Bug-O-Nay-Ge-Shig School Keeps The Memory Alive Of Former Staff And Students Who’ve Passed
Ron Wakanabo remembers it like it was yesterday, but the date was November 19, 1985. On that day his life changed forever.
“She was delivering her school pictures that day,” said Wakanabo, who’s remembering his relative. “Here it is, never made it to our house, school bus killed her right in front of our house.”
“It’s just something that we do traditionally, we’ve got to go to this because the baby,” said Lucille Wakanabo, who’s remembering her daughter, Breanna Wakanabo. “If she was here, we wouldn’t have to be here.”
While Bug-O-Nay-Ge-Shig is wrapping up the school year, staff, students and families look ahead to the future, but they also remember those who aren’t physically here.
“Just a nice time to get together and remember families, friends and family members that have passed,” said Bug-O-Nay-Ge-Shig School Staff Member Mike Schmid.
About 50 people were in the gym for a memorial feast to honor staff and students who passed away and attended the school. This year 17 names were added, which is more than the usual.
“All of us will have our picture, hopefully they’ll be others to remember us as well,” said Bug-O-Nay-Ge-Shig School Seasonal Activities Teacher Richard Armstrong.
“Tobacco ties are made of cedar and red cloth with loose tobacco inside,” said Schmid. “Tobacco is used by traditional Anishinaabe people in prayer.”
For some families this feast is also a way to alleviate some of the pain in losing someone.
“It’s what we do in community and when we lose a loved one we have a feast for them,” said Joyce Graves, who’s remember her relative. “That brings a lot of good comfort to the family knowing that even though our loved one is gone, we still have them in our hearts, in our mind.”