We came home to 19 degree F weather. Today we have light snow.
The annual maple sugaring is underway. Next week we do ceremony to honor the Maple tree and maple sugaring. Apparently last week marked a good run of sugaring. Here is an explanation of the nature of sugaring.

Originally posted on Rebecca in the Woods:


We started tapping maple trees on campus this week. I would guess that most of my readers are familiar with the general process of making maple syrup – you tap the trees to collect their sap and boil it down to get rid of the excess liquid and concentrate the sugar. The Ojibwa Indians in this area were already collecting sap to make syrup and sugar before the first European settlers arrived, and there’s even a town south of here called “Sugar Camp” because the site was known as a center of maple tapping activity. But why do we tap the trees at a specific time of year? What exactly is going on with the sap?

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The Transformative Power of Story

Getting Ready to Fly SouthThe last couple of weeks have brought to our attention a large number of posts about the transformative power of story. We would like to share a few of those.

We begin with a theme that has been sounded in my therapy practice, in Native blogs, and in recent Native generated performance: the increasingly synthetic environment in which we live. “How do we,” my patients and students ask. “Make our way through a territory increasingly lacking connection to other people or the natural world?” “How do we tell stories that bridge the gulf between ourselves and others?” Continue reading

The Candle Lighter Award

Back in December Kate Kresse decided to create an award for bloggers who ” light a candle in the darkness that envelopes us all at times.” She wrote:

There are a number of blog/blogger awards. I began to think about my purpose for blogging. I mean the title of my blog reveals a lot about my mission: Believe Anyway. I have blogged before that I chose the title to remind myself to stay optimistic. My purpose is to light a candle in the darkness that envelopes us all at times. I want to lighten loads and light the way. I gravitate towards positive people and positive blogs.  I want to start a blog award that reflects my love for the positive in the blogosphere. Continue reading

Notable Blogs: Autumn, Death, and Story (10/06/2011)

Welcome to this edition of Notable Blogs! In this edition we look at Autumn, explorations of death through ceremony, the power of stories, and the presence of Bear.

Autumn, here in the northern latitudes seems inevitably to bring us to the consideration of death. Saving Home took part in a shamanic death ceremony recently. She noted humor managed to insinuate itself into the proceedings ! Continue reading

Notable Blogs: 4/14/2011

Spring is finally here! What a glorious day out! Of course, with warmth and rain, we get snow melt and flooding……

This edition of Notable Blogs notes recent posts about First Nations artists from varied disciplines, thoughts about being Native and Feminist, and the battle to save a sacred site in California.

Love Is Not An Orgasm posted a poem about the experience of being Metis (Mixed Blood). The poem is in French and English, highlighting the differences between two birthrights:

I am Métis

Ce n’est pas indiscret

It is not a secret

Ma mère était Ojibwe

My mother was Ojibwe

Mon père était français

My father was French

Moi, je suis métisse

I am Métis

Et je demande la lune

And I shoot for the moon Continue reading

Notable Blogs: 4/1/2011

Welcome to another addition of Notable Blogs. If there is a focus in today’s post, it is  justice. This keeps with a theme in recent posts, namely the need for a Just Therapy, and an awareness by clinicians that social and economic forces act to limit the options of many clients, especially Indigenous people. Healers and elders know this, but many clinicians underestimate the effects of history on Indigenous people.

We begin with the arts! Continue reading

Notable Blogs: 3/07/2011

It’s still snowing! Heavily! The snow began around noon yesterday. The wind has howled much of the night. Now all is buried.

Issues of social justice, especially as they relate to First nations, have received much attention from bloggers recently. We are living in a time when the rights of first nations people around the world are, once again, increasingly under siege. Also threatened are basic supports for persons with disabilities, those on low incomes, and families. This includes many Indigenous people. Yet, there is also light. Continue reading

Notable Blogs: 2/18/2011

Today the temperature is in the low 50′s. Most of the day has been dominated by bright sunshine, now dimming behind increasing clouds. Earlier this afternoon I went for my first snowshoe of the winter. Beautiful!

Periodically, I post about blogs I find particularly meaningful. This week’s Notable Blogs  opens with an invitation to visit a lovely and inspiring site: Shuswap Watershed Project. Continue reading

Notable Blogs: 1/28/2011

Welcome to this edition of Notable Blogs. Today the sun shone strongly, melting snow, even though the temperatures were well below freezing. In the shadows, the liquid water froze into black ice. In a few months, the snow will be gone, and the world will once again turn green. At our latitude, season follows season. For our ecosystem to continue to function smoothly, we need all the seasons. Just so, the lives of people and cultures go through seasons. There will inevitably be struggle and hardship, yet there will also be joy and healing. Continue reading

Notable Blogs: 1/16/2011

Some time has passed since I last posted under the category of “Notable Blogs”. Here are four recent  blog posts I found especially engaging. As always, I hope you will visit the blogs and read the posts in their entirety. Please remember to leave the author a comment expressing your appreciation.

Samantha has been engaged in the challenging task of working out a definition of Indian. She’s also been talking with the elders. Seems to me the two might travel well together.

Rather than describe all of the wonderful things that I learned in the last two days, I want to reflect on what it has led me to think about.  One of the things that I heard from the Elder talk was that Canada is the only place that has an Act to define a person.  Rather than have someone define who I am, I want to define myself.  Obviously I would never be able to define myself as an entire person, so I am going to focus specifically on myself as a First Nations Person. Continue reading