ᐋᔅᒋ ᐧᐋᓯᓐ ᒋ ᑲᐧᐃᓅ

The Earth is Our Mother

ᐁᔅᒌ ᐋᐦᑯ ᐊᔅᒋᐧᓵᒥᑭᒡ “ᔅᑎᔅᒋᓅ” ᔅᑏᐃᒧᐧᐃᓈᒡ᙮ ᐊᓇᑕ ᐁᔅᒋᒡ ᐊᑯᑕ ᐧᐋᒋᒡ ᐄᔪᒡ ᐊᑯᑕ ᑲᐧᐃᑕᒋᐧᐃᒡ ᑭᔭ ᑲᐲᐦᐸᒥᐱᒌᒡ ᔅᑏᐋᓂᔅᑯᓰᒥᓅᒡ ᑭᔭ ᐧᐄᐦᐧᐋᐤ ᐅᑕᓂᔅᑯᓯᒥᐧᐋᐤ᙮ ᐄᔫ ᐁᔅᒌ ᐧᐋᔅ ᔮᔮᐦᒥᑲᓐ ᑭᔭ ᐲᒪᑏᓯᒥᑲᓐ ᓇᒥᔮ ᒨᐦᑯ ᐋ ᒋᑲᓄᑯᐦᒡ᙮ ᔅᑏᐋᓂᔅᑯᓰᒥᓅᒡ ᐆ ᒋᔅᑯᑎᒪᒑᐧᐃᓃᐧᐋᐤ ᐋᐦᐃᑯᐦᐃᑯᔨᒃ ᒑᔅᑎᓅᑎᐦᐅᑯᔨᒃ ᒑ ᒋᑲᔭᔨᑎᒥᐦᑯ ᒦᓯᐧᐋ ᐋᓯᓇᑯᐦᒡ ᐲᒪᑏᓯᐧᐄᓐ᙮ ᐧᐋᔅᑮᒡ ᒫᔅᑭᓅ ᑮᔮ ᒦᑐᐦᑰᐹᐦ ᒥᓰᐧᐋ ᑏᐦᑯᓐ ᐋ ᐧᐄᑏᒪᑰᔩᐦᑯ ᑖᓇᑕ ᑳᐦᐧᐄᑐᑕᐦᔨᑯ᙮ ᐋᐦᐅᑯᓇ ᐧᐋᑎᒪᐦᒑᒡ ᐋ ᒌ ᐧᐄᒌᐦᐄᐦᑯ ᐆᑦ ᐁᔅᒋᒡ ᐆᑕ ᐄᔅ ᐧᐄᑕᒡ ᐴᐦᐴᓐ᙮ ᒌ ᒪᔅᑭᓇᒥᓅ ᐧᐄᑎᒪᒑᐤ᙮

Istchee means “the land” in our language. Istchee is where we, the Eeyou, have lived and walked for countless generations. Eeyou Istchee, not merely a physical place, is a living, breathing extension of who we are. Our ancestral teachings encourage a profound respect for the land and all life forms found here. Ancient walking trails and campsites throughout our territory reveal our Eeyou footprints. They confirm our occupation of the territory through millennia and the vast distances of our journeys.

