Manitoulin Island Summer Historical Institute (MISHI)

(Michael Belmore, “Bridge,” 2014, utilizes copper and aluminum beads (representing the 1’s and 0’s of ASCII) as a reminder of the forgotten codes that are the basis of our contemporary realities that serve to connect, and sometimes divide, our communities.)

The History of Indigenous Peoples (HIP) Network, a research cluster of the Robarts Centre for Canadian Studies at York University, is partnering with the Ojibwe Cultural Foundation (OCF) to offer the Manitoulin Island Summer Historical Institute (MISHI). The Summer Institute will focus on Anishinaabe-centred history and will involve students and scholars from university and Anishinaabe communities. The goals of MISHI are: to teach participants about Anishinaabe history on Manitoulin Island, with a focus on site-specific experiential learning; support the historical and educational resources of the OCF; and to build bridges and strengthen the relationships and cooperation between OCF and York University.

MISHI’s overarching focus is Manitoulin Island-based Anishinaabe history from an Anishinaabe perspective. Every summer school has specific themes, such as education, environment, gender, material culture, art, doodems, among many others. 

Gondaa OCF miinwaa York University wiiba nukaazowaat Mnidoo Mnising Neebing gah Bizh'ezhiwaybuck zhaazhi  gonda behbaandih kenjih'gehjik. Miidash gonda jiigaaknowndaamowaat' Anishinaabek gaabi zhi'zhaa'eyaa'aat me'owzhi, miinwaa wiibih daa kendaamowaat odeh chi kinomaageh gaamgoongh binjihbaajik, miinwaa Anishinnabek ed'enukii'waat. Mii Maanda ezhindowaymowaat MISHI: Wii Kinoo-moowohwhaat beh’baanda kendaa’gik; Gah bizhimaadzihwaat Mnidoo Mnissing. Obdeck Wii NaaNaagdowendmowaat Mii’aan’agwa ezhi kenjigaadek. Weh asgaabweh’chigaadeck gah be zhi’zhweybuck, miinwaa eh Temguck ezhi kinoomaading ode OCF; Minaa ahnkoosjigaa’dek, miinwaa ezhi zhoonggendaagwuk noowendaaswinun miinwaa knowngondwaat gondaa OCF miinwaa York University.

MISHI maamwii wendamowaat weh’ Mnidoo Minissing end’dih’enukiyaat Anishinaabek Gah bii’ishimaadziiyaat Gaazhi Naanaagdoowend’mowaat. Ensih Niibing teg kinomaagziiwin teneh aapijih wandakendmowaat, dibishko gonaa, kinomaadwin, shkuckmihgaang eh nodehgwohk ezhi nini’wing, miinaa ezhi qwe’wing, gaazhi zhitoowaat waaminoo’jihtowaahjit, miizinbeegonuk. Doodemnaanik, miinwaa gwa noonch geyaabi gegoo. 

MISHI 2019: Anishinaabekwe Ogimaawiwin / Women’s Leadership
August 19 - 25, 2019

Call for Participants
Application Deadline: March 15, 2019

The History of Indigenous Peoples (HIP) Network, based at York University and housed in the Robarts Centre for Canadian Studies, and the Ojibwe Cultural Foundation (OCF), located on Manitoulin Island, is pleased to invite applications for the Manitoulin Island Summer Historical Institute (MISHI), August 19-25, 2019. MISHI is an annual event in Anishinaabe Studies that brings together students, teachers, knowledge-holders, artists, and Elders for a week-long summer institute on Manitoulin Island. It is an excellent opportunity to concentrate on a single theme in Anishinaabe Studies while engaging with other scholars and to explore Manitoulin Island. This year we will consider the theme of Anishinaabekwe (women) leadership.

For Anishinaabeg, the gendered world is deeply contextual. Gender roles, experiences, and meanings are shaped by dynamic relationships to land, animals, and spirits, as well as, family, community, and self. To reflect on gender for Anishnaabekwe is to acknowledge the complexity of this engagement: gendered meanings rooted in time immemorial, the binary of the colonial and western world, or an individual’s own understanding of their being can be simultaneously present (or absent) and powerfully reconfigured across time and place. In present day and historic contexts, knowledge, skills, contributions to community, and emphasis on balance can be far more important markers of gender than prescribed meanings. Maazikaamikwe (mother earth) is gendered female based on her role as life-giver. Doodemag (clans) are passed down through the fathers’ lines, but a balanced political and diplomatic world requires the female perspective. Anishinaabekwe are recognized and respected as leaders, healers, and stewards of the water. Their contributions are integral to every community’s success. Centering the stories of Anishnaabekwe leaders gifts us this gendered history and creates space to walk together, challenging the violent legacies of colonialism and supporting Anishinaabeg resilience and resurgence.

