Mijiwe-izhijiganan means ‘made with hands’ in our language. This is our concept of art, something special made with our hands.
Our tradition of making things with our hands includes ancient rock paintings, clothing, tools, attractive designs with quills, and later, beads, as well as the drawings on birch bark scrolls. The birch bark scrolls are sacred and were used by shamans to record sacred songs and ceremonies. Many lay undeciphered in museum drawers. The arrival of the church and missionaries in our communities drove these beliefs underground. In pre-contact culture the shamans had been the artists and they used their drawing talents to record their philosophical views and to teach new initiates the sacred beliefs. To draw and paint was the prerogative of the shamans.
When Norval Morrisseau began to depict the legends commercially and, in doing so, broke the accepted pattern of our traditional shaman artists he ushered in a new style of painting which we call Anishnabe Art. Anishnabe Art is our name for ourselves and is the term preferred by our artists and their friends.
Custom arts and crafts
Wolf Lake has a rich history of production of arts and crafts. Many members over the years have sewn and displayed their skills in beautiful handmade crafts for the Algonquin Canoe Company, Dora Baptiste, Laurette Young and Sheila St Denis to name a few have also shared their experience beading and sewing with new artists like Carly McLaughlin. If you are looking for custom traditional mitts, moccasins, dreamcatchers or other crafts or custom workshops please contact the Algonquin Canoe Company store at 705-981-0572.
Pictographs are pictures painted on rocks. There are several pictographs that can be located here in the Ottawa Valley. Pictographs on Wolf Lake First Nation territory have been covered in the 1900’s by flood waters from dam installations. Still viewable pictographs are located at Lake Mazinaw: situated a few hours south of Pikwakanagan. The lake is surrounded by cliffs rising straight out of the water. Etched upon this ageless rock are ancient pictographs of red ochre. These pictographs within unceded Algonquin territory are believed to have been created by Algonquin ancestors. Picture writing is an Algonquin tradition that has been found on birchbark, copper and stone. The rock paintings were created using red ochre: a mineral likely mixed with animal oil as a binding agent.
Visit this section to see what happening at WLFN.