Eastman Stories

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Immerse Yourself in the Indigenous Cultures of Eastern Manitoba

The significance of the summer solstice varies among cultures, but most recognize the event in some way, through holidays, festivals, and rituals.

By Eastman Tourism

June 28, 2018
Read time: 5 min

The significance of the summer solstice varies among cultures, but most recognize the event in some way, through holidays, festivals, and rituals. For Indigenous peoples around the world, the summer solstice is a day to gather to celebrate and to thank Mother Earth for her gifts. It is a day to celebrate the languages, cultures, and ceremonies, which have preserved and prevailed for thousands of years.

In Canada, the summer solstice celebration has become National Aboriginal Day, a day to celebrate the contributions and cultures of Indigenous peoples. The lands have changed, and so too have the people and nations upon them, but the history, stories, and legends remain. Eastern Manitoba is a perfect location to stop and explore our past. Our Indigenous cultures run deep with knowledge and teachings in a variety of immersive and hands-on once-in-a-lifetime experiences that are open to anyone who wishes to learn of the very foundations of the land we stand on.

O’Roseau Rapids Park Camp 

The Roseau River Valley has always been historically significant.

Native-Americans called the area “Seebossquitan,” which stands for “Where the water rolls.” Ojibwa and Sioux tribes often used the river as a way to travel to and from Lake of the Woods and the continent's central plains. It was also used in 1734 by the explorer LaVérendrye on his quest for the Western Sea. The area appears on his maps as well as on those of North West Company fur traders as an alternative to the more northerly and dangerous Winnipeg River route.

Eventually European and Métis settlers populated the area. In the 1830's, the Métis trade route of the Crow Wing Trail crossed the river near Oroseau.

History enthusiast can enjoy a one-of-a-kind experience at Camp O’Roseau as they are whisked back in time for a truly authentic opportunity to live like the Metis for a few days. Immerse yourself in the history and culture along the banks of Roseau River at Rapids Camp, a replica of what life used to be like on a major trade route of the 1800’s. This hands-on experience of ancestral ways will give you the opportunity to live where travelers would stop to rest, trade, break bread and share stories. Sleep on a buffalo robe in a teepee, cook your own bannock, hear the stories of the Voyageurs and First Nations legends, do finger weaving and sing around the campfire.

Bannock Point Petroform Tours 

Explore Canada’s boreal forest, the lungs of Mother earth, with this authentic Indigenous experience that will touch upon all your senses. Walk, listen, smell, and participate in a taste of Anishinaabe cultural traditions, teachings, and stories as your tour guide and teacher, Diane Maytwayashing teaches you of the stories, legends, and history of the Anishinaabe. View the Petroforms, ancient stone forms that have deep meaning and healing power for those who know how to read and work with them and feel the power of the sacred ground you will be standing on.

Brokenhead Skywind Tours 

In the heart of the Brokenhead Ojibway First Nation, along the Brokenhead River, you can enjoy traditional experiences that will surround you with nature and the Ojibway culture. With Carl Smith as your guide and teacher, experience first-hand the traditional medicine walk, local First Nations history, canoeing, traditional herb gathering, and application. Everyone is also welcomed to attend and participate in the yearly community pow wow.

Brokenhead Wetlands Interpretive Trail 

Visitors can experience the important connection between the wetland and the traditional Ojibway teachings of Respect, Purpose, Balance, and Interconnection. This wetland contains 28 of Manitoba’s 37 native orchid species, including the globally rare Ram’s Head Lady-Slipper, the Dragon’s Mouth orchid and more common yellow and pink lady slippers.

Located 50 minutes outside Winnipeg by paved highway and just north of the Brokenhead Ojibway First Nation. The fully wheelchair accessible, the floating boardwalk is 3.66 km return trip and takes approximately 2 hours to complete.

Buffalo Point First Nations Cultural Centre

In the heart of Buffalo Point community is the unmistakable tipi shape of the Cultural Centre with the traditional thunderbirds gracing the entrance. You are invited to explore the independent spirit of the Buffalo Point First Nation Ojibway people through the architecture, art, archival and interpretive displays.

Tour the museum and learn how Buffalo Point has always been a gathering place for the Anishinaabe people. From the early 1700’s when Chief Red Cloud and the Sioux frequented the area to supplement their primary food source of bison with wild rice and venison; to the beautiful resort community that we all know and love today.

Northern Soul Wilderness Adventures

Adventure is calling you! A canoeing adventure with Northern Soul will take you into the deepest reaches of Manitoba’s wilderness. With state of the art equipment, modern logistics and their partnership with the community of Bloodvein First Nation, these sensory awakening trips are not for the meek of heart. Experience sacred rock paintings, a traditional sweat lodge, feast on local delicacies, view local wildlife, and of course, paddle the scenic Bloodvein Heritage River.

Sandy Saulteaux Spiritual Centre 

The Sandy-Saulteaux Spiritual Centre is located on a tranquil setting of thirty-six acres of woodland on the Brokenhead River near Beausejour. The wooded parkland offers a peaceful meeting place for groups to learn, plan and vision together.

The Sandy – Saulteaux Spiritual Centre is a place of spirit where First Nation, Métis, and Inuit and Christian spiritual beliefs are respected, shared and understood. In the circle, First Nation, Métis, and Inuit women and men are nurtured for leadership roles in The United Church of Canada, other denominations, and in First Nation, Métis, and Inuit communities as lay, diaconal and ordained ministers.  From the strength of Elders’ wisdom, the Sandy – Saulteaux Spiritual Centre will foster teachings of respect, healing, and connectedness to be shared: for the benefit of individuals: for restoring balance and wholeness among peoples and with all of creation; and for nurturing a prophetic voice.

 Customized programming can be provided for people of all ages to deepen the understanding of Indigenous culture and spirituality. 

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