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Howling with the Wolfman
Posted: Mar 24, 2018

Howling with the Wolfman

Indigenous Chef helps Sagamok celebrate good living with conclusion of Chief and Council Healthy Lifestyles Challenge

Robert Porter     Sagamok Anishnawbek News      March 24, 2018


1st         Nyssa Solomon               5,485 points         

2nd        Harlan Pattenden            3,688 points

3rd         Gavin Eshkakogan           1,680 points

              Janica Toulouse              1,680 points

Nyssa averaged 532 minutes of physical activity each week and an average of 75 minutes per day. 

Children's Category Winner Harlan Pattenden (2nd) is congratulated by Laura McMeekin-Clarke, Physical Wellness Worker with Sagamok Anishnawbek (below)

1st         Acadia Solomon                    3,060 points

2nd        Elijah Toulouse                     2,337 points

3rd         Kalah Rayne Pottier               1,490 points

Acadia averaged 340 minutes of physical activity per week and an average of 49 minutes per day. 

Youth Category Winners Elijah Toulouse (2nd) and Kalah Rayne Pottier (3rd) are congratulated by Laura McMeekin-Clarke, Physical Wellness Worker with Sagamok Anishnawbek (below)

1st          Nelson Toulouse                  6,118 points

2nd        Jason Solomon                     2,878 points

Nelson averaged 553 minutes of physical activity per week and an average of 79 minutes  per day. 

Adult Male Category Winner Nelson Toulluse (1st) is congratulated by Laura McMeekin-Clarke, Physical Wellness Worker with Sagamok Anishnawbek (below)

1st          Tracey Stoneypoint              4,221 points

2nd         Kristen Wolfear                    4,211 points

3rd          Janice Stoneypoint               3,365 points

Tracey averaged 163 minutes of physical activity per week and an average of 45 minutes per day. 

Adult Female Category Winners Tracey (1st; left) and mom Janice Stoneypoint (3rd; right) are congratulated by Shaye Foster, Physical Wellness Worker Assistant with Sagamok Anishnawbek (below)

1st           Jeanne McLeod                     3,013 points

2nd          Gail Francis                          1,597 points

3rd           Pauline Toulouse                     940 points

Jeanne averaged 273 minutes of physical activity per week and an average of 39 minutes per day. 

Senior Category Winners Pauline Toulouse (3rd; above) and Jeanne McLeod (1st; below) are congratulated by Laura McMeekin-Clarke, Physical Wellness Worker and Shaye Foster, Physical Wellness Worker Assistant with Sagamok Anishnawbek (below)

Sagamok community members were treated to an indigenous fusion experience with a cooking demonstration by Chef David Wolfman at Enji Wii Ji Gaabwitaadaying Agaamik on March 24 to recognize those adopting healthy lifestyles.  

The event was a celebratory conclusion to a Healthy Lifestyle Challenge issued by the First Nation's Chief and Council last fall with the opening of the new community Fitness Centre facility and launched officially near the end of January of the new year.  

Over 100 participants signed up for the challenge that was launched January 22.  

"Today is a celebration of the dedication of community members who have been working really hard over the last nine weeks making changes in their lifestyles to live healthier lives," says event coordinator and host, Laura McMeekin-Clarke, who is also Sagamok's Physical Wellness Worker.  

"They have been focusing on their overall health and wellness, and today, we gather together to honour the beauty of our human body."  

The challenge asked community members to explore their overall physical wellbeing, including diet, exercise and smoking, in terms of what these activities would look like in a healthy context for them.  The ways they speak of diet, now, for example, is not just one that speaks to eating correct portions and making sure to eat fromt the four food groups.  The narrative they use also includes whether their food has been produced using chemicals like pesticides and hormones and whether their are suitable alternatives for the sinful treats that tend to sit on the hips.  

Challenge participants have come to appreciate their bodies, says McMeekin Clarke.  "When we fuel this incredible temple with water, whole clean foods that are free from preservatives, additives and chemicals, we give our body the opportunity to perform at its optimal level."  

Participants were asked to make choices to break bad habits and adopt new healthy behaviors that included increasing water intake and consumption of fruits and vegetables.  

