I have only been with the Club for four months and I had the opportunity to attend my first club’s launch last Wednesday.
On May 21, we have officially launched Manawan’s club. A drive of 86 km of forest road from Saint-Michel-des-Saints (norht of Joliette). A 400 kids club located in the Atikamekw community, in Simon P. Ottawa Elementary School. Opened in September 2013, it was a great occasion to gather all the partners that have made possible this great adventure. The CRÉ Lanaudière (Regional Coucil of local elected officials), FNQLHSSC (First Nations of Quebec and Labrador Health and Social Services Commission), the Atikamekw Council and Simon P. Ottawa Elementary School. The Club’s representatives were Daniel Germain, Sébastien Désaulniers, Mathieu Gatien, Sophie Arcand and Lily Boisvsert.
The partners were invited to serve breakfast that was prepared by the cook in the classes (home made muffins, apple and milk). Then we all gathered in the school’s gymnasium where the ceremony was taking place. The Black Bear band made us vibrate with their traditional singing accompanied by the sound of a big drum. Then a spiritual guide lighted the sacred pipe that he smoke the school director. One after the other , the different partners spoke in front of approximately 50 kids and various guest. The ceremony ended on a fantastic performance of hoop dancing and a last song of the Black Bears.
Then the Atikamewk community treated us with a lunch of marinated moose, breaded fish, freshly baked donuts and pies made by the Club’s responsible and his wife. We returned home with a full belly delighted by this great encounter.