tansi, long time no post. It’s been a while for me, so I write this to appease Tenille so she doesn’t kick me out of the collective. 😉
This year I made a commitment to myself to finally attend the nēhiyawak Language Experience organized by Belinda Daniels at Sturgeon Lake First Nation in Saskatchewan, Treaty 6 Territory. This year was the 14th (?) annual camp and I’ve been wanting to attend for almost as long. Schedules and financial issues were always my excuse not to go, but when I decided to commit to my language learning this year, the stars aligned and I got into the highly sought-after camp.
I planned my summer around the camp, even though I was anxious about actually camping. Not my fave activity. Turns out camping isn’t so bad when you’re busy acquiring language with awesome people!
The teachers were so encouraging and supportive. As a second language learner of Cree, there is so much to work through in terms of shame, anger and trauma due to the violent interruption colonization had on our languages. The camp provided a safe and nourishing environment to reconnect with the language with likeminded friends who are now family.
The camp took place on Sturgeon Lake First Nation and was the perfect setting to fully engage with the language. There were medicine walks, boat rides, games, storytelling and campfire songs. I seriously need more s’mores in my life!
Here are some photos I took on my iPhone, I hope you enjoy.
– joi t arcand