They were also asked to try to meet the CSEP guidelines that prescribes 150 minutes of physical activity each week for all individuals.  CSEP is the Canadian Society for Exercise Physiology.  It is a recognized national authority on exercise medicine.

Visit CSEP's website here to download their Movement Guidelines for all age groups! 

To help, challenge participants were set up with a challenge guide that helped them plan SMART goals for themselves in relation to taking care of their physical health and wellbeing.  They were able to use the guide to help them set their goals and document their progress meeting their desired outcomes.     

"You should all be very proud of yourselves," McMeekin-Clarke tells challenge participants.

"You have really reaped the benefits of it and you have done your body an incredible deed."  


Healthy Lifestyle Challenge Now An Annual Event

The healthy lifestyle challenge will now become an annual event sponsored by Sagamok's Chief and Council, says McMeekin-Clarke.  "Another challenge will be issued next January."

She says that the beginning of the new year "is a good time for a challenge; it's like starting fresh and it leads right into the spring."    


Challenge Participant: "This is not the end.  This is still the beginning."

Janice Stoneypoint is one challenger who's happy with what she's managed to accomplish for herself over the past 9 weeks.  She joined the challenge along with three of her children, each who also won the challenge in their own categories.  

Janice confesses that she needed to relearn healthy behaviors and says that she's glad for the support she received from one of the challenge's workers and her daughter. 

"It took a while to understand what exercising and eating healthy was all about ... Shaye and Tracey were there to help me but honestly, I didn't know what I was doing."  

The results she saw and felt kept her going.

"I was really surprised and amazed with myself to have gone from size 16 to 12 and that I lost 24 pounds.  I feel awesome."  

Janice says she was asked earlier in the day whether she'll stay on her new path of healthy living, saying she responded asking "Why stop now?"  

"I'm going to keep on going, loose a little bit more weight, work on my muscle tone and stay healthy."  

"This challenge's conclusion is just a beginning for everyone here.  Keep the good habits you've learned.  Live well from here on forward."

McMeekin-Clarke acknowledges that habits are hard to break and often hard to keep, warning that it's important to keep practicing the healthy behaviors learned during the healthy lifestyle challenge.  

She says to expect challenges but to keep going.  "It takes a long time to carve a new path so you have to give yourself time and when you fall off that wagon, it's going to be really important to just not give up and remember that every day is a new day that the Creator gives us so that we have another chance to get things right." 


For an afternoon, aromas and tastes of the the world culinary delights came to Enji Wii Ji Gaabwitaadaaying Agaamik

Chef Wolfman Incorporates world flavours into indigenous food to create a fusion of cuisines that will tempt the palate of any critic from any of the four corners of the earth

Chef David Wolfman is an iconic indigenous culinary television personality who has been into every indigenous family living room at one point or another.  We've all seen him at some point grill a porcupine steak, sautee up a waboos or fry up some fiddleheads.    

He is host of "Cooking with the Wolfman" television program that aired on APTN (Aboriginal Peoples Television Network) in Canada for 18 years before also being picked up on US networks FNX (First Nations Experience) and NativeFlix for the past seven seasons.  

Wolfman studied culinary arts at George Brown College of Applied Arts and Technology in 1977 Toronto.  He completed the three year apprenticeship program  before completing a number of work placements before becoming a certified Chef.  He returned to George Brown College 20 years ago, this time as a Culinary Arts Professor.  He also visits First Nation communities and indigenous high schools, sharing his passion for food with a love of life.  

New takes on great indigenous foods we love.

Wolfman is known for "Indigenous Fusion: Traditional Foods with a Modern Twist." 

He uses traditional foods and brings them together with flavours and techniques from around the world to create new dishes from old favorites, marrying ingredients and preparation methods from global reaches to indigenous foods from the Aztec, Blackfoot, Cree, Coast Salish, Inuit, Haudenosaunee, Heiltsuk, Inca, Maya, Menominee, Metis, Anishnawbek, Potawatomi, Sioux, and his own people, the Xaxli'p.  

"I've fused techniques from our indigenous cousins with techniques from around the world, like China or France ... still respecting our traditional foods."

