Monday, March 14 was Nipissing Day at Nipissing First Nation, a designated holiday for the people and staff, and families turned out in droves to enjoy the first community celebration since COVID cancelled everything. Genevieve Couchie, like so many others, enjoyed the day in Garden Village with her children. She explained that Nipissing Day was established around 11 years ago to allow people to attend the Little NHL hockey tournament held in Mississauga. “So many families go to Little HNL, and there were so many staff that are Little NHL parents, that council designated the first Monday of March Break as Nipissing Day, to give everyone an extra day with there kids,” she said.
In 2020, Nipissing FN was to host the Little NHL; they suffered a COVID-cancellation. However, the holiday still existed even though there was no LNHL to go to. This year NFN decided to do a big celebration, a day full of events, and in the evening 10 minutes of spectacular fireworks. “There was a lot of fun with the kids,” said Couchie.
Along with games like jug curling, a family skate, ring toss, penny sale, Plinko, there was also a chance to dump snow over the head of Anishinabek Police Services Officer Chantal Larocque. “I had to laugh about APS, that was hilarious, the snow bucket. They were tossing a bucket of snow instead of water.” There was a fire with a marshmallow roast, hot chocolate, homemade chili and fry bread, young kids trying to toss ping pong balls into containers, and the Fire Service had a booth with fire safety gifts for the children. “There were a lot of nice prizes for the kids; it was a really nice time. This is the first real community event we were able to have,” Couchie said, “and it had a different feel to it. It was so nice, so many families came out I couldn’t believe it. It was awesome. It was nice to see everyone smiling, to see each other again.” Of course, next year everyone is hoping to go to the Little NHL.