Trail Care Event:
Crow Wing Trail
Celebrating nature on the Crow Wing Trail
Volunteers from the Crow Wing Trail Association and members of the Roseau River Anishinabe First Nation in Manitoba were inspired by the spring season to organize a Mother Earth Care Gathering. They created an amphitheatre-like setting near the banks of the Roseau River, on the South Rapids Reserve. Dolores Thiel, Board member of the Crow Wing Trail Association, says it was conceived as “a place where people could gather to help nurture reconciliation with each other and with nature.”
Organizers invited youth and families from the Four Directions of the medicine wheel – Yellow, Red, Black and White – to come together on June 3. Approximately 30 people attended the gathering. Dolores says, “This [gathering] was an opportunity to listen to Indigenous truth-telling filled with pain, strength and hope and music that celebrates the gifts of Mother Earth. To learn from flora and fauna. To embrace the outdoors. To share food. To nurture seeds of friendship.”
Botany, mat making, truth-telling and music with the Roseau River Anishinabe First Nation at South Rapids
A botanist gave a lesson on plant identification, and participants made mats out of cattails. An Indigenous elder presented stories and talked about the history of the region. Participants also enjoyed live music that was inspired by the birds and sounds of the river.
Lexi Rosen, Trans Canada Trail’s Community and Volunteer Development Coordinator, attended the event.
Pivoting due to hot weather
Because of hot temperatures, several of the day’s activities were postponed. A ceremonial tree planting, trail building, hoop dancing and tipi raising will take place at a future date. Regardless, the community gathered, shared and celebrated together.
Dolores says, “Thank you to the residents of Roseau South Rapids who welcomed us to share time with them on this sacred land. May the heartbeat of the drum and the spirit of the flute and birds, that was gifted to us on the day, continue to echo through us as we journey through this season of care and look for more opportunities for fruitful growth. Meegwech.”