Educators Path //
Episode 1 / Takastepanichikewin Peyak
SIX NATIONS OF THE GRAND RIVER
In this episode, the AskiBOYZ are led by their mentor Cassius Spears to their first visit, a Mohawk community set in Six Nations of the Grand River located in southern Ontario. The AskiBOYZ are greeted by Elder Jan Longboat, who generously teaches the boyz the proper way of handling and picking plants used for traditional medicine and food. After a long day of hard labour helping Elder Jan, the boyz are starving, and hoping for a home cooked meal. With no experience on how to cook, the boyz are faced with the daunting task of cooking dinner for themselves, Jan Longboat, and Cassius. Let’s hope the kitchen doesn’t go up in smoke!
Episode 2 / Takastepanichikewin Nisho
N’BIISING (NIPISSING) FIRST NATION
The AskiBOYZ travel north to Ojibway territory, the community of N’Biising, otherwise known as Nippissing First Nation, where they are greeted by Knowledge Keeper Perry McLeod who teaches the AskiBOYZ the significance of working together as a brotherly team. With the help of some local youth in the community, the AskiBOYZ learn the intricate steps of how to set up a tipi. Once upright, Knowledge Keeper Perry and his helpers gather inside around the drum for some traditional singing. The boyz who are not known for their singing abilities swallow their pride and join in.
Episode 3 / Takastepanichikewin Nisto
TEMAGAMI FIRST NATION
This episode takes us to the Ojibway community of Bear Island otherwise known as Temagami First Nation in northern Ontario where Elder Gary Potts teaches the AskiBOYZ how to carve a paddle, and hand make a traditional canoe using birch wood and other natural materials that surround the island. After a long day of building and working hard, the AskiBOYZ are presented with the opportunity to take the ceremonial canoe out on the fresh waters. And later, the boyz are put to the test by Gary and Cassius, as they set up some dangerous beaver traps along the shore. The boyz quickly realize that it takes experience, patience, and practice with some highly defined hunting techniques. Let’s hope Asivak and Mahiigan don’t end up losing a finger or two!!
Episode 4 / Takastepanichikewin Neow
EAGLE VILLAGE FIRST NATION
The AskiBOYZ visit the Algonquin community of Eagle Village First Nation in Quebec, where they are greeted by Elder Andrew Paul and Knowledge Keeper Rodney Denis. After a rather fascinating community tour, Elder Andrew and Rodney demonstrate to the boyz how to gather materials needed to make a quick lean-to-shelter in case they ever find themselves in an emergency situation. The boyz also learn how to cut and peel birch bark without damaging the tree, and how to shape and mold it into bowls that can hold boiling water over an open fire. As a bonus, Cassius takes the inexperienced canoers out on the lake for a little canoe 101 – splash!!!
Episode 5 / Takastepanichikewin Niyanan
MOOSE FACTORY ISLAND
The boyz travel far north to Cree land, the Mushkegowuk territory where they visit Moose Factory Island. The boyz and Cassius are greeted by the young and hip Knowledge Keeper Paul McLeod. Paul teaches the boyz the importance of teamwork, focusing, and most importantly patience. He also provides a lesson on how to build a traditional Cree lean-to-shelter in the bush, where unbeknownst to them, they end up spending the night alone as Cassius takes off with Paul. After a long, frightening night, Paul and Cassius wake the boyz up to teach them how to spring cast, a common technique used when fishing. Breakfast this morning may be a little late or not at all!!
Episode 6 / Takastepanichikewin Nikotwas
ATTAWAPISKAT FIRST NATION
The boyz and Cassius end their summer journey along the Ontario coast of James Bay – the boyz family territory and home community. It’s a very special place as it’s their great grandparents’ homeland, Attawapiskat First Nation, traditional territory of the Crees. The boyz pay their respect at the resting place of their grandparents by cleaning up the graves and sending prayers to the spirit world. Relative and Knowledge Keeper Adrian Sutherland give the boyz a lesson in water fowl hunting out on the marshes, where their grandfather once hunted many years ago. The boyz learn how to set up mud decoys, operate a firearm safely, bird calling, and to clean, de-feather, and cook water fowl in a traditonal Cree smoke house.
Episode 7 / Takastepanichikewin Niswas
CURVE LAKE FIRST NATION
A year has passed and the AskiBOYZ are one year older and somewhat wiser about living on the land. They set out yet again on another adventure with mentor Cassius Spears visiting Ojibway territory in Central Ontario. They venture out to Curve Lake First Nation where they are warmly greeted by two charismatic Knowledge Keepers Darryl Rose and Jay Johnson who demonstrate how to harvest Manomin, which is the Anishinaabe word for Wild Rice. After learning about harvesting rice, and returning with only a few grains, the boyz try their hand at hunting and set off with Cassius and the Knowldege Keepers to find some deer for dinner.
