Stone Bear Pre-Conference Retreat
Two Day Retreat (May 17 & 18)
The Stone Bear Retreat offers opportunities to spend quiet time in the forest, share thoughts in circle discussions and learn about our Mi’kmaw culture. In workshops and along the trails we explore the traditional Mi’kmaq relationship to animals, plants and trees. We will focus on our lives in a holistic way, encouraging awareness to the balance that we need to practice. We will talk about how knowledge of the natural world is a verb in a Mi’kmaw worldview, focusing on direct relationships, interconnections and interactions, rather than the delineation of objects.
This is a two day experience in a natural, rustic setting at Bear River First Nation. The retreat will include crafts, walks, drumming and storytelling. It has been especially scheduled for conference participants, although participation in the conference is not mandatory to join this retreat.
More detailed information is available on the Stone Bear website and you must contact and register with Stone Bear independently from the conference (see below). They will provide more detailed information as to the schedule, what to bring, etc. The cost is $250 and includes all food and accommodations. There is a maximum of 15 participants. It is located approximately 90 minutes west of Wolfville by car.
Frank Meuse is the founder and caretaker of Stone Bear Tracks and Trails. Frank’s passion for the outdoors led him to the Elders and the woodsmen of his community early in his life. His adventures traveling the back country by canoe and by foot expanded his knowledge, both traditional and modern. In turn, this has made Frank well-respected in his ability to guide and share his teachings with others. In 1987 Frank was elected Chief of his community and served for ten two-year terms since then. During his 20 years as Chief, he was able to help the community establish some desperately needed infrastructure such as a school, health centre, multi-purpose centre, recreational facilities and some new housing. He also helped with a few projects such as river restoration work, a traditional medicine trail, and a forestry management plan for the community’s woodlot.
Shalan joudry is a guest facilitator at Stone Bear, as well as the administrative support. She has been working at the lodge for the past 6 years and offers experience in ecology and Mi’kmaw storytelling. Shalan is a mother to two young children, community ecologist and works in various performing arts. Her book of poetry “Generations Re-merging” was published in April 2014 by Gaspereau Press.