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To Honour and Respect Project

To Honour and Respect:

Gifts from the Michi Saagiig Women to the Prince of Wales, 1860

Mnaajtood ge Mnaadendaan:

Miigwewinan Michi Saagiig Kwewag Miinegoowin Gimaans Zhaganaash Aki 1860

Honorer et Respecter:

Dons des femmes Michi Saagiig au prince de Galles, 1860

Co-curators: Lori Beavis (Hiawatha First Nation) and Laura Peers


Exhibition: Peterborough Museum & Archives, April 22 to November 19, 2023


Thirteen quilled wiigwaasii makakoon (birchbark baskets) will be visiting their ancestral lands on Michi Saagiig territory from April 22 to November 19, 2023.


Michi Saagiig women gave the thirteen birch bark baskets (makakoon) to the Prince of Wales on September 7, 1860, when he stopped at Rice Lake village (now Hiawatha First Nation) as part of a cross-Canada Royal tour.


The exhibition explores the cultural knowledge, love, respect, and diplomacy that went into the makakoon.


The exhibition is accompanied by workshops on porcupine quillwork, led by Sandra Moore (Hiawatha First Nation) and on Michi Saagiig dialect of Nishnaabemowin (Jon Taylor, Curve Lake First Nation). There are also educational resources developed by the project team.



This project has been made possible in part through the support of the Government of Canada, the Canada Council for the Arts, the Ontario Arts Council, the Peterborough Museum & Archives and City of Peterborough, and the generous support of the Mississauga Nations, including: Mississaugas of the CreditMississaugas of AldervilleMississaugas of Scugog Island, Mississauga First Nation, Curve Lake First Nation, and Hiawatha First Nation.

The Ancestors

These 13 quilled wiigwaasi makakoons (birch bark baskets) were made to be gifted to the Prince of Wales in 1860 and have been cared for by Royal Collection Trust and English Heritage since then. They are special in several ways, particularly in that the names of their makers have largely been retained--highly unusual for historic Indigenous items in museum collections.

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Image courtesy Royal Collection Trust / © His Majesty King Charles III, 2023.


Chief Laurie Carr, Hiawatha First Nation: “Hiawatha First Nation and the Mississauga Nation communities are coming together to welcome these Ancestors home for a visit. We know that the makakoons have the names of women makers attached, and there are descendants of these women in our First Nations. While the Ancestors are with us on Michi Saagiig Territory, the PMA will create space for everyone to visit, and we will share knowledge about this art through viewing, workshops, and language classes. We will sit with the Ancestors and acknowledge their spirits and what they have to teach us. Each of the makakoons will add to our cultural knowledge and strength as Michi Saagiig Peoples.”

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Image courtesy Royal Collection Trust / © His Majesty King Charles III, 2023.

Royal Collection Trust

Since 1860, the makakoons have been part of Royal Collection Trust and housed at Osborne House on the Isle of Wight. They are on loan for exhibition by His Majesty King Charles III. The “To Honour and Respect” curators and the Planning Committee have worked closely with the Royal Collection Trust to facilitate the unique loan. THR project staff are grateful to the Trust for offering a longer than usual loan, and for supporting Indigenous needs for ceremony and special out of case visits during the loan.

Curator Rachel Peat, Curator of Decorative Arts, Royal Collection Trust:

“Royal Collection Trust is delighted to exhibit this group of gifts presented to the future King Edward VII during the landmark first royal meeting with the Michi Saagiig in 1860. Since then, these outstanding works of art have been displayed within the royal residences as a symbol of relations between Mississauga Nation communities and the Crown. Today, this project offers an important opportunity to reconnect with Michi Saagiig knowledge holders and affirm links with this community.”

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Image courtesy Royal Collection Trust / © His Majesty King Charles III, 2023.
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