Making arrowheads

Thanks to Edmonton-area Cree teacher Les Skinner for allowing us to share his “unsolicited rock-hitting reflections” from FaceBook the other day.

As part of his personal reclamation, Les’s work with archery and bow making has now expanded into flint knapping – using a rock to shape flint to create tools. The photo above is remarkable because it features Les’s own hand, holding a piece of his own remarkable work. The small size and careful symmetry are especially impressive, given that this was created – literally – by hitting rock with rock.

He even provides us with some vocabulary:

  • ᐊᒍᓯᐢ acosis – arrow
  • ᐑᐱᓯᐢ   wîpisis – arrowhead
  • ᐯᐦᐯᑲᐦᐋᑲᐣ pêhpêkahâkan – Flint/obsidian (chippable rock?)


In his own words:

“Anyways trying to get back in the groove of hittin rocks! This is the first one I made since the spring.

Anyways I’ve just been reflecting on how a lot of the knowledge is there for us Native people to make our land healthier. We could move away from nuclear-family based land management systems, start prescribed burning again, have buffalo roaming our land— we just need the land!

Canada is set up so that commercial development of some kind is the priority everywhere. We just need to switch to land based living. We can still have a modern life, just healthier.

mâmaskâc, Les! âhkamêyimo!

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