By Kyle Edwards
The gravel road beneath my feet has turned to mud. The rain is starting to come down hard. I’ve been driving for six hours, it’s about to get dark, and this is the first time I’ve been to Manitoulin Island. To my left is nothing but dense brush; to my right, I see the flat top of Lake Huron’s North Channel as the dark blue sky fades to black.
I hear the distant murmur of voices coming from the bush, but I don’t know where they are coming from. I’ve made it from Toronto to the Kenjgewin Teg Educational Institute on M’Chigeeng First Nation, but the Ojibwe immersion class has headed to a campsite for an exercise. I keep walking until I spot a trail, manoeuvre through the bushes and the feisty burrs, to find the group around a large fire with a teapot sitting on a metal rack near the edge of the flames. The school has hacked a clearing in the bush big enough for the fire and three small, white, army-style tents. Although the immersion students go overnight camping, these are for other classes, and the city boy in me is relieved we will not be sleeping on the spartan cots inside.
Kyle Edwards is a third-year student at the Ryerson School of Journalism.