CURVE LAKE A community quilt project, inspired by themes related to manoomin (wild rice) and led by master quiltmaker Alice Williams of Curve Lake First Nation, is only one feature of the third annual daylong Mnoominkewin gathering Sept. 24 at Curve Lake.
Community members — women, men and children — have been invited to sew a quilt block and provide a story to go with it, and then Williams will sew the blocks together to make a quilted wall-hanging dedicated to the gifts that manoomin brings.
The quilt, which was commissioned for the gathering, will be exhibited there.
The day begins with a sunrise ceremony, followed by a manoomin-themed breakfast and welcome by Curve Lake Chief Keith Knott.
Throughout the day there will be open hand drum song circles led by Janet McCue, artist demonstrations of various media, Anishinaabemowin language learning and a women’s drumming workshop.
At 11 a.m., Dr. Fred Metallic will speak about how the Listuguj community came together to assert their inherent right to fish salmon on the Listuguj Sipu (river).
A manoomin-inspired lunch catered by Thomas Olszewski of Grandfather’s Kitchen will feature a pickerel fry by Elmer Whetung, Atlantic salmon caught by Metallic, moose harvested by Ryerson Whetung and wild rice pudding made by Gary Williams.
At 1 p.m. Chandra Maracle and Rick Hill of Two Dishes, One Spook, will be sharing corn and wild rice and stories of the Haudenonishinaabe Reconciliation.
At 2:30 p.m. a manoomin practitioner panel will hear from three First Nation communities about efforts to rehabilitate their manoomin beds.
Planting, gathering (at the beach) and processing (under the main arbour) of manoomin will take place from 9:30 a.m. until 3 p.m. Nine canoes will be available, complete with lifejackets, paddles, and safety kits to plant and gather the wild rice. Daemin Whetung will instruct participants in its roasting, dancing, and winnowing.
All are welcome to attend the gathering in Lance Woods Park, Curve Lake First Nation, from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. Participation is free or by donation.
The event’s website is at mnoominkewin.com/main-gathering-schedule.
Brendan Burke is a staff reporter at the Examiner, based in Peterborough. His reporting is funded by the Canadian government through its Local Journalism Initiative.
Brendan Burke, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Peterborough Examiner