A Caribou Picnic
Written by: JP McKernan, Program Manager, NBCP
As part of the Stronger Communities Program, a group of six professionals, representing Northern Bridge Community Partnership, have recently returned from Fond Du Lac, SK. Led by Michael Bechard, we spent the week facilitating a number of workshops. We held a grief and trauma workshop with the adults in the community, and worked with students from grades 5-9 to come up with healthy strategies to deal with bullying, among many other activities.
Every time I visit a northern community, I am graciously welcomed and often invited to participate in activities or outings. On this particular trip, we were invited to go on a “picnic,” where caribou meat was served! My idea of a picnic conjures up images of sandwiches in the summertime. This turned out to be a lovely twist on my definition of a picnic. We were in the bush by the fire with snow on the ground, having tea, watching the caribou meat cooking, with at least 15 children playing nearby. People driving by would drop in, be offered tea and meat. At one point, I counted 30 people enjoying the company and the food.
As we head into the Christmas season, I am inspired by memories such as this one, and the generosity and welcoming spirit that the people in the north have shown me.