Aanischaaukamikw, the Cree Cultural Institute, is a museum, archive, library, teaching centre, and cultural centre, and a virtual hub designed for high-powered interactivity and fuelled by a soon to be installed major multi-community fibre optic network.
Located in the UN award-winning community of Oujé-Bougoumou, Aanischaaukamikw has been developed in collaboration with all nine communities in Eeyou Istchee, and helps “complete the circle” of the James Bay Crees’ quest to exercise full control over all aspects of their lives, communities, and cultural destiny.
Aanischaaukamikw has highly advanced interactive capacity, ranging from on-site wireless applications so viewers can “tour” the building guided by their hand-held devices to worldwide distance education capabilities in which objects can be viewed and rotated, multimedia files can be played, and documents can be examined and downloaded.
Aanischaaukamikw is fundamentally different from most other institutions of its kind because our visitor interpreters, our researchers and our curators are all oriented to interact and share with visitors. This echoes a philosophy of knowledge transfer that encourages and validates the storytelling traditions. Aanischaaukamikw encourages additions to the collection’s cataloguing information from community members and from physical and “virtual” visitors.