Wemindji’s Cultural Village is a new development with a purpose to revitalize, and preserve the Cree culture. It is a place where community members go to practice and teach Cree culture, and share knowledge, legends and traditional stories. Some of the activities include traditional cooking, tanning moose hide, woodcarving, and feasts. People can come to the cultural camp to relax or participate to keep the culture strong, and enjoy the traditional meal prepared by the women.
Old Factory Visit
Old factory is located just 25km south of Wemindji, and it is where people once lived before Wemindji was first established in 1959. Wemindji used to be the winter grounds for the community members and during mid July-August they would canoe back to Old Factory for the summer. This is now part of the annual traditional event where youth participate and canoe as their elders once did and partake in traditional activities, feasts and dancing that everyone enjoys.
The Community of Wemindji has an annual blueberry festival where people can participate in. All kinds of blueberry contest are held that shows off the people’s culinary skills and creativity.
The snowshoe journey is a journey taken in the mid winter between Jan-Feb. The youth and community members are welcome to participate on a 3-4 week journey that gives them an opportunity to learn about the land and experience the trails that their ancestors had once taken. It is an adventure and great Cree cultural learning experience, and once the journey ends they are welcomed with a feast, dancing and sharing of experience.
Ceremonies and Feasts
Ceremonies are an important component in the Cree society where every milestone of a child’s development is celebrated with a feast and expression of happiness. The birth, first step, walking out ceremony, first snowshoe walk are some of the examples of celebrations. A successful hunt of the season is also celebrated: the Cree’s demonstrate an act of respect for the animal by feasting, and sharing food to give thanks to the animals.
Other forms of ceremonies are healing ceremonies that are held out on the land where people go out as a group to share common experiences, knowledge and stories to solve community social matters. These can be canoe expeditions, and snowshoe journeys that the youth can participate in and where elders take their role as guides and facilitators to help the people through the healing journey.
An festival is organized to celebrate the anniversary of Wemindji, which is held in July every other year. Many Activities for the children, youth, adults and elders take place and aboriginal artists are invited to sing and preform for the community of Wemindji.