Heritage Village Featuring
Indigenous peoples are about connectivity. We connect through our inherent knowledge and relationship with our earth: the land, the plants, the water, the sky, and the animals. Through our traditional ways of knowing, we connect to each other and our communities by sharing in ceremony with fire, food, song, dance, stories, and humour.
Âniskômohcikewin, the act of connecting, is an art installation of four snow carvings respecting the four cardinal directions through colour and the representation of those directions. It is a self-directed, interactive and educational installation intended to connect you to Indigenous peoples and places.
In the East
Sweetgrass sculpture is used in this art installation to recognize plants and the importance of ceremony. It is used in prayer, smudging, and purifying. It is usually braided, dried and burned; it is also sometimes used at the beginning of a prayer or ceremony to attract positive energies.
This direction is represented by the colour yellow and the season of Spring. It is the direction of new beginnings. The woman spirit also comes from the east, where the sun rises, where our warmth and vision start. The spirit of woman brings warmth into the home.
In the South
The Crow sculpture is used in this art installation to recognize the winged creatures.
This direction is represented by the colour red, and the season of Summertime. In this part of our journey, we become young people, and we have good physical energy at this time of our journey.
In the West
The bear sculpture is used in this art installation to represent the four legged. The direction is represented by the color of blue and the season of Autumn. It is the time of adulthood, of responsibility, and the parenting stage of your life’s journey.
In the North
The fish sculpture is used in the art installation to represent the water creatures. The direction is represented by the colour white and the season of Winter.
We start our ceremonies in the east, and then we finish in the northern direction, which is our life journey. We finish our journeys as older people in that direction, the mental part of our journey.
The fire, or hearth, is at the centre because this is where we gather to share the warmth and where we’re fed. It provides life for us all physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually. Here is where share in our food, stories, songs, dance, and humour.
The one constant thing throughout all of the life’s gatherings, is the love for family and working together. Teaching and learning of life skills will sustain the family dynamics and the respect for life. Life is not measured by financial wealth, but by life’s wealth that has sustained us from time immemorial.