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Elders pass on Cree culture at Rites of Passage week in Chisasibi, Que.

This week the James Bay community of Chisasibi, Que., held a Rites of Passage cultural week, where elders passed on teachings to the youth.

Medicine, rites of passage, ceremonies and traditional cooking demonstrated in James Bay community

91-year-old Martha Tapiatic Pachano shared many teachings including how to make a baby rattle from a ptarmigan or partridge storage sac. (Celina Wapachee/CBC)

This week the James Bay community of Chisasibi, Que., held a Rites of Passage Cultural week, where elders passed on teachings to the youth.

The event, which wraps up March 25, was organized by the Chisasibi Heritage and Cultural Centre and many volunteers.

It was a chance for people to learn about Cree culture and traditions such as medicine, rites of passage for young boys and girls, ceremonies, and traditional cooking among others.

Elder Martha Tapiatic Pachano, 91, shared many teachings including how to make a baby rattle from a ptarmigan or partridge storage sac.

Making a ptarmigan sac rattle in Chisasibi

5 years ago
Duration 0:12
Making a ptarmigan sac rattle in Chisasibi 0:12

A ptarmigan's sac is very often used as a baby rattle. It is blown into, tied up and then hung to dry.

A ptarmigan's sac baby rattle. (Celina Wapachee/CBC)

Minnie Shem taught traditional cooking and prepared delicacies, with ptarmigan, fish, beaver during the Rites of Passage.

Minnie Shem did many of the traditional cooking demonstrations during Rites of Passage. (Celina Wapachee/CBC)

James Bay Eeyou School high school students were brought in daily by their Cree language and Cree culture teachers to learn from the elders.

James Bay Eeyou School high school students watch Minnie Shem prepare traditional food. (Celina Wapachee/CBC)
Ptarmigan roasting on a stick by the woodstove. (Celina Wapachee/CBC)

A traditional fashion show was organized for the Rites of Passage. The clothing will be cared for by the Chisasibi Heritage and Cultural Centre.

This rabbit fur suit was part of a traditional fashion show at the Rites of Passage. (submitted by Paula Napash)
Elder Jane Matthew. (Celina Wapachee/CBC)

Jane Matthew prepares unaanipitaahwaau

5 years ago
Duration 1:09
Jane Matthew prepares unaanipitaahwaau 1:09

Elder Jane Matthew prepared unaanipitaahwaau, a cut of meat from the back of a moose or a caribou.

Unaanipitaahwaau, a cut of meat from the back of a moose or a caribou. (Celina Wapachee/CBC)

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