Saskatoon Circle Primitive and Traditional Living Skills Gathering sprang from a long tradition
of the earth skills community gathering together to share skills, ideas and experience in living close to the earth. Now in its ninth year, Saskatoon Circle is a unique event with a flavor all its own. At its core, Saskatoon Circle is about connection. We connect with the earth and the old ways that sustained humanity for countless generations before us. We connect with each other in a network of people who have similar interests, despite our many differences. We connect with the undercurrent of spirit that enriches our lives, in a way that feels genuine to the individual, and yet is felt by all.
Saskatoon Circle Vision
The Gathering invites talented instructors from the widespread primitive skills community to share their knowledge. Classes are offered each day in skills such as animal processing, hide tanning, basketry, parfleche painting, weaving, edible and medicinal plants, archery, friction fire, flintknapping, felting, skincraft, and much more! Learning the skills necessary to live on the earth without the influx of industrial products offers a compelling freedom to participants. But further than simple skills, the act of going deep into the old ways brings about a shift in thinking and mindset that can have lasting positive benefit for the people. With the Earth, and each other, we truly have everything we need to live happy, fulfilling lives that celebrate the magic of the everyday and look toward a sustainable future.
Beyond classes, there are many opportunities for the community to grow together during the gathering. Conversations around the campfire, song, dance, music, and stories enrich the vibe. We even had a wedding! Saskatoon has a great kid's program, and the little tribe of happy children really add to the experience. Many people return to the gathering year after year, and it has begun to feel like family.
The vision of Saskatoon Circle is to offer a taste of a lifeway that enables us to work together to move forward in a changing and complex world. There are many lessons to learn from the long history of humanity who lived as a part of the earth. At Saskatoon Circle we explore and honor the past while looking to the future.
Each participant – be it student, teacher, work trader, organizer - is at a different stage of the journey. Some are new to Earth skills, driven by curiosity and belief there is something important to discover. Some come from an academic background in archeology, ethnobotany, or anthropology. Some people feel trapped in a system that values them only for their ability to make a dollar, and yearn for a path to fulfilling work that earns more than money. Some are fully committed to a lifestyle that keeps them grounded to the earth in an individual way that suits them. We all learn from each other, connected by our common desire to honor and respect the land and the many gifts this life brings.
Coming from this perspective, a basic tenet of Saskatoon Circle is to honor the land on which it is held, and leave it healthier than we found it. Saskatoon is a family friendly, drug and alcohol free event that is open to all participants. We have chosen to maintain small numbers relative to other gatherings so we may all fit around one central campfire. We are also extremely invested in building relationships with native communities and bringing tribal members into the earth skills community. We see the lack of diversity in the skills community to be a huge issue which we are committed to addressing in the short and long term.