rokamond asked:

i really appreciate this page. its so nice to see material on our culture on such a popular social media. its so rare when i do and this blog makes me happy. also question: have you or thought of maybe adding audio posts? specifically some traditional songs? i would love to download them to itunes!

Nia:wen kowa! thank you so much for this message! i truly appreciate it, and it also makes me happy to know that it is making others happy.

And about the suggestion of audio posts, well, why didn’t I think of that?! awesome idea! In fact, I think I’ll be posting some shortly.

Any specific requests are welcome.

Sure everyone noticed by now I am Mohawk and that is all I really have and am familiar with and will end up posting to be honest, so it would be awesome to also hear from other nations, so any others are welcome to feel free to submit, there is so much out there!!

thanks ||/\||



The Medicine Game
(68 min)

"Two brothers from the Onondaga Nation pursue their dreams of playing lacrosse for Syracuse University. With the dream nearly in reach, the boys are caught in a constant struggle to define their Native identity, live-up to their family’s expectations and balance challenges on and off the Reservation.”

A Mi’kmaq author is touring the country with a dire warning for First Nations people: the rights that set them apart from other Canadians are dying out.

Ryerson University associate Prof. Pamela Palmater says status rights are slowly being legislated out of existence but few people, including many in Canada’s 633 First Nations, are aware of it.

 - Local - Winnipeg Free Press.



Frederick Alexcee

Pole Raising at Fort Simpson, BC, c.1900

The carver and painter Frederick Alexcee, who was also known as Wiksamnen, was the son of a Tsimshian mother and Iroquois father. He lived most of his life in the village of Lax Kw’alaams (Fort Simpson or Port Simpson) and seems to have begun his artistic career by carving masks and other objects, examples of which are in the collection of the UBC Museum of Anthropology and the Royal BC Museum in Victoria. There is contradictory evidence about his training, with Marius Barbeau reporting that he received extensive training (in “Frederick Alexie, A Primitive”, Canadian Review of Music and Art, 1945) and Viola Garfield (field notebooks from Port Simpson, manuscript, Suzzallo Library, University of Washington) suggesting that he was self-taught. Certainly his paintings, of which this is one of the most important examples, suggest that his approach was the somewhat naive one of the autodidact.

The village of Lax Kw’alaams had an important cultural life during Alexcee’s youth, but like many First Nations villages, by the end of the nineteenth century it was considerably changed through the influence of Christianity and government policy, both of which prohibited traditional ceremonies. His paintings document the physical and cultural landscape of his childhood. 

The raising of a pole was a momentous occasion in the life of a First Nations village. It required the mobilization of large numbers of people both to raise the pole and to celebrate the event or person the pole honoured through ceremony and witness. The enormous narrative detail of this work might make us believe that Alexcee’s work documents a specific event, but more likely this image is an amalgamation of a series of events associated with a pole raising. It should be read, as Bill McLennan and Karen Duffek have suggested, as a “visual metaphor” revealing “elements of Tsimshian iconography and oral tradition” rather than documenting a single occasion