Present-day Speaker of Biigtigong Nishnaabemwin
Mathilda’s first language was Nishnaabemwin. Her parents, Dan Goodchild Sr. and Adele O’Nabigon, ensured that Mathilda and her siblings saw the world through the eyes of Nishnaabemwin. Mathilda lived her life committed to the traditional teachings passed-on to her. She embraced her responsibilities and shared these teachings with her six children, eight grandchildren, and each of her great-grandchildren. She was aunt to many and expressed a special kind of love to all.
Her love for children was evident in how she lived her life. Mathilda gave generously in events that involved Biigtigong’s children. She never denied requests to share her knowledge or to help out in community initiatives. Her role as a caregiver was taken very seriously by her. Using her gentleness and kind heart, Mathilda embraced her role as an elder and transferred knowledge willingly. She loved helping out in the education program and understood the importance of integrating our Nishnaabe culture into all aspects of our lives.
Mathilda’s teaching methods were grounded in her Nishnaabe philosophy. She modeled patience and the importance of observing and listening. Her teachings were passed on through her actions and behaviours. Using everyday experiences, she transferred values and beliefs to her family and to those around her. Mathilda was a talented artist and her crafts depicted Nishnaabe life. She ensured that the spirit of love was in all of her delicious meals.
Mathilda was connected to the land, and she fostered her relationship with all things. She and her husband, Reno, knew that this relationship with the land was important to the well-being of her family. As a result, they took action and spent countless hours on the lake and on the land with their family, especially with their grandchildren. Time was one of the biggest gifts she had to share. With this time, she provided quality interactive activities which fostered strong family connections, community bonds, and pride in being Nishnaabe.
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