By Rick Wark
Children and friends of Emmanuel United Church, gathered on Friday, June 10th for a
richly rewarding PD day.
Our special guest and leader for the day was Mabel Lewis-Hill. Mabel greeted the
children with the amazing story of her earlier life, learning the Ojibway language and
culture, becoming a teacher and always a leader. She taught at both Manitou Park
and East View P.S. teaching the students Nishnaabemowin (Native Language) craft,
traditional teaching of living long ago to present day. She taught at both Manitou Park
and East View P. S. for twenty years, before retiring and continuing as a leader, joyfully
sharing her Native culture with others.
Mabel patiently instructed and assisted all those in attendance to design and create a
traditional dream catcher of their very own. The children’s creativity was totally on
display, as they decorated their dream catchers with colourful beads and feathers.
Each child left with their own dream catcher, that traditionally, when placed in their
bedroom window offers protection from negative, bad dreams while still letting positive,
good dreams come through.
Once the dream catchers were completed, to each child’s satisfaction, it was time to go
outside and decorate mother earth with the Nasturtiums they had nursed from seedlings
on the April 22nd, PD day. These plants will soon be visible to those going past
Emmanuel United Church as they mature in the church’s Heart Garden.
No day is ever complete without food, and eat we did. With the children’s assistance in the kitchen, we all enjoyed cooking and eating Indian Tacos on bannock. Needless to say there were no leftovers on any of the children’s plates.
Children had a terrific time, filled with education, networking and good eats. Many left
with just one question, “When is the next PD Day?’. A big thank you to Mabel for
sharing your culture with all of us.