The community of Kitcisakik was the proud host of this fourth edition of Miaja. Cultural agents and bearers, professional and emerging artists and artisans from all the communities and Anicinabek friendship centers were on hand to honour the oral tradition through a series of artistic performances, workshops and conferences presented during the large-scale cultural gathering on August 23 and 24, 2023.
As the moons and seasons, as all the canoe expeditions and portages experienced on the territory roll by, and through the generations, orality will have always been the link that binds us all. A dynamic link that is imprinted in our memories. The stories of the territory, the animals, the plants, the trees and the natural elements have been and will always be subjects that deeply affect the Anicinabek. Despite the hardships experienced by our Nation and its drastic change in lifestyle, stories, rituals and ceremonies have survived, but we must now ensure that they are protected and passed on.
Our stories must continue endure over time, for our future generations. This is why your presence at MIAJA is important to us. The portage will be full of challenges and obstacles, but we must always keep going and be on the move. The more paddlers there are, the less difficult the journey will be. And there were several rowers at the gathering, who rode a stretch of the route together. We rekindled the flame of language and culture together, and honored the memory of our ancestors by restoring the sacred power of words, images and sounds.
Meegwetc to all the participants who made this gathering so nourishing.