Way of the Wigwam an Agricultural and Outdoor Wilderness Life Skills Project

Way of the Wigwam an Agricultural and Outdoor Wilderness Life Skills Project

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Way of the Wigwam Pilot Project for Rama First Nation (F.N.)
Agricultural & Outdoor Wildlife Life Skills Center
By Patti Williams-Ingersoll
The Chippewas of Rama First Nation once was a huge tribe that included Beausoleil F.N, Georgian Island F.N. and the Chippewas of Naywash F.N. Our history is best told by the Coldwater Narrow Treat currently in negotiations. What I am proposing could benefit these First Nations as well, partnerships could once again be renewed to make the Agricultural & Outdoor Wilderness Life Skills Center.
I have an idea to develop an Agricultural & Outdoor Wilderness Life Skills Project. This is a project that can involve the whole family and community, we can return to our heritage that for so long has been denied to us. I think we should now pay homage to ourselves and learn to live off the land once again, a pilgrimage to the old ways and to Mother Earth.
As a person with the entrepreneurial spirit, I know I have picked a winner to share because I am passionate about sharing my idea. I think you will be to once I explain how the agricultural & Outdoor Wilderness Life Skills Project will operate. It is innovative, will have a positive impact and will eventually be self sustaining.
Customarily, First Nation people were not farmers but hunter and gather's our food. Today we eat over processed food because fruits and vegetable are to expense for most people living on social assistance or in the modern world we are to busy to prepare health well balanced meals and opt for take out at McDonald's. Diabetes is rampant and out of control because we no practice our traditional methods of hunting with a bow, arrow and snaring. It is true that we can never go back to living off the land full time nor would we really want to leave life's luxuries of running water and heated floors but perhaps we can reintroduce the values and practices that made us distinctly who we are as First Nation people. The ultimate goal will naturally be for the project to be self sufficient and for the community to be self sustaining as well. In all honestly, we can dress like non-native people we can look like non-native people but we will always be First Nation because it is in our DNA.
I would like to propose a partnership with Rama First Nation to farm the property the recently purchased. Relationship will have to be forge in the name of building a agricultural experience to enrich the community. I think we could grow our own fruits and vegetable, an apple orchard, hay, barley and possibly tobacco. We can eat what we need, sell the rest at market for profit to put back into the farm. These are just a few suggestion we can possible grow other renewable resources eventually. We will need to breed our own organic animals for consumption. I think that horses could be have healthful beneficial impact as well.
The Outdoor Wilderness Life Skills Center will be for anyone wishing to learn archery, hunting, trapping, snaring, canoeing, snowshoeing, fishing, wigwam making, cooking, drying meat and fish, berry picking, sweet grass and other medicinal herbs. Adults, youth, children can come and live the way of the wigwam for a week or weeks at a time. We will have teacher passing on their knowledge they way it used to be, generational teaching. It has been said that, "We must know where we come from in order to know where we are going". Author Unknown.
I come from a place where this project is possible because we are a proud progressive people that have evolve and we adapt the change quickly.
My ultimate goal is for First Nation people to reconnect with themselves, Mother Earth because we need to learn to walk gentler on Mother Earth. I believe my project will make a difference because people will be confident, have self-respect and take what is learned out into the world for a fulfilling positive life.
We will be changing the world one person at a time and be making a difference in the world.

About You
About You
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Patti Williams

About You, Your Group, or Your Organization

Patti Williams-Ingersoll , Entrepreneur


, ON

Please confirm that this project could benefit First Nations, Métis and Inuit Peoples


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What categories best describe who your group or organization serves (check all that apply)

First Nations people.

What best describes your group or organization

Cultural and language program.

How long have you, your group, or your organization been operating?

Less than a year

Define your idea / project in 1-2 short sentences

Agricultural & Outdoor Wilderness Life Skills Pilot Project is and idea to work the land, live off the land and live in harmony with Mother Earth and yourself.

Select the stage that best applies to your solution

Social Impact
Please tell us about the social impact of your idea or proect

The social impact of the program hopefully will unite First Nation people with their culture, language the land and each other. In the end, they will be able to feed themselves, provide for their children and sell what they can to purchase what they need. I think it will add value to the surrounding economy, but I think what is most important is, we will have confident children that grow in to confident adults and take the valuable life skills being taught to them and use the skills in their own personal lives to take care of their families.
I think we all know the plight of First Nation people of Canada and I think what has been done cannot be undone. The damage has been done but we can begin to address the problem, accept First Nation and allow them to be equal in the Canadian economy.

Your Future Goal(s): Tell us what you hope to achieve with your idea or project in the next year

I would like to have interested parties meeting to discuss financial support so we can move ahead on the agricultural component.

In 5 years, what will be different as a result of your idea/project?

In five years, I would like to see us working the land, being more physical active, healthier, walking in balance with the world. People will be proud of who they are and the fact that they are working for a living instead of living on social assistance.

I also would like the agricultural component to be fully operational with: -staff
-paying for it self
-to be selling product at the market
-animal, fruits and vegetable being grown to for human consumption
-horses breed for therapeutic treatment as well as recreational

The Outdoor Wilderness Life Skills Center to be operation in is third of fourth year of operation growing and expanding with people and schools booking stays like a revolving door. I expect to have all kinds of human resources on the visiting Elder roster.

Tell us about the people/ partnerships that are already involved and why they are important to your idea or project.

Ideally this project will involve anyone interested in working but the individual doesn't fit in to the corporate strategy would be the focus. People people that like working with their hands. The program could hire people with learning disabilities, people with addiction problems, young offenders that need time to think and and reflect while making a living. It could be for alternative learning strategy for parents who want to raise their children on a solid foundation based on the traditional teachings such as hunting, farming, trapping snaring, gathering, horse back riding, canoeing, fishing. This is all just an idea right now, I would need time to research the cost, search for land, I do have a property in mind but relationships need to be forged and nurtured.

If there are other people/partners that you will reach out to tell us who they are and why they will be important to your idea or project.

A collaborative effort between already existing relationships in the area is possible with the Tri-Council First Nation, The Tribal Council and the Coldwater Narrow Treaty First Nation. I think anything is possible really.
I think an innovative project like this will generate a lot of interest once the word get out the positive impact the Agricultural & Outdoor Wilderness Life Skills project.

Describe the kinds of support you receive (other than money) or will need to support your idea or project (e.g.: donated, space, equipment and volunteers)

I envision an overwhelming show of support both financially from both the philanthropic world,corporate world, Governmental support and from the other First Nations in the surrounding area as well. The support we will really be needed is the support of the Rama First Nation Chief and Council of Rama First Nation. This is just an idea to work the land, the First Nation actually has the land base resources to make a project like this happen. But in the best interests of utilizing their investments instead letting the land and property sit idle. Perhaps once serious investors show their interest and support in this idea maybe the Chippewas of Rama First Nation Administration will take an my idea seriously. This project will need: land, farm equipment, seeds volunteers and Elder's.

Do you currently have funding for your idea or project?

No (skip next two questions)