MISHI 2019 Application Form

MISHI 2018 June 10 -17, 2018

“Doodemag: Exploring Anishinaabe Worldviews Through Clans” was a seven-day summer institute held from June 10 to17, 2018, focused on exploring Anishinaabe worldviews, through the lens of clans and generations, from a multi-disciplinary perspective. Co-sponsored by the History of Indigenous Peoples (HIP) Network, a research cluster embedded within the Robarts Centre for Canadian Studies at York University, and the Ojibwe Cultural Foundation (OCF), an organization devoted to Anishinaabe history and culture, the summer institute brought together 32 established and emerging historians, graduate and undergraduate students, administrators, Elders, and knowledge-keepers to explore the history through site visits, lectures, stories, and activities.

For participants reflections on MISHI 2018 read:
Everything is Connected: The Manitoulin Island Summer Historical Institute (MISHI) 2018 on Doodemag: Exploring Anishinaabe Worldviews Through Clans
Kina gegoo miiksemgad: Mnidoo Mnising Neebing gah Bizh'ezhiwaybuck Doodemag: Wii-nsastamang Anishinaabeyaadziwin miinwaa doodemwin
(pdf) by Carolyn Podruchny, York University

MISHI 2017 August 14 - 18, 2017

“Manitoulin Island Summer Historical Institute (MISHI) 2017: Does Wisdom Sit in Places? Sites as Sources of Knowledge” was a five-day summer institute held from August 14-18, 2017, focused on understanding how place-based knowledge shapes an Anihsinaabe-centred history of Manitoulin Island and its environs. Co-sponsored by the History of Indigenous Peoples (HIP) Network, a research cluster embedded within the Robarts Centre for Canadian Studies at York University, and the Ojibwe Cultural Foundation (OCF), an organization devoted to Anishinaabe history and culture, with the support of the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council(SSHRC). The summer institute brought together 25 established and emerging historians, graduate students, administrators, artists, Elders, and knowledge-keepers to explore the history through landscapes, stories, and documents. Event organizers were Carolyn Podruchny (co-founder of HIP Network, York University), Anong Beam (curator and acting executive director of the OCF, M’Chigeeng First Nation), Lewis Debassige (Elder and co-founder of the OCF, M’Chigeeng First Nation), Alan Corbiere (former Executive Director of the OCF, M’Chigeeng First Nation) and Boyd Cothran (co-founder of HIP Network, York University). The first co-sponsor, the HIP Network, has a mandate to encourage and support the research of the histories of Indigenous peoples, primarily among graduate students and faculty members at York University and neighbouring institutions. With a membership of close to 200 people, the Network holds bi-weekly workshops for members’ scholarship-in-progress, talks by visiting speakers, film viewings, an annual Elder Event, and a fieldtrip series. The second co-sponsor, the OCF, represents six First Nations (Aundek Omni Kaning, M’Chigeeng, Sheguiandah, Sheshegwaning, Whitefish River, and Zhiibaahaasing) and is dedicated to nourishing and preserving Anishinaabe history, arts, language, and spirituality. MISHI builds on a partnership developed between the OCF and the HIP Network over the last three years through fieldtrips, workshops, and lectures.

News About MISHI:
Article in Anishinabek News by Nicole Latulippe:  
Nbwaach’ding (visiting) and Anishinaabe knowledge on Manitoulin Island

For participant's reflections on MISHI 2017, read:
MISHI 2017 Reflections: Bridging Land, Ideas, Generations, Worlds 
MISHI 2017 ezhi guh noamdahmowaat: Ezhi ankonegaadek aki, naa naag'doowendaamowin, ezhi ahnkeh'bihmaadzing, ezhi ahnkohsing bimaadziiwnah
(pdf)by Victoria Jackson, Daniel Murchison and Carolyn Podruchny.

Wisdom Sits in Places
Knownch gojih guh daamkaan kendmauwzihwin
(pdf) by C. Elizabeth Best

All the Parts are in Conversation with Each Other
Kina gwah debajmihtaadwuk enchiwaat
(pdf) by Phil Henderson

Conversations in the Car, the Bus, the Boardwalk: Reflections on learning
Debaajmihtaadoak daabaaning, bemwidgeway daabaaning, sihgaakoh maasechguning: wii waamjigaadek daa kenjihgewin
(pdf) by Clara MacCallum Fraser, with Kelly King and Nicole Latulippe

A Triptych of Thoughts on the Knowledge of Land
T'sing ninaagaadek ezhi naanaagdoowendming wih kendmauzihwin zhi weh 'kiing
(pdf) by Benjamin J. Kapron

On the Importance of Caribou Stories
Ezhiik k'chi piitendaagwuk aadik debaajmiigziiw'nun
(pdf) by Katherine MacDonald

Where Knowledge Resides: Strong Indigenous Women and Experiential Education
Zhiiweh temguck kinoomaadziiwnun: Zoongaabwewuk Anishinaabe Kwek miinwaa niinda kendaan'naa ah kinomaadziiwnun
(pdf) by Violet King

Wisdom in Place: Learning through Relationships 
Bwaakawin tek: ezhi kenjihgaadek pii d'nik kendaagut pii enaan'gonding
(pdf) by Katrina Srigley

Useful Links:
Ojibwe Cultural Foundation

History of Indigenous Peoples' Network

Robarts Centre Associates