Protecting your homefire during a pandemic

Living through a pandemic is scary, especially if you live in an isolated community and aren’t able to see your loved ones and can’t come together as a community. Fortunately, we also live in an era where technology is advanced and talking to a loved one is a phone call or video message away. And with sites like YouTube, people can upload informative videos to teach people pretty much anything.

The Morning Star Lodge has taken it upon themselves to make videos, aimed at Indigenous communities, that are informative about safety and how to protect your home fire, while being culturally safe.

 “When we talk about our home fire what we’re considering is our home that we go home to.” Said Miranda Keewatin, Research Assistant at Morning Star Lodge. “Which means that structure of your home, the people that are in the home as well. And it’s about bringing in that safety and that security and it’s also considering the history of Indigenous people living in a tipi. It was the women’s tipi that was her home fire that she took care of the fire that was in the tipi, so that meant the physical, spiritual, emotional, cultural aspect to that.”

With the home fire being an important part of our lives it’s easy to see why people would look to online resources on how stay safe and take extra caution, but it can be hard to find videos that Indigenous people can relate to. Which is one of the reasons that Morning Star Lodge has decided to make these informative videos. So far, there are videos that show how to make disinfectant spray at home (readers may have noticed that stores are sold out of disinfecting cleaners), how to thoroughly wash hands, how to properly practice physical distancing (many are using the word physical in place of social as it’s now easy to keep in touch via social media and video messaging), and how to avoid touching surfaces. And they don’t plan on stopping anytime soon.

“We have several more ideas in the hopper and we’re going to be trying to put out between three and maybe four per week as the pandemic progresses,” said Anderson. “We’re looking at a bunch of different things to do in social isolation, how to keep in touch with people, things like that.”

The videos on their YouTube channel, called Morning Star Lodge, are quite short (less than 1.5 minutes) and right to the point.

The focus is on narrating the subject material and not about presenting a personality.

Although there are currently no videos that feature culture or medicine, there are plans to look into those types of video.

“We are looking at some aspects of Indigenous medicine.” Anderson says. “There are teachings that we can share with people and there are teachings that we would not feel comfortable with putting online, so that is a very fine line for us.”

There are elders that work with the researchers at Morning Star Lodge and culture/community is an important aspect to the research lab.

You can find the videos referenced in the article on YouTube under the name ‘Morning Star Lodge.’