Elder Duke Redbird is a poet, artist, and educator with a ardour for sharing his information.
In 2018, he obtained the thought to vary that after noticing what he described as a non-existent indigenous presence alongside the Toronto waterfront. He purchased a houseboat that might turn out to be a ship to share and have fun indigenous historical past with the Toronto individuals.
“Name up the historical past. There’s 100,000 years of historical past right here, ”Redbird instructed World Information.
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The boat is known as “Wigwam Chi-Chemung” and will probably be docked on the Ontario Place marina over the summer time in collaboration with “Myseum of Toronto”.
The houseboat, coated in indigenous artwork, will function an interpretive studying middle – it gives individuals with a spot the place individuals can interact, ask questions and study from the angle of an indigenous elder.
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“One of the frequent questions younger individuals ask is, ‘Do you continue to dwell in tipis?’ and that offers me the chance to elucidate what an unimaginable design the tipi was … Created by indigenous peoples whose perform and design has not modified for the reason that day it was made, ”mentioned Redbird.
Within the midst of the pandemic, Myseum of Toronto created an interpretive telephone line system that provides a wide range of recorded content material and the flexibility to depart messages with questions that Elder Redbird will reply.
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It’s supposed to supply an alternate for individuals who don’t need to go to the wigwam Chi-Chemung in particular person. The telephone quantity is 1-647-373-5705.
Redbird mentioned the very first thing non-indigenous allies can do is study the historical past of the nation they dwell in.
“Earlier than you attempt to clear up the entire nation downside, simply discover out for your self the place you reside and… who occupied it. It is easy to seek out out the historical past of the territory you reside in, ”Redbird mentioned.
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