This research trip was organized by Aanischaaukamikw Cree Cultural Institute and funded by the Canada Council for the Arts, as part of a bigger project to rediscover our traditions of painting on caribou hide in Eeyou Istchee. Delegates, including Elders and young adults like myself were from Whapmagoostui, Chisasibi, or Wemindji, travelled to Gatineau-Ottawa for this event.
These are some of the highlights from that day:
|Photo 2: Woman’s cap [III-D-156] made by Mimie Cheezo, Eastmain, 1962. Photo: Alycia Lameboy-Dixon.|
Because of the sequence of absorbing new information, as much as my day felt very long, I learned so much. I spent a few hours just googling the definition of the terms I heard that day.
|Photo 3: Woman’s leggings [III-D-115] made by Daisy Cheezo, Eastmain, 1962. Photo: Alycia Lameboy-Dixon.|
Photo 4: A band of a shell bag [III-D-214] made by Louise Cheezo, Eastmain, 1963. Photo: Alycia Lameboy-Dixon.
|Photo 5: Painted caribou coat  on display at the National Gallery. Photo: Alycia Lameboy-Dixon.|
The details on this coat are captivating. Although handling of the object was limited, I think everyone was in awe to see this one.
I’d like to thank everyone in the group for this wonderful immersion in Eeyou culture. This experience enhanced my understanding to why we need to document OUR Eeyou / Eenou history, the real stories of our people, from our own perspectives. There is so much of our history that needs to be shared with my generation, as we learn what it means to be Eeyou in 2018. Considering the amount of Indigenous History that is still yet to be documented, we need to get to work using the expertise that we, as Eeyouch/Eenouch, have to interpret our own history using the knowledge passed to us from our ancestors, which we will, in turn, pass on to the next generations.