Yesterday I helped out with the Harvest Festival and Pow Wow at the Museum of Ontario Archaeology. It was wonderful to see the amount of people that came out to event, took part in the workshops and were interested in aboriginal cultures. London is a great size community for public history events, as over a thousand people attended and took part. Inside the museum workshops were set up, where aboriginal leaders taught lessons to those interested in bead work, mandala or hand held drum making.
While I was helping to set up the lunch for the volunteers, I got to meet one of the aboriginal speakers, Bossy Ducharme. He was in awe to see the traditional aboriginal food that was prepared, as he began in 2010 a switch to a diet only including traditional food pre-European contact, after years of struggle with weight and depression. The diet had changed his lifestyle completely for the better and he has documented his journey in a film, “Not a Good Day to Die.” He was speaking about his journey in a workshop that afternoon. He is also a motivational speaker, indigenous rights activist, film student and artist…so a very interesting man to talk to. Bossy’s online diet journal link: https://sites.google.com/site/bossy1stnationdietjournal/
The food that Bossy was in awe about was prepared by a woman name Shonda, who had purchased a aboriginal cookbook after a visit to Saint Marie Among the Hurons (my neck of the woods, Midland) and began utilizing the ideas into her family’s everyday meals. The lunch was delicious, Shonda had made three sisters stew (beans, squash, corn), wild rice pilaff, boiled quail eggs, Burdock root saute, sunflower seed balls, greens with pepita dressing, granola, along with yellow watermelon grown by her son.
Outside in the village was where the Pow Wow and aboriginal dancing was taking place. It was a full village, as there were also aboriginal vendors, who were selling traditional native foods, dress and crafts. I was astounded to see the great amount of aboriginal people that had come together to share their traditions, with a variety of nationalities and ages, it was great to witness and to be a part of.
A great first historical event in London! Can’t wait for many more.