Bay Mills Students Provide Feast

May 15th, 1997 | By | Category: 9-1: Honoring Our Native Knowledge, Tribal College News
By Cheryl Schauffler
Nishinabek Legends, an oral teachings class, provided a traditional foods feast at Bay Mills Community College in Michigan last winter. Each student brought a food that was traditionally used by the Anishinabe people, gave a presentation about its use and preparation, and researched a story about its origin. Foods discussed included maple sugar, fry bread, dramogeese (little rabbit) bean, wild rice, corn, venison, and berries.

Course instructor Kathy LeBlanc shared her knowledge about the sacredness of food. “The Ojibwe word tchibakwe means cooking, feast, food for the spirit.” Feasts for clans were once held and hosted for the community. The spirit of the deer was recognized for giving its life to provide meat for the people.

The antlers on a deer represent lightning in memory of the time that the thunders were told to signify their power to him. There was a time in the second or third worlds that the deer ate the people. He begged the Creator for another chance, for he was about to be destroyed. Gitchi Manido gave him that change, but his punishment ever after was that the people were allowed to eat him.

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