Awen’ Gathering Place
The Awen’ Gathering Place is a space of sharing, learning, teaching, ceremony, celebration and contemplation to advance recognition of the past and present Indigenous Peoples and their heritage legacy in Collingwood and the surrounding area. Awen’ is a Wendat word for “water”.
The concept for the Awen’ Gathering Place is based on the teachings of the renowned educator, artist and poet Dr Duke Redbird of the Saugeen Ojibway First Nation. The design links the seven grandfather teachings to the seven layers of the food forest. The Seven Grandfather Teachings are an ancient Anishinaabe/Midewiwin teaching on the ethics of proper behaviour and conduct or ‘the good way of life’.
These teachings are linked to the lands that were for thousands of years the source of life for the Anishinaabeg peoples who gathered foods, medicines and materials from the forest in the area that is now Collingwood.
The design of the Gathering Place is the result of a collaboration between Dr. Redbird and the Indigenous design team of Brook McIlroy Inc. Architecture/Cultural Place-Making Studio.