ᐧᐹᓚ ᒣᓄᕆᒃ | Paula Menarick

ᐧᐹᓚ ᒣᓄᕆᒃ | Paula Menarick

ᑖᓇ ᐋᐦᐃᓰᐲᒥᒋᑦ ᐄᔪ

Rites of Passage

ᒥᓰᐧᐋ ᒋᔅᑕᑯᐦᐅᑯᓇᓅ ᐋᔅᒋ ᒥᓰᐧᐋ ᐊᔑᓇᑯᒡ ᐱᒫᑎᓰᐧᐃᓐ ᐊᐦᑯᑕ ᐧᐋᒋᐦᐲᔨᒡ ᒌᔕᒪᓂᑐ ᐋᐦᑕᑦ᙮ (ᑲ ᐲᔭᑎᓯᔨᑦ ᐋᐦᒑᑯ)᙮ ᐄᔅᐱᓰᒡ ᑳᐦᐄᔪᐃᐦᑯ ᒋᓵᔨᒥᓄᒡ ᑭᔭ ᐋᐹᐦᐸᐦᔨᑯᑕᐆᓰᔨᑯ ᔅᒌ ᒋᔅᒎᓂᑎᐦᐃᑯᓇᓅ ᑕᓇ ᒐ ᐃᓰᐱᒪᑎᓰᔨᑯ᙮ ᐄᔅᐱᔅ ᑳ ᐧᐃᑎᐦᑎᐊᒥᐦᑯ ᑭᔭ ᑳ ᒋᔅᒌᓂᐧᐋᒋᑕᔨᐦᑯ ᒌᐱᒪᑎᓯᐧᐃᓂᓄ ᐆᔅᑏᔅᒋᓈᒡ ᓃᓇᑯ ᒌᐃᓯᓇᑯᓐ ᐋᐦᐊᑎᔅᒌᐦᐃᑯ ᒨᔭᒻ ᐋᓯᓇᑯᒡ ᓃᔅᑎᒻ ᐋ ᒋ ᐳᒧᑕᐃᐦᑯ ᐆᑕ ᐁᔅᒋᒡ ᐋᐧᐄᐦᐃᐦᑯ, ᐧᐋᐧᐄᐦᐄᑎᐦᐊᔓᓇᓄᒡ ᒑ ᑲᔮᐱᑎᒥᐦᑯ ᐋᔅᒋᔨ ᑭᔭ ᐱᒪᑎᓯᐧᐃᓐ ᐧᐋᓴ ᐋᑯᑕ ᐧᐋᑕᒋᐧᐄᐦᐃᐦᑰ᙮ ᑖᓇ ᐋᐦᐃᓰᐲᒥᒋᑦ ᐄᔪ ᐊᑯᑕ ᐧᐄᔭᐱᑎᐧᐋᐃᐦᑯ ᐋ ᒋᑲᔭᔨᑎᒥᐦᑯ ᒥᓰᐧᐋ ᐊᔑᓇᑯᒡ ᐱᒫᑎᓰᐧᐃᓐ᙮

We are connected to our land and to all life forms through Chishaaminituu (the Great Spirit). From birth our Elders and families, along with guiding forces that have existed since the beginning of time, teach us the Eeyou way of life. As we reach different milestones, such as our first footsteps on Mother Earth, we celebrate sacred rites of passage that transfer knowledge and introduce us to the land and animals essential to our survival. Rites of passage connect our lives with all of creation.

