Prince Albert Voice
Driving down a lonely country road on a beautiful September morning, it is a delight to see Mother Nature in her glory as she pristinely adorns herself in yellow gold, red russet, every colour of green you can imagine and the loveliest shades of orange so stunning it's necessary to stop and drink it all in to fully begin to appreciate it.
Over the last few weeks, as the summer winds down, many of us have been busy harvesting vegetables from our gardens, berries from the wild and now we are just finishing up with apple (and other fruits) picking season and entering hunting season. It is a busy time as we prepare for the coming cold weather when our preserved harvests make us especially thankful that we took the time to harvest and prepare for winter through pickling, freezing, dehydrating, preserving in jams and jellies as well as other methods of ensuring we always have the best quality of foods to offer family and friends at every meal. And while I am especially grateful to know how to keep foods in such a way that extends their shelf life past just a few weeks in cold storage, at the same time I am reminded while I harvest I must respect the earth and the animals who provide for me and my family.
Growing up, the memory that plays over and over in my mind about visiting family and friends is the final wave, after hugs and kisses “Good-bye” along with the last precaution to “take care.” Back then those words didn’t mean much to me but now I find myself saying them a lot. If I see ice on the path I remind my children to “be careful and take care” while stepping on the slippery, snow filled walkways. In my mind I’m convinced there are little ice demons trying to make us slip and break a leg or hip … anything to immobilize us for a while so the weather can grow the ice into even more hazardous obstacles we must navigate as we make our way through winter. Not a fun contemplation at all. As I contemplate “taking care” I realize those words have a far more deeply reaching aspect than just watching over my family. I must take care as a Métis person too.
I recently had the opportunity to join a group of 25 other participants for a conversation focusing on the change that could potentially come to Métis people in as little as ten years. To a lot of you, a decade seems like such a long time however, when you consider the yearly progress that must take place for change to be implemented, ten years is not terribly far sighted at all. Participants attending the meeting came from Regina, Saskatoon, Prince Albert, Pine House Lake, Cumberland House, La Loche and La Ronge. Part of the discussion from August 21st’s meeting included the following:
As I write this we have a frost warning for the coming night and my heart is sinking at the thought of all the beautiful gardens I’ve been watching this summer, now threatened with cold that could mean an untimely death before the plants have even had a chance to reach their prime. My only hope is that the warning is just that - a warning and Prince Albert gardeners are able to keep their plants protected from Jack Frost. In the meantime, let me tell you more about some of my favourite gardens currently blooming in our city.