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Sharing stories and bannock in a spirit of reconciliation

October 27th, 2021

Residents and employee care partners at Points West Living Wainwright learned some truths, and shared bannock during that community’s observation of the National Day of Truth and Reconciliation on September 30th. Thanks to resident Emily Beam for sharing her stories and her bannock tips with the community.

Residential school in Northern Ontario

“On September 30th, I learned that Emily Beam had attended a residential school in Northern Ontario for Grades 9-12,” says recreation coordinator Shauna Lee Carlson. “She told me she was happy to go to school, because up until then, she was helping her grandparents care for her siblings and tend trap lines.” Emily told Shauna Lee she missed her family when she was at the school, but really enjoyed making new friends.

“When I asked Emily if she had ever made bannock, she said ‘Yes, and I watched my Grandma lots of times’,” says Shauna Lee. “She told me that they ate bannock with moose meat, and sometimes her Grandma would add blueberries. When we were mixing up the bannock dough, I asked if we could add milk instead of water; Emily was quick to say that bannock does not have milk!”

Ojibwe words and stories

“We baked a large enough batch so that everyone in the building could have one,” says Shauna Lee. “While we enjoyed them in the dining room, Emily shared some words in Ojibwe and stories about her family with a number of residents. There were many compliments and kind words shared as we broke bannock together.”

Everyone's world grew a little that afternoon

“It was really special to see Emily interacting with so many residents, and I was honoured to spend a few hours with her, especially on such an important day. I loved seeing how everyone’s world and knowledge grew just a little bit that afternoon.”

Photo: Resident Emily Beam and recreation coordinator Shauna Lee Carlson baked up a batch of bannock big enough for everyone to enjoy.

More photos at Flickr: Sharing stories and bannock in a spirit of reconciliation

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