First Peoples Voices: August Update

By Bev Hadland

Crossroads Ambassador for the First Peoples

With the summer days closing to an end, we embarked on a remarkable journey this June, accompanied by 100 Huntley Street’s host, Cheryl Weber. Our voyage took us to Birch Narrows/Turnor Lake, Montreal Lake, Prince Albert, and Thunderchild Cree Nation, where we had the privilege of introducing Cheryl to some of our incredible Saskatchewan champions. One of these champions is Rebecca Sylvestre. Back in early 2018, Rebecca held a dream close to her heart – a dream of a Community Kitchen. She shared her vision with us, and from that moment on, Crossroads’ First Peoples has partnered with her. Together, we transformed her dream into a thriving reality. What started with three gardens in 2018, has blossomed into sixty-three home gardens today. This year, we celebrate another milestone as the Centre inaugurates its own community garden, a testament to God’s provision.

Meet seventy-eight-year-old Elizabeth, one of the oldest gardeners in Birch Narrows. Her joy shines as she tends to her home garden. Beyond this, Elizabeth dedicates her time to the Community Kitchen, where she sews for others and crafts beautiful ribbon skirts for herself.

Cheryl Weber shares a moment with Rebecca, the visionary founder and director of the Community Kitchen. This year, they welcomed a dedicated gardener to their team, ensuring growth and sustainability.

The Community Kitchen provides food security while also offering programs that encompass food security, cultural preservation, language, baking, sewing, and sustainable living. Programs are offered to all ages starting at five years. 

The Elders sewing group gathers twice weekly for creative projects.

Behind the scenes from Cheryl’s heartfelt interview with Rebecca

We recognize that food security is a crucial pillar of Truth and Reconciliation for Indigenous communities. Historical displacement and resettlement have profoundly impacted food sovereignty. Yet, the story of Birch Narrows/Turnor Lake shines as a symbol of resilience and determination.

With your prayers and support, First Peoples Voices provides a beacon of hope by providing non-GMO seeds, garden tools, fencing, soil, and rotor tillers. Our central mission revolves around ensuring “Food Security” for every Indigenous community in the Subarctic.

As we bask in the warmth of summer, we invite you to join us in sowing the seeds of change. Psalm 107:1 reminds us, “Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good. His faithful love continues forever.” Your prayers and support are a source of transformation to many.

With our fiscal year closing on August 31st, your generous contribution can further these endeavors of hope and sustainability. Together, let’s nurture the dreams of First Peoples and create a legacy of compassion and empowerment.

Stay tuned for our September update, where we’ll share the inspiring updates from Montreal Lake.

We thank you for your continued prayers and support!