Learning Story – A Second Visit From Lila Erasmus

Learning Story – A Second Visit From Lila Erasmus

The Week of February 7, 2023 

What Happened? 

Lila Fraser Erasmus joined us again and we learned to make salve. Each Bushkid brought some home and we hope you are enjoying it! It snowed so much the night before Bushkids this week. Lila told us a story about the water heart of Great Bear Lake. The heart beats deeply at the bottom of the lake and sustains and connects all living things. Some of the Bushkids buried themselves in the snow – all side by side. A trench was built all day, just like the trenches of WWI and WWII. So much sliding and exploring across the lake. We went fishing and augered two holes into the lake. Bannock and hamburger stew was enjoyed by everyone.

Why is this important? 

The important theme of land as medicine stood out for us today as educators. The salve was made with gifts of sweet grass and labrador tea. We are so grateful to Lila for her gentle and loving way with the Bushkids. Augering a hole in the lake was like medicine – it was grounding and made us feel so connected to the season, the fish, the plants and everything that is alive in February in the lake. The heartbeat of the lake. Burying ourselves in snow feels heavy, cozy, warm like a weighted blanket. This too is grounding and can feel healing. We acknowledged all of our ancestors today, we thanked them for everything they do for us and asked them to take care of us. This is healing – to make time to honour our spirituality in whatever way feels good for the Bushkids. 

What does this mean for next time? 

We will continue to share about the water heart of Great Bear Lake and to connect with that important story. We will continue to talk about and show love for each other. How is it that we often forget about acknowledging this important value? We plan to all eat together next Tuesday – at the same time – like a feast! We will share a story and some music and acknowledge that years ago, preparing for a feast would take the entire year of harvesting throughout the season.