Monday, July 27, 2009

Snaw-naw-as Feast - The Adventures of Hawk and Doug on Feasting for Change

The day started off beautifully. There was a great energy in the air as vegetables were being prepared and fires started at 8 am for the Feasting for Change day in Snaw-naw-as, Nanoose community on August 12, 2009. The community members, lead by Vanessa Bob (the Community Program Manager) and the Feasting for Change working group members had been planning for a couple of months to host a Feasting for Change event.

Two main organizers for the day were the Youth workers, Doug and Hawk. I spoke with them to see what their thoughts on the day were.

"Awesome" was the word Doug used to describe every part of the day! "It was so nice to have the families and friends together and having good times around our food". Hawk added "It was a day about culture. Everything we did was about our culture..."

I asked the guys what their favourite part of the day was...

Doug - "Eating the food, fish and crab and the raw oyster's too"
Hawk - "Eating the crab for sure. Only about 2 of my friends eat seafood.... but that day, all of them were eating seafood it was so great to see!"

The community members all got together to put together the pit cook. It was amazing! Both youth and elders had jobs in the line for putting together the pit. Those who were not directly in the "line-up" helped support by watching and helping wherever they could. It was beautiful to hear the voice of Della Rice Sylvester throughout the day with her beautiful songs of prayer and thanks.

After the Pit was covered, we had the opportunity to take part in a Nature Walk with a truly knowledgeable community member, Jim Cook. Hawk mentioned that "we haven't done a Nature Walk in a long time.... it was interesting and we learned some new skills". There was a beautiful exchange of knowledge between both elders and youth and knowledge keepers in the group about different plants and berries. "Awesome" was how Doug described it!

Then came the exciting event of the day the "Fear Factor"! The idea was to offer traditional foods, some raw, some cooked, including salmon, octopus, oysters and crab to those that signed up. The winner was the first to finish their plate with nothing left in their mouth, and they would win a Nintendo Wii! The sign up was incredible; 18 people! It was a very close match "Our own Youth Leader, Doug was the winner!" Hawk mentioned that the "participation was so good that day".

After the pit was uncovered by the help of many hands, we moved to the hall where a Feast was definitely awaiting! There were crabs and salmon - cooked a few different ways, beautiful vegetables from the pit, salads, Debbies famous fry bread, Blackberry sauce (this came from blackberries picked by Doug and Hawk and the little ones from the daycare), and corn. Hawk mentioned that "people don't really get together a lot anymore, as a community, but everyone was together that day".

There was such a sense of pride and community in within the smiles of those that were at that dinner. One of the effects of the day was summed up by Hawk : "It makes me want to have my own garden, growing your own food instead of buying it from a store. Like peas, I didn't think I liked peas because I only had the ones from the store, but I LOVE the ones from the garden!".


  1. This looks like a lovely community event. It sounds like all generations felt welcome. Way to go! Looked like great food and great fun!

  2. The Snaw-naw-as Feast was one of my favorites to date after 2+ years of Feasting for Change! What a positive and generous community who has so many powerful young leaders. I was so inspired by this special event - especially by the youth involvement and the pride they displayed for their culture and traditions.

    Thank you, Snaw-naw-as for sharing such a memorable day with us and for welcoming us with open arms into your lovely community. I can't wait to return some day soon!

  3. Wow! What beautiful pictures, energy and enthusiasm. GO Doug and Hawk! You guys rock. Thanks so much to everyone for helping to organize such a great day.