This name was given to the program by Phyllis Shaugabay, a respected Elder from Washagamis Bay First Nation.
The Agichi’giizhigoonsag Program is a land-based program intended for youth ages 12-18 who are interested in participating in Ojibwe cultural practices and teachings. The program includes land-based activities associated with the Ojibwe practices in our area on Treaty #3 lands.
Agichi’giizhigoonsag hopes to spark and strengthen youth connections to community, culture, language and traditional lands. Elders and Knowledge Keepers hold the essential teachings to ensure preservation of Anishinaabe culture. The teachings offered in Agichi’giizhigoonsag are from their experience, guidance and direction. Youth will have the opportunity to create direct relationships with Elders, Knowledge Keepers, and each other to build on their curiosity, and increase their knowledge. Teachings offered in partnership with the land create a learning environment that involves all aspects of ourselves. Youth will reconnect with the land and be reminded of our fundamental relationship with the natural world. Involvement and participation in the Agichi’giizhigoonsag program will support Indigenous youth to develop as leaders in their communities and stewards of their territory.
The land-based and cultural activities are determined by our youth and Elders. Agichi’giizhigoonsag consults with and highlights the expertise of each Elder and Knowledge Keeper based on the teachings they would like to share with youth. Youth are requested to provide input and feedback at all stages of programming to ensure activities reflect their perspective and interests.
A few examples of land-based activities include medicine identification, harvesting and processing, spring and fall feasts, nature walks and day hikes, and maintenance of the grounds at Washkootsi Healing Lodge in Washagamis Bay. Youth will learn skills required for making shelters, building fires, fishing, and canoeing. Ceremonies, such as sweats and Turtle Lodges, are integral to the Agichi’giizhigoonsag program. Youth will learn the required protocols for supporting and participating in various ceremonies. Throughout all activities Elders and Knowledge Keepers will provide traditional teachings.
How do I get involved?
Anyone interested in learning more about the program or wishing to be contacted for upcoming events can let us know by sending in a complete Agichi’giizhigoonsag Registration Form. This can be done individually or with the support of a caregiver.
What can I expect once I send in my Agichi’giizhigoonsag Registration Form?
Once we have received your registration, we will contact you to arrange a meeting! The meeting could be done in-person or over the phone. This first conversation is a great way to get to know the staff and understand the program better. We will let you know about upcoming events and answer any questions you may have. We will have regular events throughout the month, and bigger events throughout the year. There will also be opportunities to help between events! These would include learning protocols to help with preparations for sweats, ceremonies, assist with community feasts and support Elders/Knowledge Keepers.