We Are The Land by Duncan N Pheasant

The land has spirit and we are the land…The rock pulses with energy and movement that we cannot detect…the rock sometimes shows himself and becomes recognizable like a face. The land is what we are, the land keeps us alive, the trees speak to each other about the land and share its nutrients, they live out their lives without any help from man. They are a community and we show them respect. Then there is the everlasting sky all others live beneath him with its many moods and gifts ,we offer prayer to all four directions. We say we don’t think about these things… we know all these things.

Permanent installation at Manitou Island Post Office

Growing up in Mchigeeng First Nation we were poor we didn’t know we were but didn’t feel like it…we had clean clothes food toys…No running water, no phone no inside toilet but we were happy…today I wonder about young kids seeing things on Facebook and tv like friends having parties, new cloths new toys, new this new that…big fancy houses…they look around their homes and community what do they see… What do you see ?

Our Ancestors foretold that water would someday be for sale. Back then this was hard to believe, since the water was so plentiful, so pure, and so full of energy, nutrition and spirit. Today we have to buy pure water, and even then the nutritional minerals have been taken out; it’s just empty liquid. Someday water will be like gold, too expensive to afford

Even the spirit, which belongs to the Great Mystery, returns to its source. Some of our people say this journey takes place on a path of stars. Others describe the spirit’s return to the Great Mystery as a drop of water falling into the ocean. It becomes a part of everything again as the light of a candle becomes one with the fire of the sun. That’s why we can sometimes feel our loved ones in the warm air, or hear them in a bird’s song…or even sense them in the…wind.
We feel them in certain areas or times of the year,, we sense them and think of them and dream of them. Sometimes they talk to us in the dream but most times it’s just good to see them…we wake up thinking of them ,The dream can last a day or we think of the dream for many years…yes they are with us..

Guardian of the Lake

A man by the lake wanted to live forever. A huge fish came about out of the water and pulled him in. The fish had spent his entire life looking for freedom from this world.
He told the man we will go to the door of eternity, you will step through one way and I will go through the other way. This sounded good to the man. They both went through the door.
There said the fish …I now will live a normal life and you will live forever. The man had become the fish. “Stop Wait” he said but the man who was a fish could not hear. To this day the guardian of the lake searches for the man who died a normal death many many years ago. The guardian of the lake, a huge ancient fish.

Mindemoya man

The Mindemoya man…A giant fish appeared to some men on the shore of Mindemoya lake ,they grabbed the fish and were surprised how the fish let himself be caught…they took the fish to the village and it began to cry like a human…A lonely woman came out to see what’s going on…she recognized the crying as her long lost husbands voice…she called out his name then the great fish began to speak “I was once a man but was turned into a fish, by a witch, because I rejected her…and my wife who I see now I cannot be with anymore” The people became afraid and dragged the big fish back to the water…The woman ran after them and jumped in the water with the fish…they were never seen again…next year the waters were teaming with fish and for many years after that.

I AM the Land

Nobody wants anyone to leave, We’re just trying to protect the land and waters for future generations, for all . 95% of British Columbia is unceded native territory as the treaty process for British Columbia started in the 1990s and has yielded only three treaties to date.
Enshrined in Canadian Charter of rights and freedoms Section 25A is the Royal Proclamation which recognizes and affirms indigenous title to land and requires treaties in order to legally possess. Where as no treaty exists those who willingly or inadvertently set themselves upon these lands must remove themselves forthwith. Canada is in violation of their own laws.

The Shaking Tent Ceremony by Norval Morrisseau

The Ojibway Indians had what we call a jeesekun, a shaking tent, or wigwam, where a medicine man does conjuring. There were two kinds of shaking tents. One had its power from the water, the other from the wind or earth. Some Ojibway built their shaking tent in the water, in order to receive power from it. Eight poles were cut and placed in a circle, and each pole was driven about two feet into the ground to keep the tent firm. Two hoops were placed inside the wigwam to keep the poles in position and would be covered with deer hide, birchbark or canvas. Rattles of tin or cari­bou hoof were placed inside to make a rattling noise.

All the Ojibway would gather and sit in a circle facing the shaking tent. This took place at night. The conjurer would disrobe, have his hands tied up and crawl inside the wigwam. He would not speak but would have one Indian, or all, start asking questions, whatever each one wished to know. As the conjurer crawled inside, the tent itself began to shake and the rattles were heard. The Ojibway believe a medicine wind blows from heaven in the tent and that is how it shakes. All the dogs tied close by began to yelp and were afraid but the people were not, for it does not affect human beings. What come into the wigwam to sing or talk are the water god Misshipeshu and other spirits of bears, serpents and animals, thunderbirds, the evil Windigo, the morning star, the sky, water, earth, sun and moon, also female and male sex organs. Each speaks in his own lan­guage but we have an interpreter whom we call Mikkinnuk, a small turtle who is the Devil him­self, who interprets for all these beings. So let it be known now and then remain a secret; it is the Devil himself who is the interpreter.

The Ojibway were given this shaking tent to do both good and evil. A lot of people of the Ojibway tribe used this conjuring tent to conjure people but a lot also used it to cure people, to find lost things, to defend the people from evil sor­cerers, or bad medicine-men, and to know about the future.

Duncan Neganigwane Pheasant Silent Hunter a living ghost that eats with it’s eyes
Mitchell Pluto Collection

Duncan Neganigwane Pheasant, Dedicated to Norval Morriseau on the anniversary of his birth
March 14 1932.
Spirit Warrior 18×24 canvas

Manitoulin island is a place of ancient spirits lying in wait within the cliffs and deep inland lakes. A man with a spirit face looks out across the cliffs as he paints on them. A weary hunter warrior realizes he now is a stranger in this magnificent stone garden He is a shadow man a shadow warrior.

The invisible man from the door of the unknown. He hears the pounding of the drum and heads to it. Modern day Ojibwe and Odawa men sing the songs of old. He stands beside them but they cannot see him He is a spirit warrior.

Duncan Neganigwane Pheasant Tribute to the hunter

written by ©Duncan Neganigwane Pheasant

Duncan Neganigwane Pheasant is a painter from the M’Chigeeng First Nation. He started painting in high school using colours and techniques inspired by Norval Morrisseau and other Woodland style artists. His grandfather, Ambrose Pheasant, told stories that were also a great influence on his artwork. Duncan uses his images to interpret Ojibwe legends and stories that surround the history of his ancestors and Manitoulin Island. Those legends which inspire his work are inscribed on the back of each original painting and a printed copy of the legend will be included with each purchase.

Perivale Gallery Duncan Neganigwane Pheasant

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