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ishkigamizigan: the sugarbush

waaseyaa’sin christine sy, nogojiwanong (peterborough), kina gchi anishinaabeg-ogaming (place where anishinaabeg live and work together)

Download waaseyaa’sin christine sy’s Poem (MP3 format)

waaseyaa’sin christine sy’s ishkigamizigan: the sugarbush Poem (MP3 format)

Artist Bio

aanii. wabidi ge name ndinaawemaag. waaseya’sin ndizhnikaaz. bawating ndonjibaa ge obishkikaang ndonjibaa. nogojiwonong ditaa nongom. ndaanis nozhemenhs dizhnikaazyin. “ishkigamizigan: the sugarbush” is an actualization of my relationship with the sugar bush. This piece is a living example of reclamation, restoration and revitalization of Anishinaabe women’s relationship with the environment, particularly the sugar bush. It is an expression of my gratitude for the life that the sugar bush in Mississauga Anishinaabe homelands has generated for my family.

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According to Midewewinini James Dumont, the beginning of the beginning of our Anishinaabe creation story begins with Creation emitting a sound outward into the world; after a long period of silence, sound came back, and in that way the existence of life was confirmed.i The importance of sound for invigorating life inspired the audio form of this submission. I felt that poetic words and metaphor in textual form would not be as close to a debwewin (i.e. truthful, heartful) expression of my reclaimed relationship with the sugar bush as audio recording and production would. Sound brings forth the life of ishkigamizigan in a way that my words on paper could not convey; sound also reflects the life that exists in the reciprocal relationship between myself and ishkigamizigan.

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Chi-miigwech to my Elders, teachers, and helpers who contributed to the creation of this piece through the sharing of their knowledge (i.e. language, practical skill, technology) and time: Odawa Anishinaabe Gichi Piitzijid Shirley Williams, Michi Saagiik Anishinaabe Gichi Piitzijid Gidigaa Migizi (Doug Williams), Odawa Anishinaabe language teacher Vera Bell, Trent Radio, and Zoongde Damien Lee.

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Footnotes

  1. Dumont, personal communication, “Celebrating Indigenous Knowledge: Peoples, Lands, Cultures International Conference” Trent University, Peterborough, Ontario, June 16-20, 2010.

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