ᐋᑎᐋᑐᑖᒡ ᐋᓂᔅᒑᐅᑲᒥᒄ
ABOUT

Canada’s award-winning Indigenous museum, cultural institution, and showcase of the history of the James Bay Crees.

ACCI Overview

Aanischaaukamikw is a museum, archive, library, teaching centre, and cultural centre, and a virtual hub designed for high-powered interactivity.

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Mission and Vision

Aanischaaukamikw flows from the knowledge that Cree culture must be captured, maintained, shared, celebrated, and practiced – the concept of “aanscha” or sharing of the ways. The Institute is a symbol of the James Bay Crees’ determination to preserve and share the stories and legends, the music, the pictures, and the physical objects that show this First Nations people’s unique interaction with the land.

History

While the vision for Aanischaaukamikw had been discussed for decades, the actual project moved into high gear in 1998. A campaign team was formed, and over the next 13 years, over $21.5 million was raised for the building project and endowments from governments, businesses, Cree entities, individuals and families, and memoranda of agreements were struck with major institutions like the Canadian Museum of Civilization.

In November 2009 a ground-breaking ceremony started the construction of the building. In November 2011, Aanischaaukamikw opened its doors to the public for the first time.

Governance

The Aanischaaukamikw Cree Cultural Institute Board of Directors provides oversight for all aspects of the day-to-day operations. This group has representatives from all ten James Bay Cree communities, headed by an Executive Committee.

Building Features
and Design

Inspiration for Aanischaaukamikw’s bold design, with its massive laminated spruce beams, comes from the essential structure of the traditional Cree sabtuan.

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LEED Certification

Consideration for good environmental, social and governance practices ensured Aanischaaukamikw’s architects focused on sustainable energy and construction practices. The building’s compact footprint, its orientation and geometry, and the integration of geothermal heating and cooling all contribute to minimizing energy consumption, and the achievement of a prestigious LEED Silver Certification, bestowed by the Canada Green Building Council.