Author Topic: Ahnishinahbayeshshikaywin — OUTSIDERS PREPARE TO VISIT INSIDERS  (Read 481 times)

Offline Sparks

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A very interesting news article which I hope I will be able to follow up:

On the Tracks to Translating Indigenous Knowledge
A team of researchers will journey by railway to Lac Seul First Nation in Canada to better understand alternative ways of seeing the world.
25 JUN 2024


Next year, a team of Indigenous and non-Indigenous researchers will travel 27 hours by train from Toronto, Canada, to Lac Seul First Nation in the northwestern part of Ontario to engage with Knowledge Keepers. For two years, they have been meeting over Zoom as part of a seven-member Teaching Circle.

Imagine joining the team as they journey from Toronto’s Union Station. They will leave behind a vast urban world of more than 6 million people as they savor the last stretches of the lush Carolinian forest.

The mission of the Teaching Circle, envisioned by Lac Seul First Nation co-author George Kenny, is to articulate a worldview held by Indigenous cultural Insiders. Insiders are people like George who practice the worldview called Ahnishinahbayeshshikaywin (pronounced Ah-nish-in-ah-bay-esh-shi-kay-win), which Outsiders—such as many anthropologists—tend to define as “animism.” The term Ahnishinahbayeshshikaywin encompasses practices that establish a relationship between places and people; these reflect a belief in souls, spirits, and the existence of human souls through eternity. Since mountains, rivers, land, plants, and trees are animate, all of these have souls.

In traveling, team members will not only cross physical landscapes. They will also achieve a deeper understanding of that parallel world inherent in the knowledge Lac Seul Elders hold. This knowledge has survived and been adapted amid settler-colonial efforts to manage Indigenous communities and create a viable Canadian state out of a patchwork quilt of settler communities and Indigenous peoples.

But first, team members will go within to prepare for their destination.

The team’s Outsiders will engage with Ahnishinahbayeshshikaywin on its own terms. Through direct experience, Outsiders will come to see the relevance and significance of what Lac Seul community members have to share. As part of this journey, the circle will consider how Insider worldviews can be translated for Outsiders, listening in a way few Outsiders have done.

The term 'shaman' is used and discussed (my boldings):

[…] Armed by a sense of inevitable “progress,” Outsiders brandished formidable legal and cultural weapons: Their interpretation of the Indian Act of 1876 delegitimized First Nations by depriving them of a sense of self-worth. Many spiritual ceremonies were banned. Nevertheless, my (George’s) father, an apprentice shaman, told me that ceremonies such as the Vision Quest and the Feast of the Dead continued to be practiced through the 1870s and into the early 1930s.

John Kenny Keesic, my father, was an apprentice shaman to Allen “Amoo” Angeconeb, one of many medicine people (Anishinaabeg Mushkikiewak) who were teachers (Kekinoamaged). (“Shaman” is an Outsider imposition.) My father taught me aspects of Ahnishinahbayeshshishikaywin from my birth until close to the time of his passing in 1980.

Offline Sparks

  • Posts: 1423
Re: Ahnishinahbayeshshikaywin — OUTSIDERS PREPARE TO VISIT INSIDERS
« Reply #1 on: June 29, 2024, 12:29:56 am »
The article I quoted from is referred to on the Radical Anthropology Group's Facebook page:

Also on Mastodon:

There is a 1:24:45 background video around, it can be seen at two places:

Ahnishinahbayeshshikaywin: a worldview practised by the Oji-Cree of Lac Seul, Ontario November 8, 2022
Archaeologist Alicia Colson and GP and mental health researcher Sophie Redlin will be joined by a panel of Oji-Cree anthropologists, scholars and artists (via ZOOM) including George Kenny, Michael Auksi, Mary McPherson, Adar Charlton, John Bonnett and Susannah Cass.