For my creative journal entry #3, I have made a display of one of my childhood memories of camping in one of my best friends backyard at the lake which is located in Katepwa. For some reason, when someone asks me what I think of what the Canadian ideal wilderness is as a common sense, this exact picture gets painted in my head which is a couple tents set up near the beach (lake front property) with a camp fire going. Not only do you spend all morning and afternoon in the lake, playing in the sand, and hunting for snails, clams, and various other lake wildlife, but you get the true wilderness experience by sleeping outside also. When you are camping, you become one with nature because everything you do relates to the wilderness and outdoors.
At this age, when I was backyard camping with my friend, I obviously wasn’t aware of the history the land had to offer. I was aware of the Indigenous population that lived there but had no clue to why it was like that. Katepwa lands in Treaty 4 territory and before European settlers arrived, it appeared that the Assiniboine and Cree were most dominant in the area of what they now call Katepwa. Now knowing a lot of the history that has gone on in Treaty 4 territory I now know that it is important to acknowledge the history that has risen from the grounds that I now call home. We have to be mindful of who’s land we are really on, and continue peace in the sharing of the land.
When reading through Newbery’s Canoe Pedagogy I thought that the quote that stood out to me most was, “Their lives are not often idealized although they are often glorified; statistics of miles travelled, hours paddled, calories eaten, pounds carried, bugs endured, and lives lost create a sense of awe for these working-class young men.” When I saw this quote it made me come to realization of: Was I really experiencing wilderness when I was out camping compared to the types of battles that our early ancestors had to go through? True wilderness back then was seen as resourceful, but also a threat of deterioration and death more so than now days because of education and how society is structured. So was I really in the wilderness when I was camping compared to what people back then were exposed to? I can most definitely say no. In modern society wilderness is almost seen as recreation more so than survival. We learn different types of things when we are out in the wilderness compared to what they were learning about. What our concept of wilderness now is no where near of what the concept of wilderness meant back then.
Something I found interesting that disrupted Canada’s wilderness from Kimmerer’s Sitting In A Circle was how the wilderness in this story referred to living off the land and using what nature offered to provide humans with basic necessities whereas modern camping we are well prepared with food and water and other basic needs like when I was camping with my friend. By the students using what nature offers it gave the students a true understanding of how significant it and how powerful nature is. Overall people might think they understand what wilderness is, but I think that you won’t get that true wilderness experience unless you ditch societal norms.