At Ekwaamjigenang Children’s Center we look at our children as our gifts. They are at the centre of all circles, interconnected with all things. The wellness of the children and families indicates the wellness of the community.

We strive to focus on our Ojibwe culture and teachings. For example, this month (October) we harvested our gardens with the children. Children were able to taste the fresh vegetables that were planted in the spring. They enjoyed picking the tomatoes, string beans, and onions. The children have also been very interested in singing and drumming; we have some talented blossoming singers, drummers and dancers. This learning enhanced the children’s sense of belonging, and well-being.

We are always looking for community guests to share their gifts and talents with us. If you would like to join us, please contact Patti or Elisa in the office at 905-768-5036.

This month we had Elizabeth VanEvery, the Literacy Specialist from OEYC Haldimand Norfolk, come in with supplies to make “Magic Wands” and then she read us a story titled “Winnie the Witch.” Grandmother Rene Thomas also joined us for story time and brought a variety of puppets, sharing the reason why our Creator has given us these special animals. This was a great example of how children gain a sense of engagement, expression and a connection to culture.

Our senior preschool group attended a fall field trip to Brantwood Farms where the children were able to have hands-on learning and engage with their surroundings and community. They enjoyed a wagon ride, picking their own pumpkin from the pumpkin patch, exploring through the corn maze and picking apples. A great time was had by all who attended.

October Ojibwe words we focused on were:

Milk: doodooshaaboo (do-do-sha-bo)
Pumpkin: kosmaan (kooze-min)
Apple: mshiimin (me-she-min)
Leaves: niibish (knee-bishh)
Jacket/coat: biiskawaagan (piece-ka-waa-gun)
Hat: wiikwaan (wee-yah-con)
Boots: mkizin (moc-i-zin)
Mittens: mjigaawan (me-gee-ka-win)

The educators of Ekwaamjigenang attended the SWR PEACE (South West Region Progressive Early-learning Aboriginal Centre’s of Excellence) Awards Banquet and Conference in London. Staff heard Dr. Jean Clinton, who is an Associate Clinical Professor, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioural Neurosciences at McMaster, division of Child Psychiatry. Dr. Clinton was recently appointed as an educational adviser to the Premier of Ontario and the Minister of Education. The educators were able to learn about the current neuroscience which supports the importance of positive relationships and interactions with children.

A couple of kind reminders from the Centre:

Please send appropriate outerwear for your child as the weather changes so quickly from day to day; items like hats, mitts, splash pants or snow pants, and outdoor boots/shoes will be needed for your child to fully enjoy our two-hour outdoor playtime.

If you have clothing, donations of clothes sized 12 months-6X will be gladly accepted.

If you are interested in putting your child on the Ekwaamjigenang Children’s Centre waitlist please contact the centre for an application form or one can be printed from the MNCFN website and dropped off or emailed to patti.barber@newcreditfirstnation.com or elisa.machida@newcreditfirstnation.com

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