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June – Miin Giizis, the Berry Moon

By: Gracie Crafts

This month is called the Berry Moon because it is when the berries start to come out. Strawberries (odeimiin) come out first usually followed by raspberries (miskomiin), blackberries (odatagaagomiin), and blueberries (miinan). In late September, cranberries (mashkiigimiin) emerge. These berries are usually the sign of summer and summer solstice. Strawberries cues many other plants to start sprouting including wild rice and sweet grass.

Birch bark canoes (wiigwaas jiiman) are being prepared to be taken out to gather wild rice, berries, sweet grass, and fish. Since the waters are open and warmer, all travel would have taken place along waterways such as rivers and the Great Lakes, including Georgian Bay. Bloodsuckers, such as mosquitoes and black flies also play a role in the cycle of plants, weather, and changes throughout the summer. 

Nowadays, during this time many families are preparing for pow wow season. This is a time of gathering, sharing food, art, crafts, and support to each other. New regalias are being sewn, beaded, and put together. Many families follow the pow wow trail to different host communities from June until mid September. Pow wows are a celebration and livelihood for many Indigenous people. 

Miin Giizis is Indigenous History Month and Pride Month.  

In honour of Indigenous History Month and National Indigenous Day on June 21, GBB and Georgian Bay Anishnaabek Youth will be posting videos, blogs  and other content throughout the month to share about Indigenous Knowledge and Anishnaabek youth in our community. Follow us to learn more!

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