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Algonquin Inodewiziwin Centre to mark Winter Solstice Wednesday

The shortest and darkest day of the year is almost here. But the winter solstice, of December 21, represents a beautiful occasion in First Nations culture.

The Algonquin Inodewiziwin Family and Child Centre will mark the moment with a special celebration. 

The event runs from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the centre, located at 41 Highway 127 in Maynooth. 

It will feature traditional Indigenous food, crafts and storytelling. It will also feature drumming and opportunities to make special crafts.

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Inodewiziwin Cultural Co-ordinator Diane Martin explains how the dark day has, historically, been connected with opportunities to reflect on beautiful things. 

“It was a time where we would gather to tell stories, to have a feast and to do some crafting,” she says.

“It’s a time when we can all get together and offer our gratitude to Mother Earth and all the living creatures and the natural world that we’re blessed to live on.”

Also, Inodewiziwin Elder Noreen Tinney explains why the day – which also marks the start of winter – has historical significance.  

“Winter, as a whole, is a time when Indigenous people would not be travelling as much. Winter is a time to rest. We do storytelling through the winter and crafts.

“The crafting, the beadwork, the art is produced in the winter; that’s the time to do it because in the spring summer and fall they were very busy.”

The event is free, but donations to the centre are welcome. Those interested in coming out are asked to RSVP to the centre.

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