Episode 8 / Takastepanichikewin Niyananeow
CHIPPEWAS OF KETTLE POINT FIRST NATION
The boyz and Cassius venture out to the Ojibway territory of Kettle Point First Nation, named for it’s unusual spherical rocks known as Kettles. They are greeted by Elder Patricia Shawnoo and husband Rueben Naiche who provide the boyz and Cassius with some traditional knowledge about the sacredness of the traditional land and stories. They quiz the boyz to see if they were listening during the teachings, and send them out on the shorelines to identify as many kettle stones as possible. After a long search for kettles on the beatiful shores and a bit of messing around skipping flat stones, the boyz are asked to try some traditional dancing. They’re taught the art of traditional pow-wow dancing and about regallia. The boyz and Cassius then dance playfully around the grounds following the Knowledge Keepers.
Episode 9 / Takastepanichikewin Shank
CHIPPEWAS OF STONY POINT FIRST NATION
The boyz and Cassius don’t have to travel too far when they visit Kettle Point’s community neighbour, Stony Point First Nation – another fascinating Ojibway community with a lot of rich history. They’re greeted by Knowledge Keeper Rudy Bressette, a shy and quiet young man, who carries a lot of traditional knowledge. He takes them out into the forest where he used to play as a child in search for flint. The AskiBOYZ quickly divide and compete with each other to see who can gather more flint. Asivak loses very quickly to his brother Mahiigan who embraces the challenge, blowing Asivak right out of the competition. Mahiigan is later gifted with a tool specifically for flint for his hard work and focus. Both boyz are also given a lesson on how to start a fire by using only flint, and after building a traditional Ojibway shelter with Rudy and Cassius, they are forced to spend another scary night outdoors.
Episode 10 / Takastepanichikewin Mitatat
WALPOLE ISLAND FIRST NATION
This episode takes the AskiBOYZ and Cassius to the unceded territory known as Walpole Island which includes Ojibwa, Potawatomi, and Odawa people. They are greeted by Knowledge Keeper Joel Wright, known in his community and the surrounding area as the ‘ultimate duck hunter’. After a brief introduction, he immediately gives the boyz the task of sewing duck blinds, a common technique used to camouflage when duck hunting in the marsh. Joel and Cassius prepare the boyz for their first attempt of handling and firing a gun by themselves. Out on the marsh, Asivak obviously isn’t very keen on killing any more animals, but Mahiigan surprizes everyone with his will to learn more about duck hunting.
Episode 11 / Takastepanichikewin Peyakoshap
CHIPPEWAS OF THE THAMES FIRST NATION
The boyz and Cassius venture out to the community of Chippewas of the Thames in southern Ontario, an Ojibway community, where they are greeted by Knowledge Keeper Shane Henry. Shane talks about the importance and steps of setting up a traditional sweat ceremony as they prepare the medicines and the land. The boyz learn to cover the foundation of the sweat lodge and help gather the Grandfather Stones. Before the boyz are ready to move on, Shane shares with them a powerful history lesson about the community’s Residential School legacy as they visit the community monument dedicated to the survivors.
Episode 12 / Takastepanichikewin Nishoshap
The AskiBOYZ and Cassius travel to the community of Munsee-Delaware Nation in southern Ontario, and are greeted by Elder Leroy Dolson. Elder Leroy Dolson asks the boyz for some help to clean up the walnuts on his land. After a busy morning of gathering walnuts, Elder Leroy takes the boyz deep into the forest where he shows them how to pick sweet flag, a traditional medicine, used for thousands of years. He lends the boyz his favorite shovel and just as he tellls the over anxious boyz how NOT to handle the shovel, the over excited Asivak moves too fast. Snap!! Later, Elder Leroy shares how to prepare the sweet flag they found as a medicinal ingredient for colds and flu.
Episode 13 / Takastepanichikewin Nistoshap
ONEIDA NATION OF THE THAMES
In this last episode of AskiBOYZ, Cassius and the boyz’ journey comes to an emotional end in southern Ontario in the traditional lands of the Oneida Nation. They are warmly greeted by Elder Linda Elijah, who shares the old technique of pounding ash using the back end of an axe. The boyz are sent off to try the task on their own, and are handed the challenge of pounding ash without the help of the Elder or Cassius. When Pounding ash properly, the wood later breaks into long thin strips for traditional creative uses. After a long afternoon of pounding and broken axes, the boyz bring their strips to the Elder where they learn the difficult art of weaving baskets. The season ends with Cassius and the boyz gathered around a blazing fire recapping on some of their most memorable moments from their journey.