THIS MONTH FROM THE COMMUNITY CONNECTOR
What has Kate Boyer been up to this month…
A Walk By the River
September 12, 2020
Photo from thestarphoenix.com
As many of you know, the river has been a major resource for First Nations and Métis People throughout history. It has been used as a transportation system, a guide, a water resource (obviously), and a healer. As summer is slowly giving way into fall, appreciate the beauty of this sacred element while taking a calming walk along its banks.
River landing in Saskatoon has always held a special place in my heart because of its close proximity to the south Saskatchewan River. I like to start my walk at Broadway Bridge and continue beside the river all the way down to just past the old Farmer’s Market building.
On your adventure by the water, here are a couple of things to look out for:
River Landing Tree Grates
(I got this information from saskhistoryonline.ca by the way)
Photo from metalshapes.ca
Along the riverbank, there are art pieces that have such a functional purpose they can sometimes go unnoticed. The River Landing tree grates were created by urban designers in partnership with local Indigenous elders to create a narrative that focuses on four indigenous themes: Home, storytelling, play, and ceremony. Some of the designs you can expect to see are Bison Grate, Feast Grate, Grass Dance Grate, Hoop Grate, Horse Grate, String Games Grate, Tipi Exterior Grate, and Tipi Interior Grate.
Photo from metalshapes.ca
You can learn more about these tree grates here: https://thesheaf.com/2009/10/20/aboriginal-urban-design/
The Comming Spring
Photo from eaglefeathernews.com
Right near the end of your journey, you will find a very impactful public art piece. According to Eagle Feather News “The Comming Spring” was created in response to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Call to Action #79, which is “educating and creating a sense of shared awakening”. If there is a slight breeze you can hear the haunting sound of the chimes on the top of the sculpture. I encourage you to take a minute to sit in silence in the grass and just listen to the sound of the wind and the chimes. If you feel moved to, offer some Tabacco as a gift of thanks to the life-giving river, or pick up some of the garbage that is always blowing around down there. Say thank you to the water for sustaining us and grounding us. I believe that everything lives and in turn gives life, so to continue the cycle it is important to give in order to receive.
You can read about “The Comming Spring” at:https://www.eaglefeathernews.com/arts/the-coming-spring-reconciliation-commemorative-artwork-installed-in-victoria-park#:~:text=%E2%80%9CThe%20Coming%20Spring%2C%E2%80%9D%20by,a%20sense%20of%20shared%20awakening.
The Bog Blog
August 13, 2020
While this summer heatwave continues (seriously, it’s so hot my cat stole my fan!) it’s great to take advantage of the beautiful Canadian landscape during our short summer season. One way to do this is by visiting Boundary Bog inPrinceAlbert National Park for a much-needed photography adventure. Bust out your camera and capture the natural beauty of the place we call home. As of now, Metis citizens will be able to get into national parks in Saskatchewan for free! As a Metis citizen myself this is super exciting because I love walking through the landscapes my ancestors have walked for many years. Bring your friends, bring your family, or just bring a snack and enjoy some amazing and delicate northern plant life.
For more information on the trail and how to get there visit pc.gc.ca and if you want more information about free access to national parks for Metis Citizens, check out this link. Here are some photos I took when MaTayOo (my boyfriend) and I walked the trail this past week:
Some Art to Light Up Your Day
Hello other budget Saskatchewanderers! As I’ve mosied around Saskatoon in the last few
days, I’ve noticed some temporary art exhibits that are definitely worth the search. In recent years, Cree syllabics written in neon letters have been popping up across the city. According to Eagle Feather News and CBC News, these works of art have been created collaboratively by Indigenous and Settler artists to showcase the beauty and tradition of the Cree language. The next time you are in the city, consider going for a syllabics scavenger hunt which will take you to some of my favourite spots in Saskatoon. For the locations of these art pieces and translations of them, check out:
https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/saskatoon/city-of-berries-could-become-permanent-1.4082818#:~:text=City%20of%20Saskatoon)-,An%20art%20installation%20that%20honours%20Saskatoon%20as%20the%20%22land%20of,according%20to%20a%20city%20report. And for more information about Cree syllabics:
SHE NATIVE; Indigenous Women Helping Indigenous Women
Devon Fiddler is the Chief Changemaker and Founder of the fashion brand SHE NATIVE, based in Saskatoon. Fiddler’s company is run by Indigenous women with a goal of providing support and mentorship to other Indigenous women. Fiddler’s designs are hip and fashionable while also using elements of Indigenous culture to tell a powerful story. SHE NATIVE is also committed to giving a percentage of their proceeds to causes that help support Indigenous women.
You can learn more about the brand and buy your very own SHE NATIVE designs at https://www.shenative.com/.
Back to Batoche with a New Twist!
Every year Metis Nation Saskatchewan along with other partners put on a Festival called Back to Batoche Days that celebrates Métis culture and way of life. This year, COVID had the potential to put a damper on the usual celebrations. Luckily, we Métis are good at finding new ways to deal with adversity. This year the festivities will go-ahead but in a virtual setting. On July 23rd at 10 AM you can join in the fun at https://backtobatochedays.ca/.
If you are looking for a fun family event from July 23rd to July 26th Back to Batoche Days is a perfect choice. You can watch square dancing, jigging and fiddle competitions all from the comfort of your couch, as well as enjoy a host of other entertainment and Métis cultural events. If you look closely you might even spot me in a competition or two. Have fun enjoying a good old Métis house party!
images sourced from: