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The Ancestors, Teaching

The To Honour and Respect project includes activities intended to strengthen cultural practice through the visit of the Ancestors. Quillwork skills, Michi Saagiig dialect Nishnabemowin learning, and educational resources are central to project activities. 

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20230621_141128.jpg

Quillwork lessons

As part of the project, quillwork artist and instructor Sandra Moore (Hiawatha) and team are leading over 20 in-depth workshops in which some 400+ people are able to learn basic quillwork skills. Participants are makingsmall projects based on the makakoons' designs to take away.

ADD QUOTE FROM PARTICIPANT

Michi Saagiig Nishnabemowin

Project team members have incorporated the local Michi Saagiig dialect of Nishnabemowin into the exhibition catalogue and text. Jonathan Taylor, who helped with this process, emphasizes how language retention is related to the knowledge of cultural practices:

When you don’t use something, like doing that type of work, that artwork, and you don’t use those words that go along with it, you’re going to lose it. It’s really important that we keep both. Without our culture, we don’t have our language and without language, we don’t have culture.

--Jonathan Taylor, Nishnaabemowin instructor, Curve Lake First Nation

Gaag – Porcupine, Gog


Kaaway – Porcupine quill, Kah-whi


Kaawayag - Porcupine quills, Kah-why-ug
 

Kaawyike / Gowyike - S/he works with quills, Kow-yi-ka

 

Kaawyikewin - Quillwork, Kow-yi-ka-win
 

Wiigwaas - Birchbark, Wee-gwahs
 

Mgoos - Awl, M-goose
 

Zhaabnigaans - Needle, Zhob-ni-gaunce
 

Sabaap - Thread, Suh-bop
 

Kaawayag disged - Dyeing quills, Kah-why-ug dis-gad

 

Makak - Box, Muh-kuk
 

Wiigwaasi makak - Birchbark basket, Wee-gwah-si muh-kuk Iw

 

kekinawaabanjigan gii-dibendaagozi nnookmis -
This pattern belonged to my grandma,
Iw ke-kin-uh-wah-bun-ji-gun gey di-ban-dog-zi n-noke-mis

 

Kaawaykaajagan makak - Porcupine quill box – Kah-why-kah-juh-gun muh-kuk

Vocabulary by Jonathan Taylor

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