“Keep jumping off rocks”, a quote from Elder Rose Morris from Gold River First Nations in Nova Scotia, was the motto for the Red Road youth this summer. It reminded them to disregard their fears, and to keep going through life courageously, just as if they were to jump off a huge rock and find themselves safe in a pool of water.
This Motto carried them through many exciting opportunities including the Stone Bear camp, powwows, film making, community events and summer games.
Stone Bear Camp
Hosted in Bear River First Nation, the Red Road Youth kicked off their summer at a camp for a week. “Words cannot simply explain what we experienced at the camp this year,” observed Tammy Bernard, Red Road Leader. “It was truly magical, and an honor to experience the youth getting together, and becoming a team right before our eyes.”
Frank Meuse lead the group a few times a day with a talking circle focussing on their journeys. Rose Morris (Gold River) taught the youth basket making, and Lu’lan Wells (Membertou) guided in the construction of a sweat lodge and conducted a ceremonial sweat with the youth.
Film Making with Cathy Martin
Cathy Martin began her activities with a talking circle. Although the group felt that they were very open to sharing with each other, they realized that they were quite closed off to their creative side. After many hours of exploring, the youth began to open up and some found a creative side that they had never realized they had!
The following day, the youth spent time planning, preparing and filming their videos which were based on the 7 Sacred Teachings. These videos will soon be available for viewing on the Red Road YouTube channel.
During the Nova Scotia Mi’kmaw Summer Games, Red Road youth set up a booth promoting the many activities that they are involved with. They had a sucker pull game for the children and other opportunities for prizes for those who visited the booth. They had a daily draw and also connected with the entertainers, one of which has made plans to work with the Red Road youth on future projects.
At the beginning of the summer, community supervisors and youth leaders brainstormed plans for activities that they would like to do within their own community. Each community was provided with $2000 to use toward cultural activities. One community brought together the leadership in the community and planned the activities as a group.