A place that I feel connected to is this shelter on top of the hill, which is a part of the path in the Assiniboine Forest. We were on a hike during an extremely hot day, walking through the bush because Knowledge Keeper Sara McIvor-Prouty was telling us about different plants and medicines that are in Assiniboine Forest.
The sun was extremely hot and bright and we had minimal wind to cool us off. We finally reached this shelter that had a long bench, which was big enough for all of us to sit. As we were walking, we spotted a deer standing as close as 20 feet away from us, so some of us went over to see it while others took a break from walking. It eventually came closer to us, around 10 feet, as more time went on.
I’ve only ever been this close to a wild deer once in my life while I was with my family in Pine River, where my grandparents live. Pine River is a place that I’ve always been connected to, since I’ve been going there since I was a child. There is no internet over there, so whenever I’m there my family and I become closer to each other and all the land surrounding us, by going on walks in the bush to pick wild berries. I always loved going there to visit them because it feels like a nature cleanse and I felt spiritually refreshed afterward. That experience we all had during our walk reminded me so much of going to my grandpa’s and feeling connected to the land.
The Indigenous Youth Storytelling program is supported by The Conservation Trust through Manitoba Habitat Heritage Corporation.