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The 25th Regional Annie Whiskeychan Day Celebrated in Waswanipi

The 25th Regional Annie Whiskeychan Day (RAWD) was held at the Waswanipi Schools on Friday, May 27th, 2022. The event took place in Downriver’s Cultural Village. The day had beautiful weather, with an overcast sky and a temperature of 12˚C.

The celebration of Annie Whiskeychan, the keeper of the written Cree Language, was open to all youth schools from 9 communities in Eeyou Istchee. About 50 people attended the celebration, with delegations from Waswanipi and Waskaganish consisting of two elementary students, two secondary students, two teachers, two parents, and one elder. The other seven communities were not able to join but will celebrate in their communities in June.

Greta Cheechoo (Annie Whiskeychan’s daughter) and Jamie Moses (Cree Language Commissioner of the Cree Nation Government) were honoured guests at the celebration. Both visitors acknowledged Annie Whiskeychan’s intangible contribution to the preservation of Cree language and culture in their speeches. And emphasized on the need for her legacy to be promoted, preserved, and perpetuated from generations to come through studies of the Cree language and all aspects of the Cree culture.

During the celebration, the delegates took part in the following games and activities:

  • Sikapwaan (Goose cooking on open fire)
  • Awaashpiihthuuyaan (Baby wrapping)
  • Chistuhiischeu (Goose calling)
  • Tiiywaapuuhcheu (Tea & Bannock)
  • Taapskeuu (Needle & Thread)
  • Kapataau (Portage)
  • Chiistaaskiicheu (cutting wood)
  • Spelling Bee
  • Matching words to items

Traditional prices created by our community Elders and members of the RAWD committee, were offered to the winners of the two participating communities (Waskaganish and Waswanipi).

The 25th Regional Annie Whiskeychan Day would only be possible and successful because of the outstanding work of our RAWD committee members, CEA and support team, Elders, guests of honour, the students, and our amazing teachers.