‘Voices’ exhibit earns Heritage honour

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A Museum London exhibit led by Anthropology PhD candidate Bimadoshka Pucan, showcasing Anishinaabeg songs, stories and prayers of Saugeen First Nation residents Robert and Eliza Thompson, has been awarded the Lieutenant Governor’s Heritage Award for Excellence in Conservation. The ceremony was held Feb. 22 at Queen’s Park in Toronto.

Voices of Chief’s Point is a connection-building project undertaken over seven years between Museum London, Pucan (an Anishinaabe scholar), the Saugeen First Nation and Anishinaabe communities in southwestern Ontario.

It began with the digitization of eight wax cylinders and seven lacquer-covered transcription discs. Recorded in 1938 by Dr. Edwin Seaborn, MD 1895, and a founder of University Hospital who wrote about medicines of various cultures, these cylinders contained songs and stories, presented in Anishinaabemowin and English, of great cultural and medicinal importance to the Anishinaabeg.

Pucan continues to share the digitized content with Anishinaabe communities, where the content contributes to language teaching and broadens lost cultural knowledge.