I had a wonderful week on the shores of Lake Superior, at the Bad River Ojibwe Reservation (A band that has done so much to protect the entire region against destructive metal mining and has stewarded a very special wetland area called the Kakagon Sloughs, which are about 40% of the wetlands around Lake Superior, and full of nutritious manoomin, aka wild rice. Please check out the website to learn more about the Bad River Band, and if you can, donate to the important causes that they have advertised there). Every August, the land of an incredible teacher and traditional elder named Joe Rose is opened to attendees from all over North America, during a primitive skills gathering called Traditional Ways.
I am grateful for instruction on making fleece into fiber, willow basket weaving, uplifting songs, and the proper way to offer tobacco to Native American elders, plants about to be harvested, forests, water, and any other entity that is giving knowledge and sustenance to me and my community.
It was a powerful learning experience, a time of sharing, and of gratitude for the earth and the water and all those who act to protect them. But mostly I rested by the Great Lake, maybe my favorite place in this big wide world. It was needed, taking a deep breath before diving into another very busy tour season.
I met numerous people who are actively building communities of care – traditional ways are not just about carving bows and tanning hides, but also about nurturing villages and cultures and capable interdependent people. I hope that when I attend future gatherings, I will be able to connect more folks to the work of Mutual Aid Disaster Relief. We all have much to learn from each other.
I will try to share some photos very soon – I did not take any, but the Traditional Ways facebook page will have a bunch any day now.
I will let the gathering speak for itself – please check out their website – but just wanted to make this brief post as a celebration of a really special event.
Anyone who is interested in building a different future, one full of care and respect for the environment and our proper place in it, and anyone who loves being in contact with Lake Superior and the Great North Woods, physically and spiritually, should definitely attend this excellent event held every August. I know that I will be returning, hopefully with some MADRelief comrades in tow!
PS: While you are here, please allow me to make a plug for my Patreon campaign – please read, share, and contribute if you are able – thanks!!