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Getting Back to our Roots volunteers at the heart of Mi'kmaq culture

Volunteers are the backbone of Mi’kmaq cultural revival in the province. Elders, knowledge keepers, dancers, artisans and others often go above and beyond to share their gifts with others, providing opportunities for inclusion, discovery and learning for many. Likewise, the work of the Qalipu Cultural Foundation (QCF)—promoting and supporting grass roots initiatives, involving communities in learning opportunities and preserving our heritage for future generations—is supported, not only by the generous donations of individuals and businesses, but also by a Board made up entirely of volunteers.

Jenna Osmond, Nicole Companion, Vera Alteen

On September 29, 2017, volunteers on the planning committee for the Qalipu Cultural Foundation's annual Ke'tipnemk Fundraising Dinner and Silent Auction went on an excursion to learn how to identify and prepare Labrador Tea. The traditional brew will be served to guests with their dessert at the upcoming gala at Jennifer's Restaurant on October 14.

The group identified traditional wild edibles like rose hips, and ground juniper. Their trek along Blow Me Down Brook was led by Parks Canada Aboriginal Interpreter Kevin Barnes.

Ralph Eldridge, Kevin Barnes

Labrador Tea "The grandmother of North American teas. The leaves produce a pleasing tea when steeped in water. The tea is a tonic."

Excerpt from Mi'kmaq Medicines: Remedies and Recollections" by Laurie Lacey

A brew of Labrador Tea with blueberries was prepared over an open fire, and the leaves needed for the Gala tea were harvested by the group.

Committee member Vera Alteen (centre) said, "This outing was a lot of fun and it contributed to my own cultural discovery. I feel proud to contribute what I have learned to make our Gala special. This is what it's all about. Learning, sharing and growing."

Tickets for the 2017 Gala are on sale now. Contact Mitch Blanchard at 634-5046 to reserve your seat or group table. We hope to see you there!

Credits:

Photos by Mitch Blanchard and Tara Saunders

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