Turkeys are being introduced to Wiikwemkoong Unceded Territory on Manitoulin Island.
It’s part of a movement to help community members become self-sufficient and harvest their own food, says Gzaagidwan Anishnaabe, a co-ordinator with the Lands and Resources department.
Anishnaabe says 50 turkeys are being released this summer to run wild and multiply, adding that they will be ready for hunting in a few years.
“Our ancestors, our grandparents survived in that area and that’s a history this entire country is built on — is agriculture and everything else living with the land,” Anishnaabe said.
“That’s amazing to see.”
Anishnaabe said the turkeys will be used for more than food.
“You’d be able to utilize the entire bird like for its feathers,” Anishnaabe said. “Also to use in our traditional activities like traditional powwows and have a new dance started in our community. Having a mzise dance — a turkey dance.”
Anishnaabe says a growing number of people this year are also gardening to provide their own produce.
The pandemic has the community thinking a lot about being self-sufficient, he said.