The Caring for Mother Earth Project is a collaboration between the Anishinabek Nation and the Thunder Bay District Health Unit. The project aims to engage service providers, parents and the general public on the topics of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) prevention, children’s environmental, maternal and child health while integrating cultural teachings. The project provides an opportunity to create cultural awareness and sensitivity. The sessions can be delivered to both Indigenous and mainstream participants on and off-reserve and can be tailored to any age group male or female.
The information below can also be accessed and printed in pamphlet form:
Additionally, here is the Mother Earth Checklist (PDF)
PARENTING SEED PLANTING WORKSHOP
Length of workshop: 1.5-2 hours (includes seed planting activity)
- Participants are provided with a hands-on workshop about the role of Mothers (Mother Earth) and Fathers (Father Sky) in healthy child development, sun safety practices and caring for Mother Earth while incorporating cultural teachings.
- The workshop provides an opportunity for children to practice caring for a growing plant in much the same way as parents care for children. It includes a seed planting activity, Seven Grandfather teachings activity and a medicine wheel activity. Other components of the workshop can include storytelling, colouring and taste testing of vegetable being planted (e.g. snow peas, beans).
PERSONAL CARE PRODUCT WORKSHOP
Length or workshop: 1.5 hours (no recipe making); 3 hours (with recipe making)
- Participants are provided with a hands-on workshop about personal care products as it relates to elements of the medicine wheel (AIR, FIRE, EARTH, WATER) and grandfather teachings
- Information on types of chemicals to avoid in personal care products are discussed along with healthier alternatives. The workshop can also include a recipe making component for cedar foot soaks or bath bombs.
- Participants also receive an educational wallet card about personal care products as it relates to the medicine wheel.
- Discussion about rites of passage for both male and female, and other topics from the grandmother bag workshop can be integrated into this workshop as well to increase self esteem and resiliency.
FEAST BUNDLE/GRANDMOTHER BAG WORKSHOP
Length of workshop: 3-3.5 hours
- Participants are provided with a hands-on workshop about the cultural significance of a feast bundle and grandmother bag. Information is integrated about alcohol and pregnancy prevention, children’s environmental health (how to decrease exposure to toxic chemicals), rites of passage for males and females, berry fast and transition to adulthood. The session addresses self-esteem and resiliency issues. The session includes a presentation, video, medicine wheel activity, discussion of Seven Grandfather teachings and review of the caring for mother earth checklist.
- Each participant also receives a feast bundle to paint/design during the session where an informal sharing circle occurs.
- Participants make a commitment to care for mother earth and protect its children and receive items and resources to include in their feast bundle/ grandmother bag.
STEPPING STONES: LEAVING A TRAIL FOR MOTHER EARTH’S CHILDREN
Length of workshop: 2 hours
- Participants engage in a hands-on workshop which provides the opportunity to decorate a rock while discussing what we need to feel content, successful and healthy in life. Life experiences that act to weigh us down and those things that act as stepping stones to a good life are considered.
- Topics covered include: lessons of the Seven Grandfather Teachings to guide us along our path, choices, our relationship with the environment, becoming an adult, becoming a parent if that’s what we choose, lessons of the Berry Fast, saying no to things that may harm us and our children, and the right to determine what happens to our body.
- Participants will consider and discuss those things they plan to leave as a trail to help guide others toward a good life.
For Further Information
Lynda Banning - Anishinabek Nation - FASD Regional Program Worker (Northern Superior) | (807) 623-8887 | email@example.com
Lyne Soramaki - TBDHU - Public Health Nurse | (807) 625-8823 | firstname.lastname@example.org