Chef Wolfman cooked recipes for community members at the event from his new cookbook that he co-authored with his wife.  "Cooking with the Wolfman: Indigenous Fusion" hit bookstores this past October.  

Game for Wolfman's culinary creations were donated by the Sagamok Food Bank (moose) and Clint Abitong (venison).  

Before long, the smell of brussel sprouts with bacon and walnuts, spagetti squash, roasts, cross ribs and burgers filled Enji Wii Ji Gaabwitaadaying Agaamik.  


Chef Wolfman cooked for over an hour and a half, handing off his started dishes to Janet Owl who stepped in as his sous-chef for the day.  She took them to the ovens or grills to be completed so that the entire room would share in a meal at the end.  

He even gave her his Chef jacket as an appreciation for her assistance and dedication to healthy nutrition in Sagamok.  

Janet says that Wolfman's "passion for his craft is balanced with a warm and engaging personality, keen sense of humour and dedication to his community."  

Janet assisted McMeekin-Clarke in coordinating the challenge's concluding event and helped host him and his wife Marlene in the Sagamok community the previous evening, visiting the residents of Chi-Nishinawbe M'gizi Wigwam (Elders Eagle Lodge).  


"I was really young, about nine years old, and I went into the kitchen.  One of the reason why I went in there was because I was really hungry so I went into the kitchen and I said to my mom, "I want to help you" and she just looked into my eyes and knew I was hungry.  So I jumped in and helped her stir a pot and stuff like that and the next thing you know she gave me an apron.  One of the great things I got to do was eat first, and then my sisters would clean up.  We continue to do that." 

 A Family of Winners:  Janice Stoneypoint (3rd place, Women; far right) with children Elijah (2nd place, Youth), Janica (3rd place Children) and Tracey (1st place Women).  

The Wolfman's latest cookbook - autographed.  Inspired towards living a healthy lifestyle.  A nutritious "good food bag".  A full tummy of pure enjoyment and headful of new culinary ideas.  

Community Members leave happy, inspired

Every household with family members attending the event received their own free copy which the Wolfman set aside time to sign the books of anyone wanting a signature.  Everyone stood in line to have the Wolfman sign his autograph along with a personal message.  Everyone asked for a photo too. 

Every household also walked away with a good food bag containing fresh produce and vegetables.







The Wolfman's new cookbook that everyone took home, Cooking with the Wolfman: Indigenous Fusion  has been in bookstores since October.  All of Wolfman's recipes demonstrated on March 25 are found in this cookbook that you are sure to cherish for years to come.  

"In 1990 my mom got diabetes and she had angina at the same time. 

I moved back home with her.  They gave her a whole list of things she couldn't eat and she was so depressed.  I can't eat this, I can't have that, I can't have nothing.  She was just so depressed. 

I made her a bunch of meals

I was using zest of orange and zest of grapefruit. 

And putting it in her vegetables because she used to like a lot of sugar in her vegetables.  She'd say to me, "No I'm not supposed to have this but this tastes good and I'm going to eat it anyway.

I'd say, "Mom, if you're not supposed to be having it, you wouldn't be having it.  There's no sugar in it."

She couldn't believe it but I showed her that you can use things like orange zest - when you smell orange zest, or when you use vanilla, you think sweet in recipes that fool you.  It's because you're smelling something that's usually sweet, you think you're tasting sweet when you eat it." 




Find more photos in our facebook social media group, "Members of Sagamok Anishnawbek" by clicking here.    





Want to know what Chef Wolfman is up to?  

Bookmark his website for easy access here!

Visit his website:

  • to stay up to date on what he's doing!
  • to recieve a free copy of his semi-annual newsletter, "Kitchen Warrior", featuring recipes, health tips and updates on upcoming events involving The Wolfman.  
  • to book him for cooking demonstrations and consulting. 
  • to send him recipes that you think he might like to try out and maybe see it on his show! 


Missed an episode of "Cooking with the Wolfman"? 

Find 10 episodes of season seven on NativeFlix here!  Note: You may need to subscribe to NativeFlix with a free trial.  Go to "Start Free Trial" in the top ribbon.  

Chef David Wolfman   

Stay connected with Chef David Wolfman on Facebook!  

Check out his profile here!

Check out his page here!








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