ᐧᐹᓚ ᒣᓄᕆᒃ | Paula Menarick

ᓛᓯᓕ-ᐋᓐ ᐹᑕᐧᐊᐱᓅ ᐦᐊᓱᓇᓄᐧᐋᔅᑎᒥᐧᐊᑭᓄ᙮
Prêt de | On loan from Lesley Anne Petawabano

ᐊᔭᓂᔅᒑ ᐆᑕᐲᒋᑕᐧᐃᓂᐧᐋ ᐋᓂᔅᑯᓯᐧᐃᒡ

Clothing Through Generations

ᒦᔅᑎᑰᐦᔨᒡ ᑭᔭ ᐃᔫᐧᐃᓐ ᐋᐅᐦᑯ ᑲᐧᐄᒋᔓᐧᐃᓂᐦᐄᑯ ᒥᑯᓐ ᐋᐃᔅᒋᔑᑲᒡ ᐸᐦᐧᐹᒧᑕᐃᐦᑯ ᔅᑎᔅᒋᓈᒡ᙮ ᐊᐅᑯ ᐊᓯᑕᐧᐹᑎᒥᐦᑯ ᐊᓂᔭ ᐊᐃᓯᔭᑦ ᐆᑲᓐ ᐅᒥᔅᑯᓯᐧᐃᐊᓐ ᑭᔭ ᐧᐄᐦᑎᒐᑯ ᐱᒪᑎᓯᐧᐃᓐ ᒋᐸᒋᒦᐃᑯᓅ ᒐᒋᔅᑭᐦᒃ ᐋᐧᐋ ᐅᑎᔭᓐ᙮ ᐅᐦᐃ ᒪᑲ ᐊᐲᒋᑕᐧᐃᓐ ᓇᔅᑖᐧᐹ ᐧᐄᑭᓂᐧᐋᔨᑕᑭᓄ ᑭᔭ ᒥᐧᔮᔨᑕᑯᓐ ᐊ ᒋᔅᑲᑭᓅᒡ, ᐧᐋᒋᑲᔭᐱᒪᑭᓄᑦ ᐊᓇ ᐆᑲᓐ ᑲᒥᐧᐋᑦ ᐅᐱᒪᑎᓯᐧᐃᓐ ᒐᒋᓂᐱᐦᐊᑭᓄᑦ᙮ ᐃᔭᐱᔨᒡ ᐋᓄᒡ ᑲᔑᑲᒡ ᐧᑳᔅᐱ ᐧᐄᓇᑭᑎᐧᐋᔨᑎᐦᒃ ᐋᐧᐋᓐ ᐅᒐᐧᑳᓂᔨᒻ ᐧᐋᔕ ᒋᔓᓂᑯᐦ ᒫᐧᑲᒡ ᐊᐦᑎᑲᔭᔨᒡ ᐄᔅᐱᔅ ᐧᐄ ᐊᒋᐧᐄᑎᓂᒐᑦ ᐅᑎᔭᓐ᙮

Our traditional clothing made of hides and furs protected us in all seasons as we walked across our vast territory. We believe that an animal’s strength and spiritual power are transferred to the person wearing the clothing. These garments are decorated with love and care to honour the animals and land, and to favour a successful hunt. Even today, animal hides and furs provide superior protection against harsh weather compared to manufactured materials.


ᒪᑎᔫ ᒧᑲᔅ | Matthew Mukash

ᐋ ᒋ ᔅᒋᑐᐧᐋᑭᓄᑦ ᑏᓯ ᑭᓪᐱᓇ ᒌᔓ᙮
| Don de | Gift from Rusty Cheezo

ᐋ ᒋ ᐲᐦᑳᐦᔥᒋᐆᐦᐧᐃᐦᑯ ᔅᑎᔅᒋᓈᒐ ᐋᑯᐧᐃᑦ ᑲᐧᐃ ᒋ ᓲᒐᐃᒧᐦᐃᐦᑯ ᐊᐃᔫᐃᐦᑯ

Wealth of Our Land, Strength of Our People

ᐄᔪ-ᐃᑐᐧᐃᓐ ᒋ ᒦᑯᓇᓅ ᒐ ᒋ ᐱᒫᒋᐦᐃᓱᐃᐦᑯ ᐋᔅᒋᔨᒡ ᐊᐧᐃᑕJᐦᐅᓇᓄᒡ ᒑ ᒋᐲᐦᑳᐦᔥᒋᐦᐧᐃᐦᑯ ᐊᓇᑕ ᒋ ᐱᒫᑎᓯᐧᐃᓈᒡ᙮ ᐃᔅᐱᔅ ᑲ ᐊᐧᐋᔒᐧᐄᔨᑯ ᓵᐊᔅ ᔅᒋ ᒋᔅᑯᑎᒪᑐᑲᒥᑯᓇᓅ ᒐ ᒋᐱᐦᐧᐹᒧᑕᔨᑯ ᐧᐋᔪ ᒐ ᒌ ᐃᑐᑕᐃᐦᑯ ᐄᔪ-ᐊᔅᒋᒡ ᐊᓇᓂᑐᐦᐅᓇᓅᒡ ᒐ ᒋ
ᒥᒌᓱᐃᐦᑯ ᑭᔭ ᒐ ᒋ ᒋᓱᓂᑯᐃᐦᑯ ᒌᐦᒋᓅ ᑲᔒᑲᒡ᙮ ᔅᒌ ᒋᔅᑯᑎᒪᑐᑲᒥᑯᓇᓅ ᑕᓇ ᒐ ᐃᔒᓇᑭᑎᐧᐋᐃᑎᒧᐦᑯ ᓂᑐᐦᐅᐧᐃᓐ ᑭᔭ ᒑᐧᑳᓇ ᐊ ᒋᒪᐧᐃᒋᑕᐃᐦᑯ᙮ ᐅ ᐱᒫᑎᓯᐧᐃᓇ ᑲᐃᓯᒥᑯᐧᐃᐦᑯ ᔅᒌ ᒥᑯᓇᓄ ᒋᔭᒪᔨᑎᒧᐧᐃᓐ, ᒥᔅᑯᐦᔒᐧᐃᓐ, ᒥ ᔪ ᐱᒫᑎᓯᐧᐃᐊᓐ ᑭᔭ ᔅᑎᒑᑯᓅᒡ ᒋ ᒥᔪᑯᒋᐦᐃᓃᒡ᙮ ᔅᒌᓱᒐᐃᒧᐦᐃᑯᓇᓅ ᐊᓇ ᑳ ᐃᓯ ᐱᒫᑎᓯᐃᐦᑯ᙮

