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Aanikoobijigan // Waawaashkeshi

Biography and autobiography. Astrology and starmap. Lunar calendar and legal appendix. Aanikoobijigan/Waawaashkeshi is a farmers’ almanac of familial pride and ancestral trauma. This book is an extension of exhibits that responded to Dylan AT Miner’s gichi-aanikoobijigan // great-great-grandfather, Narcisse Miner, who was charged with poaching a deer when harvesting it to feed his family.

It evokes the ancestors, the animals, the sacredness of place, the 13 lunar months, and 13 Indigenous constellations. The 26 starmaps are each drawn with 110 stars to honor the 110 years since Narcisse Miner was charged by the settler-colonial nation state for asserting his Indigenous harvesting rights.

Throughout, there are poems that read like prayers and incantations to language itself, as the speaker learns his ancestral language and the currents that flow, by way of language, through him. This deeply personal writing is contrasted with the legal documentation of Narcisse and others who were charged with harvesting outside the parameters set forth by settler-colonists, as well as photographs of ancestors and illustrations of the animals who live in diapason with the Indigenous communities.