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ACCI flows from the knowledge that Cree culture must be captured, maintained, shared, celebrated, and practiced. Cree Elders have spoken of the need for a central place for the protection of the way, and have developed a vision for Aanischaaukamikw over several decades.

Nov 5, 2019


Attending the 2019 SICC ē-micimināyakik Gathering by Annie Bosum

I had the honour to attend the 2019 SICC ē-micimināyakikGathering hosted by the Saskatchewan Indigenous Cultural Centre in Saskatoon May 2-3, 2019. There, I presented the Brian Deer Classification System, which we are using in the Aanischaaukamikw Library and debriefed on the functions and spaces of the Aanischaaukamikw Cultural Institute.

Annie at the conference, from the SICC event Facebook page

 This two-day indigenous gathering was held at the Ramada By Wyndham Saskatoon with various keynote speakers, panels and workshops.  The event provided opportunities for sharing indigenous knowledge and networking from curators, archivists, librarians, researchers and museum professionals.  It was also a great way to share issues, ideas, progress and solutions for First Nations museums, cultural centres, archives, interpretive centres and libraries.  It was very interesting to see all the different indigenous nationalities coming together to share their knowledge, expertise and their ways of preserving and protecting their cultural heritage.  Among the nationalities who participated in this event were Plains Cree, Nakoda, Ts’msyen/Cree , Haida, Dene, Metis, Chippewa,, Pueblo, Saulteau, Anishinaabe ,Cree and Mohawk!

The first day opened with an early morning pipe ceremony by Elder William Ratfoot proceeded by opening remarks by the emcee, JR McArthur, the Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations,  the SICC Board of Governors Chief Alvin Francis and SICC President Wanda Wilson.  The first day was relaxing for me- I wasn’t on any of the panels and workshops-which I was happy with because I was still tired from all the travelling.  I had the wonderful opportunity to sit and listen to some good presenters on the subjects of Indigenous Intellectual Property : Arising Questions by Val Napoleon, Saulteau and Indigenous Collections: Valuing Our Cultural Heritage and Intellectual Property by Sean Young , Haida and Robin Gray, Ts’msyen/Cree.  Elegant and nourishing lunches were served both days which made it easy for the delegation to return to their panels and workshops.  There were five workshops and two panel discussions were held in various rooms throughout the afternoon.  One of the panels I got to listen to was entitled: Preparing Our Peoples: indigenous Education in Cultural Preservation & Property Law by Jessie Ryker-Crawford, Filipe Colon, and Val Naploeon.  The gathering ended with a thank you prayer by Elder William Ratfoot.

Annie at the event, from the SICC Facebook event page.

 The second day I was a bit apprehensive knowing I had to participate in two presentations, the first was at 10:30 am and the other at 1:00 pm.  I quickly felt at ease when I met my first workshop partner, Audrey Dreaver because of her warm and kind personality. When I entered the room where we did our workshop, she was already sitting with the coordinator putting together my slide, she looked at me sitting in the audience and she says, “Annie get up here, I’m not sitting here by myself!“  The audience laughed with us!  Our Workshop presentation was called: Politics of Museum Technology: Labels & Categorizations of Indigenous Material Culture.  The second presentation I participated in was on Panel 3 where I was supposed to sit with Del Jacko and Hillary McLeod who were both Anishinaabe.  I got confused with all the different rooms, I ended up in the wrong room and by the time I got to the right room my partners were a little into their discussion so I told the coordinator I didn’t want to distract them so I had to do my presentation alone.  I was nervous at first but as I looked at the huge audience in front of me and saw their interest manifested on their faces, I switched my focus away from myself to a need to give them what they came there for.  

Our Panel discussion was called: Access to Indigenous Cultural Knowledge (Archival Material).  A few people approached me after my presentation to give me their business cards, and told me they enjoyed my presentation-one even requested to send them my slides! Unfortunately I was unable to discuss the Brian Deer Classification System poster in detail due to time restraints.  I was disappointed that I was unable to listen to all the other workshops and panel discussions that were held in various rooms.  All in all, I really enjoyed this conference and meeting all the people.  It was a great learning experience- which goes to prove – learning is a life-long achievement that is to be appreciated and taken when it arises and I am glad that the Saskatchewan Indigenous Cultural Centre (SICC) and the Aanischaaukamikw Cree Culture Institute made this learning experience possible for me.  It was a proud moment and an awesome closure when the President of SICC, Wanda Wilson said to me.  “I like what Aanischaaukamikw is doing and we are coming to visit your community!