Eeyou-iyihtwin (the Cree way) enables us to sustain ourselves using natural resources available on our land. From childhood we learn to walk vast distances across Eeyou Istchee seeking animals and plants to nourish and clothe us, and trees to shelter us. We are taught to respect and honour all that we hunt and gather. This walking way of life keeps our minds strong-willed, our spirits resilient, and our bodies well-nourished and healthy.


ᕌᒃ ᑰᔑᑯᕋᔭᓐ ᒋᒥᔭᑭᓄᑕᑯᐱᓐ᙮
| Don de | Gift from Rick Cuciurean

ᓭᕋ ᐸᔕᑲᒥᔅᑯᒻ ᐆᐦᐊᓱᓇᓄᐧᐋᔅᑎᒥᐧᐊᑭᓄ᙮
| Prêt de | On loan from Sarah Pashagumskum

ᐋ ᐸᒪ ᐲᓇᓅᒡ ᐄᔪ ᐊᔅᒌᒡ ᐊᓂᓇᓂᑐᐧᐋᐱᓇᓅᒡ

Travelling through Time and Eeyou Istchee

ᑕᓇ ᑳ ᐃᔑᐲᒧᑏᐦᐃᔓᔩᒃ ᐊᓇᑕ ᐸᐦᒡ ᐧᐃᑖᐦᒡ ᒋᓅᑯᓐ ᒧᔕ ᐊ ᒋ ᐹᐦᐧᐹᒨᑕᓅᒡ, ᐊ ᒋ ᐲᒥᔅᑲᓅᒡ, ᐊ ᒋ ᑭᐲᑕᓅᒡ, ᐋ ᒋ ᑮ ᒐᑭᔕᒪᓇᓅᒡ ᑭᔭ ᐊ ᒋ ᐧᐃᑕᐸᓅᒡ ᐋᑏᒨᒡ ᐊ ᒋ ᐅᑕᐹᓇᑭᑐᐧᐋᑭᓅᐧᐃᒡ᙮ ᐋᐦᑯᑕ ᐧᐋ ᒋ ᒥᒪᔅᑯᔒᐃᐦᑯ ᑭᔭ ᐧᐋ ᒋ ᒦᔪ ᐱᒪᑏᔑᔨᐦᑯ᙮ ᔅᒌᓂᓇᔓᔅᑭᐧᐋᓅᒡ ᐅᐦᑲᓃᒡ ᑭᔭ ᓂᑐᐦᐃᓐ᙮ ᑲ ᒋ ᓈᓇᐦᑏᐃᐦᑯᒡ ᔅᑐᑕᓅᒡ ᑕᓇ ᐊᑎᔭᔅᐲᑕᔮᒡ᙮ ᐊᓅᒡ ᐋᔅᑰᐦ ᒋᓇᓃᑐᐦᐅᓇᓅ ᓃᓇᐦᑯ ᔅᑏᐦᐱᐸᒧᐧᐄᔨᓯᓇᓅ ᐹᐦᐧᐹᒨᑕᓅᒡ ᑭᔭ ᐸᐦᐸᒦᐲᓇᓅᒡ᙮

