my skills.

OP: Where do you get your makeup from?

JW: I’ve been to three different makeup schools so everytime I go to a new school I get a new kit.

OP: Do you have any Ojibwe/Anishinaabe influence in your work?

JW: When I started to get into nail design I actually tried to include nails designs, Anishinaabe flowers and floral nail artwork.

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    She says she is excited to start hosting workshops called ‘Beauty for the Soul’ (Photo Credit: Ozaawaa Paypompee

OP: What does it mean to be Anishinaabe?

JW: It means to be inspiring, strong, following your heart and doing what’s best for you.

OP: What are people’s feedback when you help them?

JW: They get really excited to try something new. It’s also exciting for me when I see people’s expressions when I give them what they want, or give them something new and exciting.

OP: What is next for you? Do you have any workshops?

JW: I do these workshops, ‘Beauty for the Soul’, it includes nail polish and makeup application. I’ve been working with the community to set up workshops. I’m looking forward to setting up something soon.

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Jermaine White helps other women build up their self-image through makeup (Photo Credit: Ozaawaa Paypompee)

Cassidy Copenance does beading in the community. She says she was a client of Jermaine three years ago, sitting down to do her nails and makeup.

OP: What do you think she means for the community?

CC: I think it’s good that she is close because people don’t have to drive to Kenora. I know she has done makeup for a couple ladies’ weddings and I think that’s really good because they were thinking about her.

OP: Can you speak about her character?

CC: She is a great person. I’ve had a couple troubles of my own and she’s been there. She is just a really good person.

She’s just a really good makeup artist and she is trying to further her education.

OP: What is it about makeup or hair that empowers or uplift women?

CC: If I’m feeling really crappy then I will happen to put makeup on or do my nails and I’ll feel good about myself.