The Gift of the Creator, The Good Seed, Spirit Seed.
The practice of planting, tending, gathering, and processing Mnoomin into food.
The way of life, the art, and the culture, that develops as community practices Mnoominke.
SEPT 25, 2021
In September 2020, in the midst of the COVID-19 Pandemic, 50 invited guests from across Turtle Island gathered at the Curve Lake First Nation Powwow Grounds in a COVID-safe manner to celebrate and honour the Good Seed at the First Annual Mnoominkewin Festival.
September 25, 2021 will mark the Second Annual Mnoominkewin Festival. The Festival will be conducted in a COVID-safe manner with the number of participants that will be able to register dependant on the COVID restrictions that are applicable at the time.
Donations are being accepted to support this event.
Follow this link to make a donation through Public Energy that is eligible for a tax receipt.
Select "Mnoominkewin Festival" from the drop-down menu.
Many people and communities contributed to making this inspiring day possible.
We began with a sacred fire tended by Billy Whetung and a sunrise ceremony led by Wes Whetung and Liz Ozawamick.
Festival Organizer Patti Shaughnessy of O'Kaadenigan Wiingushk Collective guided participants through the day, creating space for sharing teachings, songs, and stories.
Elders Doug Williams, Shirley Williams, and Murray Whetung shared stories and Anishinaabemowin language teachings.
Mnoominkewin Practitioners including Marc and Amanda from Bear Island First Nation, Julia Pehgamahgabow from Atikmikshing First Nation, and Daemin Whetung from Curve Lake First Nation shared their first-hand experience of practising Mnoominke. Suzanne Smoke from Alderville First Nation also shared her story.
Women hand-drummers and singers, led by Janet McCue, Mary Alice Taylor, and Missy Knott, as well as the Big Drum brought by Nimkii Ozawamick sang to the Mnoomin and to the people as they planted, gathered, roasted, danced, and winnowed Mnoomin.
The beautiful, sunny day was a reminder of the Gifts of the Creator. The people ate Mnoomin and laughed and visited together in the shelter of the Curve Lake First Nation Powwow Grounds. Nutritious meals and snacks were provided throughout the day and catered by Thomas Kingfisher of Grandfathers' Kitchen. Local Metal Artist Garrett Gilbert displayed his sculpture of Mnoomin carved into discarded navigation buoys from the Trent Severn Waterway.
Bill Kimball of Public Energy contributed to the logistics of running an organized event during COVID-19 and checked in with all participants about their permission to be included in the video. Remy Huberdeau, Sean Stiller, and Brian Mitolo contributed their skills as videographers.
James Whetung and Opal Elchuk taught the seeding and gathering of Mnoomin while Roddy Day and Rachelle Sauve watched over the safety of canoeing participants from their Lifeguard motorboat. Michelle Fraser handed out bags of seeds to be planted. Black Duck Wild Rice donated the seeds for planting and processing as well as canoes, paddles, and safety equipment.
Curve Lake First Nation Chief Emily Whetung attended with the support of Council. Autumn Watson represented the financial and moral support of the Indigenous Diabetes Health Circle. Heidi Burns and Georgie Horton represented the local group Community Voices for Manoomin.
Some participants carried seeds home with them to rehabilitate the Mnoomin in their waters.
Artist Chief Lady Bird from Rama First Nation created our beautiful logo based on a picture of Daemin Whetung photographed by Patti Shaughnessy.
Chi miigwetch to all for your contributions to the day!
We look forward to gathering together again in 2021!