Duncan McCue: When we paddle, my Dad always steers the canoe. So it has been my whole life. He has been my counsel and my guide, my teacher and confidant. He takes education seriously. He's taught me to value the teachings of the land, the importance of exercising the body and mind, and that laughter is often the very best medicine.

Waubgeshig Rice: I learned all about being Anishinaabe from my dad John, or Zaagaasige as he's known in the language. Since that's how I identify and try to carry myself daily, it's the most important knowledge that I have. When my parents found out I was coming, they made the decision to leave Ottawa and move back to his home community of Wasauksing so that I (and my forthcoming brothers) could be raised in the culture.

Waub Rice and his dad

CBC VJ Waubgeshig Rice says he 'learned all about being Anishinaabe' from his father John. (Waub Rice)

It was an important journey of reclamation for him; he grew up in a generation that was made to feel ashamed of being Anishinaabe. So as he rediscovered the beautiful elements of the resilient culture that made him proud, he passed a lot of what he learned along to us. As such, I was fortunate to grow up with the drum, the sweatlodge, and some of the essential teachings. Today, he is an esteemed member of the Midewiwin, and I aspire to one day properly join him there. Along with being all the important things that make up a father, he is also my spiritual and cultural mentor.

Ethan Tookenay: 

Ethan Tookenay

Ethan Tookenay says, "Every day I take care of my son. And I love my life here in Mittanjigaming First Nation." (Ethan Tookenay)

My real father left us as a child. I was not taught from him but from another man. His name is Gary Windego, and he taught me how to be a strong young man and wise. Always lots of laughs with him and my mother, he raised me as his own when he didn't have to, but he did. Now I am a father. Every day I take care of my son. And I love my life here in Mittanjigaming First Nation.

Jillian Taylor: He has taught me to work hard and make my own opportunities. My dad is a welder and private contractor so he had to seek out his own jobs.

He always told me to be proud of who I am. We didn't grow up with our culture but he always made sure I knew I am part Cree.

Hayden King and his father

Hayden King says his father (also named Hayden) taught him about responsibility. (Hayden King)

Hayden King: My father, (also named Hayden), taught me about responsibility. Being a single dad meant he worked hard to support three kids. For years, he'd get up at 5:00am, be on the road for two hours, sit on a bulldozer all day, and then make the trek home again. So we didn't see a lot of him and grew up kind of wild. But we knew what he was doing for us and that kept us in check.

When he passed away we were still essentially kids. The sense of obligation he instilled helped us take care of each other. We try to pass that on to the kids in our family today.

Brandi Dueck: 

Brandi Dueck

Brandi Dueck says, "He shows me everyday strength, courage, and how to be humble."

​He is my rock. He shows me everyday strength, courage, and how to be humble. He has instilled values in me from my indigenous roots. His generosity and his gift of giving is a virtue. He is loved and will always be loved by me. Happy Fathers Day, Dad!

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