Indigenous Law Students Association Hosts 2017 Fall Feast

Maud Rozee (3L)

The Fall Feast put on by the Indigenous Law Students Association (ILSA) has been a U of T Law tradition for about thirty years. “The Fall Feast is a way for us to bring the community together to share and laugh with each other and just have a positive peaceful community vibe,” said ILSA Co-President Zachary Biech. “It’s been going for so many years, there’s almost an obligation to put it on and do a good job!” ILSA co-President Joshua Favel said.

Indigenous Initiatives Manager Amanda Carling started the festivities by bringing those in attendance, including ILSA members, law students, undergraduates, and law faculty, outside for a smudging circle. Academic Elder Ernie Sandy, a native Objiwe speaker and educator on Ojibwe history and culture, led the smudge.

Artist in Residence Tanya Murdoch (left) with Elder Ernie Sandy.

Next, Fall Feasters returned to the Rowell Room for a delicious lunch with live music. Academic Elder Ernie Sandy started the feast by putting together a spirit plate to bring back to his land in Barrie, a way to give back to the Mother Earth. ILSA members served hearty turkey soup and veggie chili from Pow Wow Cafe, as well as potluck-style sides and desserts. The stand-out lunch item, in this reporter’s opinion, was the bannock with maple butter, which was life-changingly tasty. Two members of the Metis Fiddlers Quartet, including ILSA member Conlin Delbaere-Sawchuk (1L), provided lively fiddle music that had many toes a-tapping.

Alyssa Delbaere-Sawchuk (left) and ILSA member
Conlin Delbaere-Sawchuk(1L) of the Metis Fiddlers Quartet.

After lunch, Academic Elder Ernie Sandy spoke movingly about being thankful for what is given to us and what we can give. He shared stories and teachings about gratitude and our connectedness, and emphasized his willingness, happiness, and pride to be able to share Indigenous culture at the Fall Feast.

“It went terrific! Great turnout. A lot of familiar faces but a lot of new faces as well,” Biech. “It was good to see some students come from outside the faculty as well, to see the community together. It was very positive and a lot of fun.”

This reporter can confirm that it was very positive and a lot of fun. See you at the 2018 Fall Feast!

Indigenous Initiatives Manager Amanda Carling (left) with ILSA member Veronica Guido (2L) serving up bannock with maple butter, and turkey chili.