Our traditional forms of transportation included walking, canoeing, portaging, snowshoeing, and dog sledding. We kept strong and healthy as we moved across the land
following the migration of animals, and reuniting with family at seasonal gatherings. Today, we still practice hunting and gathering but have adopted different ways of travelling.


ᒪᑎᔫ ᒧᑲᔅ | Matthew Mukash

ᐊᐦᕋᕕ ᕙᔨᑦ ᒋᒥᔭᑭᓄᑕᑯᐱᓐ᙮
| Don du | Gift from Dr. Harvey A. Feit

ᐄᔨᔨᐅᔨᒧᐧᐃᓐ – ᐋᐧᐄᐦᑯ ᒌᐋᐦᑭᓈᔭᐱᓅ ᓈᔅᑖᒥᔅᑕᒡ ᔅᑎᑐᐧᐃᓅ

Iiyiyiuyimuwin — The Backbone of our Culture

ᐄᔨᔨᐅᔨᒧᐧᐃᓐ ᐋᐧᐄᐦᑯ ᒪᐧᐃᒡ ᒐᔅᑎᒪᐧᐃᒡ ᐋ ᐧᐄ ᒋᔅᑯᑎᒪᑯᐧᐄᐦᑯ ᒋᔅᑯᑎᒪᒐᐧᐄᓐ ᒐ ᒋ ᐅᐧᐋᔑᐸᐦᔨᑎᒥᑯ ᑕᓇ ᑲ ᐃᔑᒥᑏᑯᒡ ᔅᑕᓂᔅᑯᔑᒥᓅᒡ᙮ ᑕᐸ ᒥᓰᐧᐋ ᒋ ᒥᔪᐧᐋᓄ ᐄᔫ ᐋᐃᑎᒧᐧᐃᓇ ᐧᐄᑭᓂᐧᐋᔨᑕᑭᓅ ᐧᐋᔅ, ᐧᐄ ᐱᔅᑳᑕᑭᓄ᙮ ᑏᐸᒋᒧᐧᐃᓃᒡ ᐊᑯᑕ
ᐊᑎᑯᒡ ᒋᔅᑯᑎᒪᒐᐧᐄᓇ᙮ ᐊᓇ ᐊᔑᑯᒪ ᒋᔑᑲᐤ ᐋ ᐋᐱᒋᑕᐃᐦᑯ ᐋᐧᐄᐦᑯ ᒐᒋ ᒥᒪᒋᑯᓇᒥᐦᑯ ᐄᔪᐃᑐᐧᐃᓐ᙮ ᔅᑏᐸᒋᒧᐧᐃᓅ ᐊᑯᑕ ᐧᐋ ᒌ ᐄᔪᐧᐄᐦᑰ᙮ ᓃᓇᐦᑯ ᐃᔑᓇᐦᑯᓐ ᔅᑏᐸᒋᒧᐧᐃᓅ ᐊᑯᑕ ᐊᑎᑯᒡ ᐄᔨᔨᐅᔨᒧᐧᐃ᙮

Iiyiyiuyimuwin (the Cree language) is an important source of teachings and knowledge from our Ancestors. Some traditional knowledge can be shared, while other knowledge is sacred and protected. We use stories, legends, songs, and daily interaction between generations to keep our language alive. Our oral traditions are the foundation of our culture. They are best taught out on the land in all seasons, where language is key to survival.


