As many of you from Six Nations may know, the last week or so has been Community Awareness Week! The festivities have come to a close today, and I am so excited for next years events! The last two weeks have been filled with fantastic events all around Six Nations. Before the week started, I had made a list of events I wanted to check out and attend, but before I had come home from provincials for the drama festival, I found myself with the flu! I was in bed for the next four days and I was still under the weather for most of the weekend. I was so disappointed because there were so many things that I wanted to go to and get involved in. Community participation is so important, and it’s apart of not only individual wellness but group wellness. A strong sense of community is vital to creating social wellbeing. This is why I was so disappointed when I got sick, but as an advocate for mental health, I realize that physical and mental health are directly related, and I need to ensure that I am healthy before I can help others. Self-care is so important, and it’s not selfish to take the time to focus on yourself and how you are feeling.
Fortunately, by the next Monday, I was feeling much better, which was just in time for Bread & Cheese! If you’re from Six Nations or you’ve been reading my blog, you’ll know what I’m talking about. However, if you don’t, Bread & Cheese is an annual Six Nations tradition that draws out thousands of community members. It’s our way of celebrating Victoria Day, in which everyone lines up for a piece of bread and a piece of cheese. There are always other events, like fireworks, a parade, a carnival, and various tournaments. It’s one of the biggest events in our community, and I love going. This year, I participated in the parade and was involved in the after party, hosted by myself alongside one of my absolutely fantastic sponsors, Six Nations Marketplace. The parade included various organization, businesses, and ambassadors. My incredibly supportive stepmom drove the truck while I sat in the back. The day before I had just picked up my freshly made signs, made by OH Multimedia, a local business which made a couple fantastic banners I’ll be using at events and parades!
Afterward, I stayed and got my bread and cheese, and checked out some of the community vendors. I always love going, because I see so many people I wouldn’t see anytime else; former friends, classmates, teachers. After I had the chance to see everything, I headed over to the marketplace where my family had set up a food booth. They are so supportive of me, and I am so lucky to have people who help me to succeed and make sure everything goes as planned. At the party, there was food, bouncy castles, a petting zoo, and not to mention the incredible vendors! I was especially excited to see the petting zoo, so as soon as I had the chance I was over there in a heartbeat. There were reptiles and other small animals, as well as a baby alligator and a giant snake! My boyfriend worked at a zoo for a number of months, so as we walked around the displays, he told me about each one and their typical behaviour, as well as anecdotes about his own experiences. My favourite animals were either the tortoises or the chinchilla, but all of them were super interesting! I also have a huge soft spot for guinea pigs, so I melted when I saw the hairless cavy, which they had dubbed a “house hippo”.
While I do wish I got out more, Community Awareness Week looks like it was a huge success, and I can’t wait for next years events!
Til Next Time