22 March 2017

Keewaytinook Okimakanak Students Participate In First Winter Indigenous Games

From Feb. 23 to 25, a group of 42 students from Fort Severn, Keewaywin and North Spirit Lake First Nations traveled to Deer Lake First Nation to participate in the first KOBE Winter Indigenous Games.

Summer Spade is a Grade 8 student at Deer Lake First Nation School. Read her thoughts as a participant in the games:

Hello, my name is Summer Spade. I'm 13 years old and I am from Deer Lake First Nation. As a participant in the KOBE Winter Indigenous Games, I would like to share my experiences in the four events I participated in with students and friends from the following communities: North Spirit Lake, Keewaywin, and Fort Severn. The activities included ice fishing, rabbit snaring, snowshoeing, and shelter building.

Ice fishing was fun and calming out on the frozen lake. I learned I didn't need a rod to fish but needed the fishing wire and some bait, along with a hole to fish in. Teamwork was shown between the teams, showing the younger participants how to tie the fishing wire on the stick and putting the bait on. Everyone around me clearly enjoyed ice fishing as much as I did, but unfortunately we did not catch any fish.

Rabbit snaring was the main event I enjoyed. I learned how to make a snare, how to properly set it up and had a lot of fun. My teammates had a lot of fun searching for rabbit tracks and setting up their snares.

During the ice fishing and rabbit snaring events, I felt like a huntress, and it was a great feeling being out in the woods doing these types of things, seeing and hearing the kids around me enjoying their time.

Our next event was orienteering. I never thought I'd ever wear snowshoes in my entire life. It was difficult walking in them for the very first time, but I enjoyed it. I was also able to see how smart everyone was in doing the math questions that were included in the game as well.

I felt overwhelming joy and excitement and I know my teammates enjoyed it as well from the laughter and smiles we exchanged with each other.

In our last event, shelter building, we showed the most teamwork. From helping each other gather branches and a few dead trees scattered around the area, my team and I were able to successfully build a small shelter without it falling down. Shelter building was also the most difficult event out of the four, in my opinion. Creating this shelter was hard work, but I did see everyone having fun.

I learned many things that day such as teamwork, how to hunt and how to build a shelter. But most importantly, I learned I felt more connected with Mother Earth. Nature is a peaceful place. We can learn a lot from it; respect it and to keep it clean! We are the future generation!

By Summer Spade, Grade 8
Deer Lake First Nation School

2017 Participants
North Spirit Lake 10 students & 3 chaperones
Keewaywin 9 students & 3 chaperones
Fort Severn 6 students & 2 chaperones
Deer Lake 17 students & 2 chaperones

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