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Speakers provide food for thought at seasonal feast

Scott Csernyik

11/27/2001 12:00:00 AM

About 100 people attended the annual Fall Feast on Nov. 10 at the Elijah Elk Cultural Center. The event featured the following six speakers: Jason Quigno, Jake Pine, Andrew and Kathy LeBlanc, as well as Bucko Teeple.

"Today is our feast for fall time," stated Seventh Generation Program Director Beaver Pelcher as he welcomed those who attended the event. "We've been making offerings for the last few days and with those offerings we ask for that help for our people, for our families, for our children."

Andrew LeBlanc said everything on Earth has a spirit inside that has the "ability to think and to travel." He also spoke of the importance of tradition and spirituality.

"The Creator has many helpers here for us," he said. "We can understand we are part of this creation and this spirit world. We make these food offerings four times a year and we take care of the spirits and in return they take care of us."

He also talked about the importance of everything being equal.

"I am Anishinabe," he stated. "That doesn't make me any better. We're all the same. I'm no better than the animals or that blade of grass. Greed has no place in us. We're not in it for ourselves. We do it for the Creator."

As a young pipe carrier, Quigno admitted he was nervous speaking before the group.

"I do this out of my heart," he stated. "I try to do the best I can."

Pine, who traveled from the Garden River First Nation in Ontario, Canada, said he enjoys helping people and all of the gifts creation has to offer.

"In our journeys, we pick up so many different things from Mother Earth," he said. "I spend a lot of time out in creation."

Kathy LeBlanc, who shared two songs after she spoke, said there are a lot of "blessings we need to be grateful for."

"This ceremony goes way back to the dawn of creation," she explained. "The songs they used to sing are still coming back to us. These songs are the prayers of the people."

Teeple's comments drew from one of the Seven Teachings-sharing.

"We give thanks," he said. "This is that fall time, autumn. The leaves have changed color and have fallen to the ground. The frost is coming; sometimes we have fog. We give thanks that our harvest keeps happening. We also ask that those things continue to grow within us."