"Kishpin bontoyeg kidatsokanan, kiga onikemin kajibikinamagoyeg...
If we cease sharing our stories, our knowledge becomes lost."

Anishnabe O'datsokewin

The Anishnabek, known in the academic world as the Algonquin, never called themselves Algonquin. We, the People called ourselves Anishnabek and had names that specifically referred to where we came from. For example, Kitigan Zibi Anishnabek means Garden River People, and Kitiganik Anishnabek means Garden People.

Through generations, much has been taken from us. Today, we still encounter problems with the government and corporations cutting down our forests and taking our land. With technology and institutions overlapping our world, how we run our communities is affected. We forget where we come from, which in turn affects our stories. "Our brothers and sisters, the animals, are leaving us and there is a risk of losing our connection to them." Those of us who remember and follow our teachings will continue to survive through the stories, the ceremonies and our love for the land.

As spiritual people, it is in these stories and in our ceremonies that we have gathered strength, learned about ourselves and the connection we have to Ni-djodjomnan, Aki (Mother Earth). If we stop sharing our stories, our knowledge becomes lost.


CMC III-L-187 - CD98-59-012

Made of soapstone and wood, this pipe would be filled with natural tobacco. Smoking it helped send our thoughts to the Creator and was an offering to give thanks for all creation and for the animals.

During times of storytelling, smoking the pipe was also an unspoken message for the people to listen and enjoy.

CMC III-X-718 - CD98-59-020

Birchbark Etching
This etching tells the story of the Water People, the Panabekwek and Panabek . . . the Merfolk, who are half human and half fish. Each symbol is like a page in a storybook.

CMC III-L-298 - CD98-59-013

Birchbark Pipe
Pipes could be made from any material, including birchbark, wood and stone. Whatever the material, pipes helped to bring knowledge and peace of mind. This particular one is in the form of a miniature moose call.

CMC III-L-359 - CD98-59-018

The etching on this Wigwamesh tells a story about people who have gone hunting. The axe on the tree indicates that they have already left. This was also used for calling the spirit of an animal, such as the deer.