A monster mash-up of Halloween goodness in Kanesatake

Halloween comes but once a year. Here’s how organizations across the community helped make sure it was a happy one for Kanesatake’s kids and grown-ups alike.

Mohawk Council of Kanesatake (MCK)

“At MCK, some of our staff dressed up and distributed candy to the little ones from daycare that stop by every year to show us their awesome costumes,” said MCK chief Amy Beauvais.

She noted that Ami-Lee Hannaburg, the MCK’s interim finance manager, organized a project to provide daycare and school children with hats, mitts, neck-warmers, and safety items to help keep them comfortable and safe while trick-or-treating.

The recreation department also stepped it up, Beauvais said, with assistance from colleagues in other departments. They put together 200 bags of candy to hand out to children.

“A special thank you needs to go out to all our departments that chipped in and helped make all of this happen,” said Beauvais. “We are so grateful to have you as part of our work family.”

Kanesatake Perimeter Security

The folks at perimeter security pitched in by handing out bags of candy in the MCK parking lot - the ones prepared by the recreation department and others - but that’s not all they did.

“We split the team up,” said Kane Montour, a member of perimeter security. “Half of us patrolled, just slowed down traffic keeping the kids safe, and the rest of us handed out the candy, making sure kids got the goods.”

Peanut-free bags were available for children with allergies, he noted. “It was nice to see the community come together - everyone working together,” he said.

Riverside Elder’s Home

Speaking of treats, giving out 100 full-size goodies brought cheer to the elders’ homes’ seven residents.

“I really enjoyed myself,” said resident Christina Montour. “I wore a witch’s hat. So many kids came with their parents, and I gave out every treat. We had nothing left.”

Being vulnerable due to age, Riverside’s residents have faced more than their fair share of COVID-19 restrictions for more than two years.

“To be able to open our door to all the ghosts and goblins was quite the treat for them,” said team lead Sandra Harding.

“Bravo to our community for bringing the youth here to brighten up the residents’ day with laughter and scares,” she added.

Language and Culture Center

The Tsi Ronterihwanónhnha ne Kanien’kéha Kanehsatake Language and Culture Center also enjoyed a happy Halloween this year.

“The days leading up to Halloween, the students of Ratiwennenhá:wi learned language surrounding the holiday and that morning everyone came in wearing a costume,” said cultural development officer Miranda Gabriel.

Activities included a fashion show, a potluck, dancing, karaoke, and games.

“Everyone had fun and were great sports, including the teachers and staff,” Gabriel said.

First Nations Paramedics (FNP)

The local ambulance service had a big Halloween presence this year, helping to slow traffic during trick-or-treating and handing out candy to any child in sight, totalling a whopping 525 bags of candy.

“We are here for our community. When they need us, our mission, our duty, and our honour is to serve them,” said Robert Bonspiel, president of FNP.

“Our paramedics loved seeing the children. Our medics are happy to show a very human side to who they are in a social setting.”

Kanesatake Health Center (KHC)

The health centre’s usual festivities were hampered by staff training, but that doesn’t mean Halloween was forgotten.

The centre’s child and family services program collaborated with Kanesatake Education Center (KEC) schools, handing out injury prevention bags that included books, flashlights, and reflectors.

That’s not to mention the professional face painters hired at Rotiwennakéhte elementary school - a big hit.

“My team and I also assisted in helping judge the door decorating that each classroom did,” said KHC child and youth program coordinator Jadyn Nicholas Lauder, in addition to providing snacks and assisting in games.

Elaine Daye, who volunteers at the elementary school, saw the joy that festivities brought to her grandchildren who attend the school.

“They were super excited from the moment they got off the bus in the morning until they got back in to go home,” she said. “It was a fun day!”

High school students were not left out - they were treated to an afternoon of Montreal Bubble Ball.

Honourable mentions:

Halloween wouldn’t be the same without a spooky playlist, and Reviving Kanehsatà:ke Radio (RKR) 101.7 FM delivered from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. with songs featuring devils and witches.

Jacob Cree invited community members to his Skywatcher Alpaca Farm for some trick-or-treating.

“We had lots of visitors, and they were able to meet Murdoch the goat,” Cree said.

gmbankuti@gmail.com

Marcus Bankuti, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Eastern Door