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Heading out on a cultural exchange
Dalton Takazo shares culture with Bear River First Nation

Kassina Ryder
Northern News Services
Monday, October 5, 2015

Dalton Takazo says getting the chance to eat seafood was one of the best parts of his summer living in Bear River, Nova Scotia.

NNSL photo/graphic

Dalton Takazo holds the book Sharing Our Stories, a collecting of stories and photographs of Sahtu region artifacts. Takazo was a member of a group who participated in a workshop at the the Prince of Wales Northern Heritage Centre in November of last year. The workshop led to the book of the same name. - photo courtesy of Trent Waterhouse

"The first thing I would pick is the food, the seafood," he said.

"I never really tried it before and I got to try it this summer. It's so good. I really love it."

Takazo travelled from Deline to the east coast as a participant in Northern Youth Abroad.

He spent the summer living with a host family and doing work placements, one of which took place at Upper Clements Amusement Park where Takazo helped teach zip lining safety. Takazo's host brother worked at the park and asked him to help out during a couple of his shifts.

"It was just for a few days," Takazo said.

"I was helping people do zip lining. Teaching them the basic equipment that you need, telling them the safety rules and the precautions they must take before going on the zip lining course."

When he wasn't teaching zip lining, Takazo spent his days working at the Muin Si'pu Learning Centre on the nearby Bear River First Nation where he learned about Mi'kmaq culture. He also got a chance to share some of his own traditions.

"I just helped the kids with their work and teaching them how to do arts and crafts," he said.

"I was teaching them about my way of life from where I'm from here in Deline, teaching them our way of life. I was teaching them handgames and drum dances."

About 800 people live in Bear River, so on his days off Takazo and his host family would travel to larger centres to go to the movies and sample local cuisine.

"We just basically drove to bigger places to watch movies or go out to eat at restaurants," he said.

"It was really fun."

His host family's home was also near an outdoor basketball and swimming pool, which Takazo said he definitely took advantage of.

"The most fun thing out there was just basically playing basketball all summer," he said.

Takazo said while he loves his home community, he misses the opportunities he experienced in the South. Travelling with Northern Youth Abroad allowed him to experience a different way of life.

"I really want to go back, it's so boring here where I'm from," he said.

"When I was out there I had tons of fun, the most fun I've had in years."

Takazo said he was glad he decided to participate in the program.

"I got to meet a bunch of new people and a lot of new elders and a bunch of kids," he said.

"I had tons of fun out there."

He also said he would encourage other youth to sign up for the program.

"If you've been stuck at home for a really long time, this would help you get out of your community and into new place," he said.

"They would learn new things and just to have this experience; it's a once-in-a-lifetime chance."

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