York University’s History Department and the Indigenous Studies program, along with the History of Indigenous Peoples Network, and the Centre for Indigenous Student Services co-hosted an event on Sept. 28 titled “Reconnecting Youth’s Relationship to our Territory”. The event was presented by Marion McGregor, Leslie McGregor, Crystal Clark McGregor, and Nevada Anwhatin, all Anishinaabe-kwe from the north shore of Lake Huron.
Summary of the discussion topic:
A key concept in our beliefs is that in order to have a relationship with the land, the land needs to see you too. In 2011, Whitefish River First Nation along with Sagamok Anishinabek and Serpent River First Nations hosted a “territory trip”. Youth from all three First Nations would canoe from Whitefish River First Nation across the North Channel to Sagamok Anishinabek territory and follow the channel to Serpent River First Nation. The next year, youth would canoe from Serpent River through Sagamok Anishinabek to Whitefish River. They alternated years until 2018. In 2017, Whitefish River First Nation expanded the canoe trips the youth took and started exploring Whitefish River’s territory. These weeklong trips would take Whitefish River youth to various locations on the territory. The goal was to have the youth learn about our history, culture, and territory through these trips. It would also build resilience, confidence, and teamwork. The seed that was planted in 2017 has started to take root with some youth interested in exploring on their own – accessing areas of the territory that can only be reached via canoe – often having to portage to get into areas not readily accessible.
To learn more about Indigenous youth visit the History of Indigenous Peoples (HIP) Network.