National Aboriginal History Month Day Thirty: iyiniw nanâtoh-osihcikêwin

Urban Native Magazine and Regina Aboriginal Professionals Association have launched a photograph challenge (for Facebook, Twitter and Instagram) in honour of National Aboriginal History Month. They’re using the Twitter hashtag #NAHM2015PhotoADay.

Here at the Cree Literacy Network, we’ve decided to play along, by gathering the images suggested – but (with help from Solomon Ratt) captioning them in Cree.

For Day Thirty, the phrase is Aboriginal Art: 

Another word that Solomon has made up to suit our purposes, meaning, literally, “All sort of First Nations creations”.

iyiniw nanâtoh-osihcikêwin / ᐃᔨᓂᐤ  ᓇᓈᑐᐦ ᐅᓯᐦᒋᑫᐏᐣ

Through the course of this challenge, I have seen just as much exquisite beauty and diversity in the creations made by Cree people as I have among people themselves. It’s playing favourites, I know, but I’m choosing for this month-ending post to share some images from my friend Dawn Marie Marchand is a Cree and Metis Contemporary Aboriginal Artist from Cold Lake First Nation in Alberta. As a student of the Boreal Forest Institute, she has met and been in studio with some great teacher/mentors. Alex Janvier, Joane Cardial-Schubert, Jane Ashe Poitras, Edward Poitras, Brian Clark and Rebecca Belmore continue to influence her work.

Thanks to support from the Alberta Foundation for the Arts, Dawn Marie is working on original paintings for an exciting upcoming book project that she and I are working on together. You can see more of Dawn Marie’s work (including the pieces now available for sale) at her Facebook artist’s page.

Some of Dawn Marie’s other pieces are available in more affordable formats through Society6 at


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