DAREarts Blog

Discipline, Action, Responsibility, Excellence

Noront and DAREarts in the North: Holiday Celebrations

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Noront and DAREarts Celebrates Christmas Cheer with

Northern Aboriginal Communities Webequie and Marten Falls
By Cathy Elliott, Head Teacher and Artist, Nee-tum-ochi-bek
On December 16th Lee Pham and Cathy Elliott represented DAREarts on a trip to Webequie and Marten Falls (Ogoki Post) to accompany Noront Resources to celebrate Christmas Cheer with Northern Aboriginal children and their families.  It was a spiritually uplifting trip which included song writing, B-boy and girl dancing, gift giving and a day in between to take in the wilderness at a fire with some Teachings. The Noront staff decided that they would forgo an annual Seasonal Party, and with the funds that would ordinarily go towards décor, entertainment and venue they bought gifts, wrapped them, pestered suppliers for donations and services and put them on donated (Nakina Air) planes to the North. They also provided a pizza feast for the Communities.

Photo courtesy of Noront Resources
This trip to Webequie and Marten Falls was a chance to get to know the Noront team a little more.  Their Manager of Corporate Responsibility Kaitlyn Ferris is a passionate and smart young woman who exudes warmth and strength.  We got to know Glen Nolan, Missanabie Cree First Nation, Noront Vice President Aboriginal Affairs and the first Aboriginal President of PDAC.  We drove from Thunder Bay to Nakina with Kaitlyn, Lee, Engage Learn and WorkBay.net’s Alice Hayes and Michael Hurlbut (photographers and videographers). Cathy wrote Christmas songs with the Grade 4’s, 5’s and 6’s and Lee worked up a dance routine with the older kids. Every kid had his name on a gift and got to meet Santa.  In Webequie, Cathy was Santa’s helper.  There’s something great about seeing a man’s braid escaping from under Santa’s white hair and moccasins instead of big black boots.

There were so many smiles and pride in Communities and their children.  Santa shed a tear when he watched The Shuffle Girls proudly shuffle dance to a driving beat they had choreographed themselves. The girls and boys in Lee’s dance class did an amazing job of learning some pretty complex moves in a very short period of time and presented a routine for their parents and Santa.  The older students offered a repeat performance of their presentation from the Walk in My Mocs project this past fall. The kids performed with percussive instruments the song they wrote with Cathy, which was also written in a short period of time in a burst of creative energy.

It was a wonderful partnership between Noront Resources and DAREarts that we hope will be an annual event.

Here is a terrific Christmas Card from Noront that gives you a good idea of how much fun it was! http://www.mikawaa.com/mikawaa-tv/viewvideo/189

Marten Falls Christmas Song:

GT Battery Remote Ski doo

Hot scotch pony press a button and it walks

Hockey stick shoot around passin’ the puck

And batteries….

Turkey, candy cane, ice cream and pizza

Milk & cookies for Santa and me

Hot chocolate and marshmallows

And batteries….

Webequie Song:

I like a hockey helmet with a cage

I like those big cars – hot wheels RC

Ferby! When you shake her she gets dizzy and she talks

I like Halo 4, Black Ops 2 Assassin Creed 3

I like Paranormal Activity 1,2, 3 & 4

I like those hockey sticks and

Lots of freeeeeedom scratch games

I like Donkey Kong 2

I like Monster High Vampire

Skates, Call of Duty, jockey equipment

I like Paranormal Activity 1,2, 3 & 4
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