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Nellie Faries Memorial Community Bake Oven

Moose Factory used to have a community bake oven that was shared by community members for baking bread and other items. The More than 350 Planning Committee wanted to find a living monument for this commemorative year that could

  • Connect the past, the present and the future

  • Represent and promote the coming together of diverse peoples and cultures in Moose Factory

  • Serve the community in multiple ways in the future.


Photo: Oliver Wolcott

With this in mind, the Committee proposed to construct a community bake oven as a living monument representing the theme of the More than 350 year – Śawelihcikewin (“receiving with gratitude and a desire to give back”). In the spirit of community and sharing, the goal of this project was to:

  • Bring together community stakeholders with local and outside businesses and organizations contributing to its construction with in-kind and/or cash contributions.

  • Create heritage trades training and employment opportunities and educational opportunities for local youth and students.

  • Create a unique heritage commemorative monument with roots in the community that could be used by local entrepreneurs and businesses, as well as community members.

  • Embody in its form and use an interpretative feature that supports the theme of ‘Śawelihcikewin’ as a defining element of the Moose Cree Homeland’s DNA.


Built in late June and early July by Parks Canada master craftsmen, Kym Terry and Nick Bogovic, with the support of MRHHA staff (Cheryl Tomatuk-Bagan) and summer students (Clayton Wesley, Gabriel Sutherland, Jayson Gunner-Kapashesit and Carina Weapenicappo) the bake oven was dedicated on August 5, 2023, to someone who embodied the spirit of Šawelihcikewin: the late, former Moose Cree Councillor and Acting Chief, Elder, Educator, ACW President, MRHHA co-founding Director and community leader. August 5, 2023. This dedication was done during the combined More than 350 Nipin Celebration – Gathering of Our People – Creefest.

The project was co-funded by Indigenous Services Canada, Canadian Heritage, and Parks Canada, with support from the Ontario Heritage Trust. The North West Company generously provided the location for the bake oven. We are grateful to Cherrelyn Papineau, Steve Small and others at the North West Company head office for their support, and also to local Northern Stories manager Tim Roach, who provided hands on help as well. This project would not have come together without Svenja Hansen at Parks Canada, who provided support from start to finish.

The research on the community bake oven history and feasibility were completed by Commonwealth Historic Resource Management Limited.

Other MRHHA team members who contributed to this project include Laurie Sutherland, Doug Evans, Daniel Berg and Cecil Chabot.

At the dedication of the bake oven, Nellie’s friends and family were joined by other community members, and Aggie Corston and Audrey Chilton led youth in the baking of bannock in the bake oven.

A highlight video of this project is in production.

Local Youth Build the Oven and participate in "Introduction to Heritage Trades" Course

The project was used as the focal point for an Introduction to Heritage Trades course, taught by Kym Terry and Nick Bogovic, and delivered in partnership with Northern College. We are grateful to Diane Ryder and Sara King of Northern College for their support for this course. The project for the course and for the hiring of summer students was provided by Moose Cree Training and Employment Unit. The hiring of summer students for this project and others was also provided by Destination Northern Ontario and the Government of Ontario‘s Youth Job Connection and Youth Job Connection Summer programs (administered in Moosonee by Northern College).

Photos: Cheryl Tomatuk-Bagan


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