Tag Archive for: First Nations

Meeting the Prime Minister

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]My mother and I (Dawn Tabobondung) had the pleasure of meeting Justin yesterday. Presented him with a medicine wheel representing reconciliation. Francis Pegahmagabow great granddaughter made for him for me to give him. He has a kind and gentle spirit.



Learn Anishnaabemowin with the Challenge4Change app

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Learn Anishnaabemowin with the Challenge4Change app

The article is originally from https://www.sudbury.com/local-news/staff-tries-video-our-reporters-learn-nishnaabemwin-with-the-challenge4change-app-964009

Wiikwemkoong Unceded Territory and Synergiq Solutions have launched an app called Challenge4Change — a free download from the app store comprised of games, video lessons, and individual and team leaderboards to encourage learning Anishnaabemowin: the language of the Anishinaabe.

To celebrate both Indigenous History Month and National Indigenous Peoples Day, our reporters installed the app and gave it a try. They learned a lot, failed, succeeded, and generally just had a lot of fun.

Watch the video here to see how they did, and download the app so you can learn as well.

Download it for free, by following one of these links:

For Apple: via the App Store

For Android: via Google Play

Also, you can download directly from the Challenge4Change website.

Gchi miigwech to Ogimaa Duke Peltier and the community of Wiikwemkoong for sharing this knowledge.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][/vc_column][/vc_row]

Can Thanksgiving Be Redeemed?

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Autumn weekends in Wasauksing First Nation can provide a breathtaking reminder of the Creator’s glory.  The rich fall colours not only inspire with their beauty, but they serve to remind us of nature’s endless cycle of life.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/3″][vc_single_image image=”1334″ img_size=”full”][/vc_column][vc_column width=”2/3″][vc_column_text]October also brings the Canadian Thanksgiving weekend, a holiday that stirs many negative feelings among Indigenous Canadians.  Fall harvest gatherings have long been part of Native society, particularly in Eastern Woodlands culture, and October is traditionally when some of our communities would plant the “Three Sisters” (corn, beans, & squash) for next year’s bounty.  In days past, many tribes would hold large harvest Pow Wows as a final opportunity to be together before hunkering down for the long winter, a chance for storytelling and passing down our oral tradition.

So, while many of us appreciate and hold dear the harvest gathering spirit that is often associated with Thanksgiving, we can’t separate it from the other main element of the holiday – a “celebration” of European colonization of Turtle Island and the romanization of early settler culture.

Although Canadian Thanksgiving has its own origins dating back to 1606, much of the mythology and imagery (how many items with big-buckled Pilgrims can you find at the store right now?) that we associate with Thanksgiving comes from the American Plymouth Rock “story”.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]

The Thanksgiving myth is built upon the idea of the noble, civilized Europeans sharing a meal with the
“friendly savages” from the local Indigenous population.  While there was, indeed, a “First Thanksgiving” gathering between the Pilgrims and the Wampanoag it was far different than what history has so long taught.  More importantly, the legacy that it spurred was not of friendship, but of betrayal and bloodshed.

“It would be very good to say that this friendship lasted a long time; but, unfortunately, that was not to be. More English people came to America, and they were not in need of help from the Indians as were the original Pilgrims. Many of the newcomers forgot the help the Indian had given them. Mistrust started to grow and the friendship weakened. The Pilgrims started telling their Indian neighbors that their Indian religion and Indian customs were wrong. The Pilgrims displayed an intolerance toward the Indian religion similar to the intolerance displayed toward the less popular religions in Europe. The relationship deteriorated and within a few years the children of the people who ate together at the first Thanksgiving were killing one another in what came to be called King Phillip’s War.”  (Read more at http://www.manataka.org/page269.html#THE PLYMOUTH THANKSGIVING STORY)

We know what would happen to our communities in the years, decades, and centuries that followed the First Thanksgiving.  Smallpox, stolen land, violent wars, broken promises, ignored treaties, forced migrations, residential schools, sixties scoops, cultural genocide.  It was never about working together, it was about exploiting, converting, and getting rid of an inconvenient Indigenous population.

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Is this really something to celebrate?

I think that question answers itself.  A more interesting question, though, is can Thanksgiving be redeemed?  I’ll leave you with the words of historian Christine Sismodo.

“A good start would be to acknowledge that Europe had pre-contact harvest feast traditions of their own, but to stop pretending Europeans invented Thanksgiving in Canada or the United States and, instead, consider how to repurpose the holiday to redress historical wrongs—and imagine a new Canadian identity.”

So, if you are “celebrating” Thanksgiving this weekend put away the Plymouth Rock imagery, think about the real history of the holiday, and consider what we can do to change its future. Maybe the change of this holidays meaning should be about reconciliation in all that the Anishinaabe people have sacrificed.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

Summer Check-In

Hello everyone!  It is hard to believe that July is almost over!

Summer on the Wasauksing First Nation is an amazing time of year.  Whether it is family time, walks in nature, fresh blueberries, boating, or attending Pow Wows, this season really makes you appreciate the incredible world that the Creator has provided to us.

Over the past few months, our team at First Nation Growers has had the privilege of seeing the natural beauty of many First Nations communities and receiving the wise council of Indigenous leaders from across the land.  Our travels have helped us better define the Mission of First Nation Growers and expand our circle of stakeholders.

The First Nations Growers Advisory Panel

I am honoured to introduce the First Nations Growers Advisory Panel.  We have assembled an innovative, forward thinking advisory panel made up of individual industry leaders that provide project added value services that include Indigenous pre-care & after-care support, development & training.

Each of our corporate advisory panel members is indeed a true and sincere friend of the Anishinaabe.

