Explorers Connect

Cree First Nation Wilderness Experience

Join a TeamJames Hipkiss

6th February to 14th February 20151,000pp - LAST MINUTE DEAL, THREE SPACES LEFTThis includes: all meals, accommodation, airport transfer from Chebougamau airport, Canada, instruction, snow shoe and sleeping bag hire, and materials for crafts during thenine days.It does NOT include: any flights, visas if necessary, souvenir shopping money.Join us for a trip to Canada where we will spend ten days in the heart of winter, immersed in the wilderness with our Cree North American First Nation hosts.This isan incredibleexperience for anyone who has the call of the North and wants to experience really living with the land from experts whose ancestors have lived and hunted on the land for thousands of years, and where our Cree hosts continue their ancestral traditions today.We will collect you from the airport at Chibougamau, Quebec and then the trip will begin with a tour of the community at Ouje-Bougoumou (see project details below).The next day we will strap on our snowshoes andhead out to the wilderness on the edge of Lake Opemiska staying in our hosts winter accommodation, with its homely log burner and thick spruce bough floor. The itinerary of the trip is governed very much by the changing environment which you will be fully immersed in; the landscape, the elements and the wildlife. This could mean that you will find yourself learning how to catch fish through thick ice, before preparing them to cook over an open fire, or working on a moose hide which can then be turned into the soft leather used for making traditionalmoccasins. Youwill also have the opportunity for learning to carve or explore traditional craft.The Cree are one of the last generations of native subsistence hunters in Canada, andthere has never been a gap in their history of hunting for survival. This knowledge of their natural environment means that they will show us how to look for the tracks of the different wildlife; the beaver, fox, moose, deer and wolf that we may encounter in the area and if we are lucky we may get to see the mammals themselves or hear the howl of the wolves at night. The Creewill share with us the skills of how to make and set traps that they use for hunting these species and which have kept themselves alive in this remote region. Please be aware that this trip gives you a very real experience of how the Cree live today.Like our ancestors, we hunt animals for our food. We do not think of hunting as a victory over nature. Rather, we tend to think of it as part of the larger gift of life. If you join us at one of our bush camps, you will be able to see this for yourself. There, you can join us for country foods such as moose, beaver, goose, ptarmigan, caribou, arctic hare and local freshwater fish. You will also learn about the time-honoured ways in which we prepare these foods. And you`ll see that, as conservators, we do not waste any part of the animal David Bosum, our Cree guide*Please note that vegetarians are also catered for, and as a vegetarian myself, it wont be just be potatoes, potatoes and more potatoes.If you wish you can be shielded fromany actual hunt itself, as make no mistake, it is real.If the Creehave a successful hunt, then should you wish, the next step is to skin the animal and prepare the hide using traditional methods which you are invited to partake in. The hides may then be used to make the warm traditional moccasin style footwear thatkeep your feet cosy warmor used to make the snowshoes that help us to travel across the landscape through the deep snow. When the Cree process the animalthey ensurethat no part of it is wasted and you willlearn how to utilise every bone, sinew, flesh and hide.PROJECTA reminder - Please be aware that this trip gives you a very real experience of how the Cree live today. They will not all be sleeping in tepees. They will not be wearing feathers in their hair, or war paint on their faces. They are, however, a proud people who have worked hard to maintain their heritage and connection with the earth. Your visit will start with a tour of Ouj-Bougoumou, which means the Place where People Gather - a community which in 1995 won a U.N. award for excellence and which will be supporting by our visit. You will see a unique heating plant which reflects their tradition of conservation; fed by waste sawdust, it sends out heat via underground pipes to every building in the village. You will see buildings that combine a traditional astchiiugamikw (tepee) style with a modern style and the reconstructed cultural village where you`ll learn how they make handicrafts such as tufting, moccasins, or snowshoes. Take time to sit with elders and hear their stories about the old days, their faces gently illuminated by the flicker of bear grease lamps.If you would like more information on this expedition then please contact angie@panashadventures.comPanash Adventures specialises in wilderness immersion expeditions and short courses including conservation of traditional and native skills, wildlife tracking, free diving, survival skills, wild food and medicine and much much more.Weorganise workshops, short breaks, holidays, and bespoke adventures for single people, groups, and people with special needs both in the UK and internationally.Panash Adventures brings people closer to the natural world and provides holiday experiences and workshops designed to be life changing for the traveller and provide opportunities where both host culture and visitors can exchange skills and learn from each other.