On October 20-23 at Killdevil Camp eighteen Qalipu First Nation members the retreat allowed senior Band members to become engaged in cultural sharing activities such as medicine identification, smudging, ceremonies (sunrise; water), talking circles, oral history and storytelling, crafts and games, and other cultural Mi’kmaq teachings. This project provided seniors with the opportunity to be more actively involved in their communities, build cultural capacity, and support their communities through sharing their traditional knowledge expertise with others.
The retreat will begin with a traditional meal, followed by an evening of networking and cultural sharing. The next two days will be followed with cultural leaders sharing their knowledge and engaging seniors in cultural teachings. The final day will begin with breakfast, followed by a debriefing (in the form of a talking circle) before seniors return to their respective wards.
In addition to allow the participants sharing the treat provided an opportunity for the seniors to meet and experience cultural knowledge from cultural leaders. Everyone had the chance to experience cultural teaching sessions and ceremonies, as well as other invited guests who will engage in activities like medicine walk, teachings on sacred practices, the sweat lodge, working on a wampum belt, medicine wheel, sunrise ceremony, traditional game – waltes, Mi’kmaq language and information on the Qalipu Cultural Foundation
Objectives which are anticipated to be covered during the retreat through various teaching sessions and activities include:
- Creating leadership amongst Band members,
- Engaging seniors in culture and heritage,
- Inspire more seniors to become engaged and build capacity within their community,
- Promote inclusion for seniors who are geographically isolated, and
- Promote sharing of seniors’ knowledge to other generations.
The retreat was a great success and we hope to be able to continue to offer such great experiences.
“It was the experience that I will carry in my heart. The education, teachings, I love all of the program. Great to feel being part of my heritage.” -Retreat Participant