Our shared goal is to create Indigenous long-term, sustainable employment opportunities and newfound revenues from within First Nations and Inuit communities themselves, helping to create self-sustaining indigenous economies producing cold-climate 4seasons, indoor, chemical free, clean & green natural organic fresh produce at prices all families can afford for 7 Generations.

A Broader Mission

You may be wondering why we’ve added an Advisory Panel.  The answer is simple.  During my travels over the past six months, I have learned that our Community Gardens are just one piece of the solution to the Indigenous Food Security Crisis.  Some communities we visited do not have enough power to build one additional community home, let alone a Community Garden Farm.  We can’t leave those communities behind – we need solutions that address the entire scope of the Food Crisis.

Our goal is so much broader now than when we started this journey.  Working with our Advisory Panel, First Nation Growers is committed to providing holistic solutions for sustainable and self-sufficient First Nation communities.  This can only be achieved by applying 7 Generation solutions in the following areas:

  • Fresh Produce & Natural Foods
  • Traditional Medicines & Remedies
  • Water & Soil Treatment
  • Waste Resource Management & Waste Minimization Solutions
  • Indigenous Community Energy Needs and Shortfalls
  • Licensed Medical & Recreational Indigenous Medicine Production Facilities

Moving Forward

2017 has been an enlightening year for me.  I have been equally frustrated by the scope of the Food Crisis and inspired by my Indigenous Sisters & Brothers who remain strong in the face of suffering.  In the coming weeks, I’ll have updates for you on various projects being undertaken by First Nation Growers and our partners, as well as information about our Wasauksing First Nation showcase facility.

Thank you for your amazing support, feedback, and wisdom that you’ve provided on our journey so far.  I look forward to what the rest of the year brings!

Dawn Tabobondung is a proud member of Wasauksing First Nation and the Chief Executive Officer of First Nation Growers.  First Nations Growers builds indoor “Community Garden Market Farms” that provide Indigenous & Inuit communities with a financially viable, year round opportunity to grow their own nutritionally rich fresh produce and foods.  Be sure to follow First Nation Growers on Facebook.


Clean Water for All

In previous articles, I’ve written about the Northern Food Crisis and its impact on Indigenous People.  Sadly, for many of my sisters and brothers, access to fresh food isn’t the only challenge they face as access to clean, safe drinking water……….…the foundation of life……….…is far from guaranteed.

According to a recent Globe & Mail report, 91 First Nation communities were under drinking water advisories earlier this year and a staggering 1/3 of First Nation communities were at medium to high risk of producing unsafe water.

Access to clean, safe drinking water is not a privilege – it is a basic human right – yet 2/3 of First Nation communities have suffered drinking water advisories during the past decade.  I am committed to supporting my Indigenous brothers and sisters and our communities across the country in achieving that right.  That’s why I am proud to introduce our latest initiative, the First Nation Growers Indigenous Community Water Solution.

7 Generations

At FNG, we are firm believers in the concept of 7 generations.  As a First Nation organization, we operate with the sacred knowledge that we are merely caretakers of mother earth for those that will follow.

When we engage a project we continually ask ourselves “what will the impact of this project be to those that will follow 7 generations after us?”. Although seemingly repetitive, understanding that we are merely caretakers of this land allows us to make inclusive and responsible decisions about our projects and opportunities.

First Nation Growers work in partnership with local indigenous communities to help the poorest and most marginalized communities set up practical and sustainable water, sanitation and hygiene natural water treatment projects that meet their real needs, naturally, and service each Community Garden Farm Facility with the very same natural water treatment technologies. We proudly make this technology available to each and every First Nation and/or Inuit community that we work with across Canada, creating a cohesive relationship between community, the environment and each 4seasons garden farming co-op facility.

Community Water Projects

First Nation Growers community water projects include four vital and interrelated components, which combined together help to maximize health and development benefits. Clean water, basic sanitation, hygiene education and natural foods farming are the ABCDs of project development—the building blocks towards a better future for every community, making water fit for both community garden farming and human consumption.

FNG uses practical, locally-appropriate, cost-effective, new, and innovative water treatment technologies to ensure that operational maintenance requirements for the new water supply and sanitation facilities can be easily learned and adopted by each local indigenous community and their membership regardless of geographical location.

All aspects of First Nation Growers Community Garden Farm Co-op projects are designed and implemented with long-term sustainability in mind. This means that upon completion of each project, community members are equipped with all the tools and knowledge required to manage and maintain their own natural water treatment facility and new community garden farming co-op operation.

Ending Two Crises With An Integrated, Holistic Solution

Our Community Garden Farm Co-op’s address the natural water treatment needs of every community project across Canada regardless of location and or isolated remoteness. The FNG Natural Water treatment platform allows for the integration of clean water supply into every remote Indigenous and or Inuit community Canada wide and allows for the control of multiple tower flows, increasing overall efficiency and access to a clean, natural water supply for every 4seasons Community Garden Farm Co-op.

Serpent River.  Saddle Lake.  George Gordon.  Kashechewan.  The list goes on and on.  It is time to stop the next drinking water crisis from ever starting. Dawn Tabobondung is a proud member of Wasauksing First Nation and the Chief Executive Officer of First Nation Growers.  First Nations Growers builds indoor “Community Garden Farm Co-op’s” that provide Indigenous & Inuit communities with a financially viable, year round opportunity to grow their own nutritionally rich fresh produce and foods.  Be sure to follow First Nation Growers on Facebook.

indoor garden farming

“Indigenous indoor fresh foods farming today for a healthy tomorrow”

Dawn Tabobondung

First Nation Growers Founder

4seasons Indigenous Community Garden Farming Co-op Developments