Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Another Canadian First Nation Community Language Program

The First Nation Mi'kmaq community of St. George's Bay in the Canadian province of Newfoundland is setting up its own Mi'kmaq language immersion pilot program for primary schools. Jasen Benwah, Benoit First Nation chief, said he knows of many First Nation Mi'kmaq families ready to enroll their children in the program. The ultimate goal, Benwah said, is to have the program implemented in all area schools with a large number of Canadian First Nation Mi'kmaq students. "I'm not saying we don't want to give our kids a modern education, and we don't want to go back in time and live in wigwams," Benwah said. "We want to move forward, but we need to embrace our culture and history and still move forward."

For other articles, see Canadian First Nation Information. Also see Free Spirit Gallery for excellent Canadian First Nation Art.

Monday, February 26, 2007

Inuit Inukshuk Getting To Be Popular

I'm just working on supplying a Canadian government agency with an order for 45 Inuit inukshuk carvings that they will use as gifts for a conference. Looks like the Inuit inukshuk is certainly getting to be a popular symbol especially since it has also been chosen as the icon for the next winter Olympics in Vancouver.

For background information on this symbol, see Inuit Inukshuk.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

More Photos Added For Inuit Fish Sculpture

Due to a request, I've added additional photos for an Inuit fish sculpture at Free Spirit Gallery which specializes in Inuit art. This one is by Timothy Aculiak of Inukjuak and can be seen at Inuit Fish Sculpture.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Northwest Native American Art Tlingit Totem Pole Raised

A new 4,000 pound Northwest Native American totem pole was carved and raised last fall in front of the SouthEast Alaska Regional Health Consortium Community Health Services building in Sitka, Alaska. Around 140 people helped carry the Wellbriety pole to its present location.

The totem pole features medicinal plants, a shaman, his partner spirit wolf and other Northwest Native American Tlingit symbols often associated with health. The totem pole was carved over a six month period.

For more information on totem poles, see Northwest Native American Totem Poles. Also see, Free Spirit Gallery for more on Northwest Native American art.

Friday, February 16, 2007

Canadian Aboriginal Tribal Women Learn Fabric Painting

Last fall, Michelle Newman, a visiting textile designer and teacher, visited the Redwings Custom Design Studio on the Canadian Aboriginal Siksika Nation which is about an hour east of Calgary in Alberta, Canada. She gave a seminar on fabric painting to a group of Canadian Aboriginal tribal women (Blackfoot) who then produced some striking rainbow colored shawls from satin cloth.

The goal was to introduce new skills to the women so that they could apply their traditional Canadian Aboriginal tribal designs to create new products that could earn income. This plan was much like what happened with the Inuit in the Arctic when print making and new carving tools were introduced to them which they used for making their Inuit art.

See Free Spirit Gallery for examples of Canadian Aboriginal tribal art.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Tribal Mask and Polar Bear Carving Quickly Sold

Among the new recent additions to Free Spirit Gallery, the Moon mask, one of the new Tribal Masks made by carver Cody Mathias, was quickly sold. One of the new polar bear carvings, the Inuit sculpture made by Qaraq Nungusuitok of Cape Dorset, was also sold pretty fast.

But there are still lots of nice artwork available and a good place to start is the main gallery page where you can select the type you want to browse whether it is Inuit art or Native Tribal art.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Old Archaeological Site Found in Minnesota

On top of the highest hill in Walker, Minnesota, archaeologists have discovered evidence of what could be the oldest human habitation in the state. This site which is estimated to be 13,000 to 14,000 years old, may also be among the oldest known archaeological sites in both North and South America. Stone tools that were possibly used by hunters near the end of the Ice Age were found.

Archaeologist David Mather said the find "is something off our radar. We didn't think it was even possible in Minnesota." Archaeologists found at least 50 objects in a 50 square yard area, and "we didn't excavate everything," Mather added. The objects ranged from large hammer stones to small handheld scrapers. The team also found tough silt stone, which resists shattering and could have been used to create sharp edges on other stones.

For modern day aboriginal artwork, see Free Spirit Gallery

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

New Native American Art Tribal Masks In

The new and much anticipated Northwest Native American art tribal masks by Cody Mathias are finally in. Cody has created a bear mask, a wild man mask and a moon mask for Free Spirit Gallery. The bear mask features sea shells for the teeth which make it extra special. All of these masks are priced under $1,000 US which is virtually unheard of in authentic Northwest Native American art masks but since Free Spirit Gallery is an exclusively online gallery without street retail overhead expenses, these native masks can be offered to the public at such great prices.

