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Indigenous learning, music, and new exhibit at THEMUSEUM

Indigenous music, learning, dancing, and a new exhibit launch were just some of what was available at THEMUSEUM on Saturday.

Songs from the Spirit Nation Singers filled the Kitchener space throughout the afternoon at an event focused on the Seven Grandfather Teachings: a set of guiding principles that have been passed down from generation to generation.

There was also a blessing, book launch, and performances by Indigenous dancers.

THEMUSEUM also held a special opening for a new Indigenous-led exhibit in a digital space.

"We don't want to tell people anything," said James Monkman, an artist in the Quantum Wampum group. "I think for us, it's about showing people different environments and ideas and seeing what they come out of it with."

The immersive experience at the Digital Eyepool Gallery called Iyinsiwin was developed by Quantum Wampum to invite guests to see the world, and their relationship to it, in a new way.

"Speaking as a Cree person, there is a connectedness that is a part of the way that we understand the world that is difficult to see in the normal way that we perceive things," said Monkman. "Iyinsiwin is a Cree word that means the intersection of knowledge, intelligence, and wisdom, but it's not just that, it's about how we walk in a good way.

"It's about sharing that the Indigenous ways of knowing are not things of the past, but are important ways for us to understand and to move in a good way for the future."

The experience is years in the making and takes guests out into the cosmos, through a forest of ancient trees, and deep underwater.

"James and I have been meeting once a week over COVID, coming up with different ideas, and what we wanted to do, how we wanted to do it, and create a connected experience," said artist Brian T. Moore.

Before the exhibit opened Saturday, elders toured through and got a first glimpse at what was to come.

"They were looking around and seeing teachings and that was really moving for me, where they felt connected to it," said Monkman. "Spaces like this help remind people that they have this moment right now to do something."

Iyinsiwin will be open at THEMUSEUM until January. Top Stories

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