Welcome! You’re joining us today because you’re interested in learning more about risky play. We’re grateful to have Algonquin Elder, Annie Smith St-Georges open up this workshop, in conversation with the Child and Nature Alliance of Canada’s (CNAC) Petra Eperjesi. Annie’s storytelling roots us in our connection to each other and to the history of children playing in all kinds of ways on this Land for thousands of years.
Annie Smith St-Georges is a traditional Algonquin Elder, the daughter of a trapper, hunter, and craftsperson. She was born and raison on the Kitigan-Zibi reserve near Maniwaki, Québec. She was the founder of Kumik, the Elders Lodge (Indian and Northern Affairs Canada) established in the early 1990s following the Oka crisis. Elders came from across Canada to share their teachings and knowledge, and to help Annie who, at the time, was recovering from the loss of her son. Subsequently, she founded WAGE, a health centre for the integration of Aboriginal knowledge with medical science. Annie and her husband, André-Robert St-Georges, were featured in the National Film Board (NFB) film Kwekanamad/The Winds are Changing/Les vents tournament. She has worked as a teacher and a federal civil servant, and is an advisor to many national and international groups about a wide range of issues. She was chosen to be the Elder to bless the signing of the June 11, 2008 Apology in Parliament, as well as the opening and closing of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, and the official closing of the Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women.
The Child and Nature Alliance of Canada is grateful to work in collaboration with many gifted land-based educators and facilitators. CNAC hosted a roundtable on June 11 2021 to hear the perspectives of Indigenous educators on the value they see in supporting risky play on the land.