ᒥᓯᓇᐱᔅᑭᐦᐃᑭᓐᒐᔔ ᒍᓰ ᔑᑲᐱᔪ-ᐱᓚᑭᓯᒦᑦ, ᒥᓯᓇᐱᔅᑭᐦᐃᑭᓐᒐᔔ
| Josie Shecapio Blacksmith Photo Collection
woman with tobaggan

ᐁᒍᕆᔭᓐ ᑕᓅᕐ | Adrian Tanner

ᐧᐋᔅᑭᒡ ᐊ ᒌ ᐱᒧᑕᑭᓄᒡ ᑮᔅᒋᐆᐧᐃᓐ ᓃᔅᑕᒦᔨᒡ ᐋ ᐃᔑᒋᑐᑕᓅᒡ

Walking with our Past to a Better Future

ᓇᒪᐧᐄ ᓈᐧᐄᔅ ᐃᓯᓇᑯᓐ ᐊ ᒌᓂᒋᔅᑭᒦᐃᐦᑯ ᐊᐧᐃᔅᑕᔅᑲᐦᐃᐦᑯ ᒑᐧᑳᓇ ᐄᔫ ᐃᑎᐦᐧᐃᓇ ᑭᔭ ᒥᔪᐱᒫᑎᓰᐧᐃᓐ᙮ ᓂᓇᐦᑯ ᒌᔨᔅᐱᔫ ᒑᐧᑳᓂᐦᐃ ᐊ ᒋ ᑕᐦᑯᐦᐃᐦᑯ ᔅᑎᔭᓈᒡ, ᔅᑕᐦᐃᓈᒡ, ᒋᒥᔪᑐᓇᐦᐃᒋᑲᓈᒡ ᑭᔭ ᔅᑎᒐᐦᑯᓈᒡ ᑲ ᓂᑲᐦᔅᑳᑯᐃᐦᑯ ᒋᐱᒫᐊᑎᓯᓈᒡ ᑭᔭ ᔅᑎᐦᔅᒌᓈᒡ᙮ ᐋ ᒌ ᐧᐄᐦᐧᐄᒋᐦᐃᔓᐃᐦᑯ ᑯᐦᑕᑮᒡ ᐊ ᐧᐋᓐᒋ ᒋᓇᑎᒨᒡ ᐊᐦᐱᒧᑕᓅᐧᐄᔨᒡ ᒐ ᒋ ᒥᔪᐦᐲᔩᒡ ᐅᑎᔭᓅᐧᐋᒡ, ᐅᑕᐦᐃᐧᐋᒡ, ᐅ ᒥᑐᓇᐦᐃᒋᑲᓅᐧᐋᒡ ᑭᔭ ᐧᐃᐦᒐᑯᐱᒪᑎᓯᐧᐃᓇᐧᐋᒡ᙮

ᐊ ᒋ ᐧᐄᐦᐧᐄᒋᐦᐃᔓᐃᐦᑯ ᔅᒋᓇᑕᓇᓅ ᐧᐋᔅᑮᒡ ᑲ ᒋᑎᐦᔨᒡ ᔅᑖᓂᔅᑯᔑᒥᓅᒡ ᐊ ᒋ ᐲᐦᐧᐹᒧᑕᒡ ᐧᐋᔪ ᐊ ᒌ ᐃᑐᑕᒡ ᑭᔭ ᒪᑲ ᔅᒋᐸᐦᐱᑕᓇᓅ ᐧᐋᔅᑭᒡ ᐊ ᒋ ᑎᓇᓅᒡ ᐊ ᐧᐄᐦᐧᐄᒋᐦᐃᔓᓇᓅᒡ᙮

In recent history we have faced many challenges to eeyou-iyihtwin (the Cree way) and miyupimaatisiiwin (living life well). Certain events have left contemporary generations with physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual wounds, and have visibly scarred Eeyou Istchee (our land).

To overcome these traumas, we are reasserting the importance of walking for physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual wellness. In recent years we have organized journeys, walking vast distances to publicly demonstrate the renewal and continuity of our lifestyle.


ᓇᑕᓯᔭ ᒧᑲᔅ | Natasia Mukash