Every year Saulteau First Nations hosts a Community Culture Camp. Culture Camp is scheduled to allow our Elders and Knowledge Keepers of the community to share our history, culture, knowledge and traditions with our youth in the hopes to keep our culture and traditions alive for future generations to come. This is the time and place where our Elders and youth build relationships and enjoy cultural activities and learn together.
There is no better (and fun) time to learn about your culture and identity than in the summer. Culture Camps offer an encouraging environment to learn about the beauty and worldviews embedded within our Indigenous languages, culture, values and traditional teachings.
Not only do our Culture Camps promote awareness of First Nations lifestyle and history of the land through knowledge keepers and elders but also give the opportunity to embrace the beauty of the locations chosen. Half day trips walking, hiking, canoeing/kayaking while surrounded by the breathtaking scenery are a great part of our camps.
These camps also allow our Community Members and Elders to reconnect with one another while showing our youth the plants, animals and sacred areas in our territory that sustain us. Along with hands-on culture related activities that include Drum Making, Singing, Hand Games, Beading, Mocassin Making, TeePee Raising, Meatrack Building, Berry Picking, Bannock Making, Hunting & Fishing Knowledge and Basic Survival Skills.
These are all activities we no longer do on a regular basis, but we very much want to keep them alive. It is a great opportunity especially for our off-reserve or urban band members who normally do not get to experience those activities where they live to come home an partake in the culture camp. It is an important time for storytelling and to encourage our Elders and knowledge keepers to share in their teachings.
In today’s fast-paced world of social media and technology, Saulteau First Nations feels our Culture Camps will only help ensure that our youth are ready for today’s modern world while also never forgetting our past ways of life that their ancestors have past on.
Many of our community members recall stories of when our families would all camp together during the summer and fall months. For instance, the Gauthier and Napoleon families would camp for days together to harvest hay in the fall and many from the Dokkie family from West Moberly would also come and join. Also, moose camps occurred with many of our family’s ancestors at the different traplines so in reality these camps have been an on-going tradition through many generations.
Every year we welcome anyone and everyone to come camp and join in the fun of learning our traditional First Nation ways.