Go see these masks now at Northwest Native American Art Tribal Masks.

northwest native american art tribal masks

Monday, February 12, 2007

Former Iraq War POW Jessica Lynch Names Baby After Fallen Comrade

Former Iraq war POW Jessica Lynch has named her newborn girl in honor of Army Specialist Lori Piestewa, a Native American Hopi tribal member from Tuba City, Arizona. Piestewa, who was the first female American soldier to die in Iraq, served with Lynch in the 507th Maintenance Company. Piestewa died and Lynch was captured when their unit was ambushed in March, 2003, near Nasiriyah in Iraq. Lynch and her boyfriend, Wes Robinson, named their daughter Ann (Lori's middle name), and Dakota (which can mean "friend" or "ally.") Ann Dakota Robinson weighed 7 pounds, 10 ounces at birth. Lynch is now a sophomore in university.

Native American words are often used to name places and people now. For an example list of places in the United States named after such words, see Native American Names in the U.S.

Also see Free Spirit Gallery for Native American Art.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

New Native American Indian Totem Pole Video

A new video clip has been added to the Free Spirit Gallery collection of videos and this one shows a very large Native American Indian totem pole on display at Montreal's McCord Museum. The video can be accessed below and other videos can be accessed at Native American Indian Culture Videos. Background information about totems are at Native American Indian Totem Poles. Free Spirit Gallery specializes in Native American Indian art and Eskimo art.

Monday, February 05, 2007

Who Killed Arctic Sled Dogs?

In the 1960s, Pita Aatami and his family walked a long way to fish at a local lake up in Arctic Canada. "I always thought it was because we were poor and we couldn't afford a snow machine," said the Canadian Inuit man who lived in Kuujjuaq located in the high north of Canada.

"But my uncle told me we had to walk because my grandfather's sled dogs had been shot. A lot of other people had their sled dogs shot, too." The Inuit say that Canada's RCMP (Royal Canadian Mounted Police) slaughtered their sled dogs during the period between 1950 to 1970. Without their dogs, the Inuit natives would be forced to settle in communities, buy snowmobiles and depend on Canadian federal government social programs. "To diminish our numbers as Inuit, our dogs were being killed," said one Inuit elder. An RCMP investigation claims the slaughters never happened. But Aatami is not giving up. "I want to know who gave the orders to kill the dogs," he says.

To see where the Inuit live in the north, see Canadian Arctic Region. Also, see artwork from the north at Inuit Art Gallery.

Friday, February 02, 2007

Places in Canada with Native Aboriginal Indian Names

It’s incredible how many places in Canada were actually named after Canadian Native Aboriginal Indian words or names. Everything from provinces, cities, towns, rivers, lakes and even the country itself have been named after Native Aboriginal Indian terms.

There's a huge resource of 2,500 Native Indian names and meanings available in one book for those who are enthusiasts of Native Aboriginal Indian culture or languages. It is also a great source of Native Indian names for those searching for the perfect name for a future baby or pet.

A partial list of some well known places in Canada and their Native Aboriginal Indian meanings are below.

Athabasca Lake: from the Cree word meaning “where there are reeds”

Canada: from Wendat Huron word meaning “village” or “settlement”

Chilliwack: from Halqemeylem word meaning “going back up”

Coquitlam: from Salish word meaning “small red salmon” or “place of stinking fish”

Etobicoke: from Ojibwa word meaning “the place where the alders grow”

Iqaluit: from Inuktituk word meaning “fish”

Kelowna: from Okanagan word meaning “grizzly bear”

Many more examples can be found at Places in Canada with Native Aboriginal Indian Names.

Also, see Native Aboriginal Indian Art for examples of native artwork.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

New Tribal Masks to be Coming to Gallery

One of the Northwest Native art carvers I use, Cody Mathias, called me last night and told me that the three Native tribal masks that he was making for me have been completed. So these three new carvings are making their way from BC to Free Spirit Gallery in Montreal now. It should take probably another week and a half for the new masks to arrive and get photographed for the gallery.