Indian Time - A Voice from the Eastern Door

Annual Kids For Fishing Event

 

Fifty lucky kids were taught how to fish by volunteer professional fishermen. Photo by Jaclyn Hall.

On Saturday, May 26th the 8th Annual Kids for Fishing took place, beginning and ending at the St. Regis Recreation. Every year, community members have a chance to enter their children's names for a chance to spend the day fishing while learning about different safety topics. For the last 8 years, there have been 40 names drawn at random, and 10 spots especially for children with disabilities. In total, 50 lucky kids got to spend the day fishing on the St. Lawrence River alongside professional fishermen.

PJ Burns, organizer of the event stated, "Every year we pick 40 children to attend the event, after their name is picked, that's it, we try to make sure everyone has a chance to attend. We have had 400 children, to date. We also have 10 spots especially for children with disabilities. For the children with disabilities, they can come as many years as they would like and have the opportunity to learn how to fish."

The event began at 8am Saturday morning with everyone showing up at the St. Regis Recreation. Everyone was served breakfast before the day's events began. The morning was full of presentations and demonstrations. The children were taught about water safety, drug prevention, the environment and an introduction to rod reel and a bass talk. Professional fishermen from all over came to be a part of the event, and give their time to some special children. A total of 22 bass boats and 3 pontoons were made available for the day's events. The children had the chance to check out the bass boats and pick the one they wanted to go fishing in. Once everyone was fed lunch, each child was given a brand new fishing rod, life jacket, tackle box and more. As soon as everyone was suited up and ready go on the boats, they were able to get on their boat of choice and enjoy the rest of the afternoon fishing.

PJ Burns is the main organizer of the event, but he would not be able to pull it off without the help of many volunteers and sponsors from organizations such as the Akwesasne Convenience Store Association, SRMT Tribal Police, MCA Wholistic Health and Wellness, Akwesasne Community Partnership Fund, Oienk:wa Onera'the, Heart to Heart Fitness, Gajo Baits, Akwesasne Mohawk Police, Akwesasne Coalition for Community Empowerment, Seaway International Bridge Corporation, SRMT A/CDP, Northern Harness Bait and Tackle, Pepsi-Cola, Coca-Cola, Mohawk Racing Parts, Truck Stop #9, SRMT Environment, MCA Child and Family Services, Divalissa's Treats and Twinleaf.

One group of excited children, patiently waiting to board their favorite boats.

PJ stated, "I had the help of the 22 fishermen, who volunteered their time and boats to help out. I met them through the fishing tournaments we were in, I was the 2012 Berkeley B1 Champion, and I met a lot of them through that, they're all personal friends of mine."

For the last 8 years, Akwesasne children have been able to enjoy a special experience and learn about a modern favorite pastime that is steeped in tradition. For the community of Akwesasne, thanks to everyone involved.

PJ Burns, the main organizer of the event stated " I had the help of the 22 fishermen, who volunteered their time and boats to help out. I met them through the fishing tournaments we were in, I was the 2012 Berkeley B1 Champion, and I met a lot of them through that, they're all personal friends of mine."

 

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