Pikangikum First Nation
In February 2020, the Jamii team traveled to Pikangikum First Nation in Northern Ontario to bring to life "The Stories The Wind Carries", Jamii's intra-provincial project.
We partnered with the Pikangikum Education Authority and Eenchokay Birchstick School to invite people to create a portrait of fellow community members. In total, we created 18 portraits, involving 36 people in the project.
Through sharing our stories together, the project intends to create bridges between 4 communities: Toronto, Wawa/Michipicoten First Nation, Wolfe Island and Pikangikum First Nation.
This initiative was supported by the Canada Council for the Arts and the Ontario Arts Council.
Director: Isorine Marc
Lead Artists: Mahlikah Awe:ri & Gillian Mapp
Community Ambassador: Asmita Pal
In December 2019, Jamii visited Pikangikum to confirm the production of "The Stories The Wind Carries" in the community. Both Jamii's Director Isorine Marc and Indigenous Spoken Word Artist Mahlikah Awe:ri were on this trip and met with several community members to discuss how to bring this project to life in February 2020.
Mahlikah Awe:ri, Isorine Marc and photographer Gillian Mapp are returning to Pikangikum First Nation from February 18th to 28th and are looking to be collaborating with locals to see "The Stories The WInd Carries" come to life. The project creates bridges between 4 communities in Ontario by sharing our stories together. People participating in the project are making a portrait of someone else in their community through creative writing, photography and visual arts. Altogether, we are creating over 80 portraits of Ontarians.
Everyone is welcome to participate.
Jamii first visited Pikangikum First Nation in September 2018.
We were extremely grateful, humbled, and honored for this opportunity, thanks to Asmita Pal connection to this community.
We were warmly received by a community that not only opened their doors, but also their many stories to us. We met with Elder Amie Owen, who shared a meal of moose meat and bannock with us, and told us about his experiences in residential school; David, who kept an eye on us in the hotel; Lucie Strang, who shared both her experience as a Native Language teacher in both oral Ojibwe and slavics, over multiple generations in the community, as well as her gift as a star quilt maker; Shirley Keesic, who is leading Restorative Justice Circles throughout Northern Ontario communities; Walter Latt and Marvin McKay-Keenan, who are managing the impressive new school, Eenchokay Birchstick School; Daniel Keeper, the Assistant Director of Education for the Pikangikum Education Authority; gifted visual artist Mario Peters, who showed us his studio and shared his artistic process and the teachings within his work; Ryan Saunders, who works at Project Journey and facilitates outdoor education engagement and employment opportunities for local youth; Andrew Mattacchione, whose hospitality helped us feel at home; Anne Warner, who treated us to breakfast during the power outage; and Elder Matthew Strang, who was ready to share with the creation stories connected to the water, land and people of Pikangikum.In a short week, we had a taste of life in Pikangikum with a busy orientation week for the 200+ teachers before the first day for students, a 2-day fishing derby, a power outage, a fiddler and country rock concert hosted at the Community Centre, a 2-day water outage, visits to the community centre, the nursing station, the school, the Northern, a walk around the lagoon, and many, many meals at the one and only restaurant in town.While the reserve faced many challenges, we were grateful to those who openly shared their heartfelt, sincere experiences living and/or working in Pikangikum.
Pikangikum First Nation
2018 & 2019