Local outdoor educators group brings Anishinaabe learning to World Migratory Bird Day

Early morning. A group of over 50 people sit on blankets and lawn chairs in a grassy area surrounded by trees.
Just before sunrise, over 50 bird enthusiasts wait for World Migratory Bird Day events to begin. Photo by Eddy Sweeney.
Edward Sweeney - CFFF - PeterboroughON | 23-05-2023
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Before sunrise on May 13, nearly 60 bird enthusiasts gathered at Kawartha Land Trust’s Ballyduff Trails in Pontypool, Kawartha Lakes to celebrate World Migratory Bird Day.

The day’s celebrations and events were led by Creator’s Garden – Birds, a local group consisting of Andrés Jiménez Monge, Junaid Shahzad Khan and founder of Creator’s Garden Joseph Pitawanakwat.

The day began with a Dawn Chorus: an event for attendants to listen to bird calls and songs during the sunrise. The Dawn Chorus was followed by three guided bird walks throughout the day. All of the events were led by the members of Creator’s Garden – Birds who brought an Anishinaabe perspective to this international celebration.

Creator’s Garden – Birds uses both western science and Anishinaabe knowledge in their education. Their project is to gather the Anishinaabemowin names for as many local birds as possible, which is not a straightforward task.

“All of these names have been collected through Joe’s work for over a decade, in all kinds of Indigenous communities across Ontario, and, in fact, North America,” said Shahzad Khan.

Shahzad Khan says that they have collected 170 Anishinaabemowin bird names so far, and still have “maybe 230 species that [they] have to figure out homes for, or discover names for, or rediscover names for, that have been lost due to colonization over the last few hundred years.”

To learn more about Kawartha Land Trust, visit the website. And to learn more about the story Creator’s Garden, go to creatorsgardenmarket.ca.

Listen to the CFFF story below: