Watch for "Pimagihowin 2002, Living from the Land!” It’s an adventure in education and culture taking place, right now, on the land and in a community near you! Paul Pregont, Eric Larsen and sixteen (16) sled dogs are traveling in two (2) sleds from the Keewaytinook Okimakanak offices here in Balmertown and on to Pikangikum, North Spirit Lake, Sandy Lake and beyond. Their adventure will take about a month and take them to many communities on their way around to Pickle Lake.
Their goal is to visit with students and elders to learn more about our subarctic region and traditions of the Northern Ojibway, Cree and Oji-Cree people. Their objective, using the Pimagihowin 2002 Curriculum & Activity Guide, is to share knowledge of our traditional culture and the importance of the region we live in with students here and in other countries through encouraging student and youth collaboration. To accomplish this Paul and Eric will introduce and expand on weekly topics and themes during their trail reports, online chats and student questions. The Pimagihowin 2002 Curriculum & Activity Guide provides links to chats, questions for the team, additional resources and much more.
Chat topics will include:
1. Planning an Expedition, The Effects of Exploration and The Native Perspective
2. Thinking Seasons, The Climate of northern Ontario and Our Traditional Lifestyle
3. Heroes, Our People and the Rich Tapestry of Our Culture
4. Bio-diversity, Nature in the Subarctic and Traditional uses of Plants and Animals
5. Globalization and The Relationship of Legends, Language and Culture
6. Building a Nation, Defining Freedom and The history of Nishnawbe-Aski Nations
Meet the Mushers
Paul is in charge of communications and making sure the technical equipment is working properly. He is also in charge of navigation. Paul’s favorite food is caribou steak fried in butter and “GORP” (good old raisons and peanuts) and cliff bars for snacking. Paul also likes lobster. Paul’s favorite colour is blue and his favorite animal is the polar bear. Paul likes white water rafting, being outdoors and reading. He usually reads books about the arctic and its people because, he says, “The arctic and sub arctic are amazing, they are so unspoiled and in the spring the light makes everything beautiful. He also likes reading about history and geography, because he has always been interested in maps.
Paul says, “My advice for young people today is to work hard and keep working on your goals. You may experience temporary set backs, but if you keep trying, you will succeed at whatever you set your mind to. I hope that the students involved in the 2002 program will learn more about the Oji-Cree and why the Hudson Bay area is so important. I also would like students to be able to learn from each other.”
Eric’s favorite food is all kinds of pasta including rainbow rotini, bow ties, spaghetti and ravioli. He likes pasta so much that Jim, from Keewaytinook Okimakanak, has nicknamed him “Noodles.” Eric’s favorite colours are “all of them” and his favorite animal is the Wolverine. Eric likes camping, canoeing, skiing, biking, hiking and just about anything outside. When Eric got into college, he majored in biology and studying plants, animals, ecology and the environment. When Eric was only ten months old his family took him on his first camp and as he grew older he thought that a career as a professional camper would be his goal. So, whenever he looked for work he tried to combine his love of the outdoors with education.
Eric says, “The arctic and sub arctic are some of the most environmentally fragile regions in the world. Studying these regions helps create awareness that will ultimately make people more conscious of how their actions affect these regions. I sincerely hope that the students will become more responsible world citizens, respect one another and develop an environmental ethic. I also hope students have fun while learning.”
Meanwhile, back at polarhusky.com in Grand Marais, Minnesota Mille Pregont Porsild anchors the “Pimagihowin 2002” project. Mille’s favorite colour is blue and her favorite animal is the wolf. Mille is originally from Denmark and is no stranger to ice, snow covered open spaces and crazy sled dogs. As a little girl sitting on her Grandfather’s knee she listened to his stories about her great grandfather Morten Porsild who was the founder of the first arctic research station in the world, which he built on Disko Island in Greenland. It was Morten’s sons Erling and Thorbjorn Porsild ( Milles great uncles) who moved to Canada and traveled throughout the Northwest and the Yukon Territory by dog teams and eventually built the Reindeer Station at the Mackenzie River Delta.
Mille’s favorite food is Risengrod, a Danish Christmas Rice Pudding. Here is the recipe:
568ml (1 pint) milk
75g (3 oz) pudding rice
50g (2 oz) caster sugar
4-5 drops vanilla extract
50g (2 oz) chopped almonds
1 glass sherry
300ml (½ pint) double cream
one whole almond
Put the milk and rice in a saucepan and simmer for about 20 minutes until the rice is soft and most of the milk is absorbed. Add the sugar, vanilla extract, almonds and sherry and stir well. Leave to cool completely. Stir in the cream then put it all into a serving dish and push the whole almond into the pudding so that it is well hidden. Cover and chill in the refrigerator for 8 hours. Decorate with the almonds and serve with Kirsebaer Sauce (a Hot Cherry Sauce) made with:
225g (8oz) cherries
110g (4oz) granulated sugar
300ml (½ pint) water
1 tbsp arrowroot
Take the stone pits out of the cherries. Put the sugar in a heavy saucepan, add the water and heat very gently until the sugar has dissolved. Then turn up the heat and boil rapidly for 1 minute. Add the cherries and cook them for 10 minutes until tender. Mix the arrowroot with 2 tbsp water and stir into the cherries. Simmer for 2 minutes until the sauce is clear. Serve hot. Risengrod and Kirsebaer Sauce are both traditional Danish favorites for the Christmas season. YumYum!!
And oh yeah, in case you were wondering about that whole almond buried in the middle of the rice pudding, it’s a tradition. The whole almond is always placed in the pudding for luck and represents health, wealth, happiness, long life and fertility. If you are the one that finds it in your pudding you get a gift and if you are single, it means you will be the next to marry.
Mush on over and check out our pics