Anishinaabe Rock Art

the-canadian-shield

The term Anishinaabe is one used by Algonquian-speaking peoples to describe themselves.  The Innu, the Malecite, the Algonquin, the Mississauga, the Ojibwe (Chippewa in the U.S.), the Cree, the Oji-Cree, and the Ottawa are some of the indigenous nations belonging to this widespread cultural family. Just click on any of the titles below to access the related post.

Anishinaabe Pictograph Sites of the Canadian Shield

Aboriginal Pictograph Sites In Quebec

Anishinaabe Pictograph Sites In Ontario  as well as specific posts on

Anishinaabe Pictograph Sites In Manitoba

Indigenous Pictograph Sites In Saskatchewan

American Indian Pictograph Sites of the Border States

The above posts all deal with pictographs “painted” with a hematite powder/fish oil mix. The post below details perhaps the Canadian Shield’s largest collection of petroglyphs – i.e. images carved into the rock face.

The Peterborough Petroglyphs: Building Over An Algonkian Ritual Site

19 Responses to Anishinaabe Rock Art

  1. Kevin Richards, MUSKIE Magazine says:

    I really enjoy your site. I would like to contact you via email as I am writing an article about rock art within a portion of the Shield and would like to mention your site and possibly use one of the maps or photos. Thanks!

    • true_north says:

      Kevin, it’s always nice to hear that someone else is interested in the pictographs! Needless to say, I have no objection to you mentioning my site – it may mean that others will also be introduced to a fascinating aspect of Canoe Country – aka The Canadian Shield. It was perhaps a year and a half ago (March of 2013) that I first got somewhat obsessed with what are mostly Anishinaabe rock paintings thanks to a canoe trip that took us through Cliff Lake in Wabakimi.

      I should mention that some of the maps you see on my site are not mine to give you permission to use! I am sure that I am breaking some sort of copyright law in using them but felt that my positive and non-commercial use of them outweighed whatever legal wrong I was committing. How is that for a rationalization!

      As for the pictures, they are 99% mine with one or two having been forwarded to me by fellow canoe trippers. You’re more than welcome to make use of any photo that would help you in your article. I would be able to forward you a larger file if the one you download directly from the net is not good enough for publishing purposes.

      I gather that Muskie is a magazine aimed at folks into fishing. Northwest Ontario has got to be a fisherman’s dream destination. Sad to say, neither my brother or I are into fishing! I know – what a waste…so many incredible lakes and no fishing rods.

      If you want, you can get in touch with me here – true_north@me.com – if you have any further questions. Thanks again for your interest.

      • Kevin Richards, MUSKIE Magazine says:

        Thanks so much! You’ll be hearing from me via email within the next week or two.
        MUSKIE is the official publication of Muskies, Inc. It is a conservation and fishing organization dedicated to muskies; most of our members live in the US. We cooperate with Muskies Canada, a very similar organization with chapters throughout the range of the muskellunge in Canada. Both organizations practice nearly 100% catch and release of muskies.

      • Kevin Richards, MUSKIE Magazine says:

        Peter, thanks for sharing your knowledge! Here’s a link to my story:

      • true_north says:

        Kevin, informative article and nice pix. Thanks for reminding me that I need to get to Quetico and Lake of the Woods to see some of the many sites you mention.

  2. Christine says:

    Hi there!

    I’m Anishinaabe, working for an Algonquin organization. Would appreciate getting in touch. Feel free to e-mail me.

    • true_north says:

      From your brief bio I see we are interested in many of the same things. English and History were my teaching subjects in high school for 35 years!

      I’d love to hear from you. Feel free to email me with any questions or suggestions or comments you might have. true_north@mac.com will do the trick.

  3. tom jan and dustin says:

    I’ve been doing something wrong??? I’ve been trying to make a connection. My wife my son and I have photographed “many” sites and would like to share?? Perhaps iv reached out on the wrong site?

    • true_north says:

      Fantastic, Tom! nice to hear you would like to share. You didn’t say that in your original comment. i wasn’t sure what you were getting at so thanks for the clarification. Some folks who write me are interested but not keen on sharing; a few are upset because I make the locations more public; most appreciate the fact that this info is now available on line.

      Now – What would you like to do with the images? Given that I didn’t know what you were getting at, I made three suggestions –

      1. do nothing – i.e. keep them to yourself and allow others the thrill of discovering them on their own;

      2. set up your own web page like I have done;

      3. send the jpg files to me and I can work with them – and with you – and put them out there for all to see and find.

      If you’re interested, let me know what you have in mind! It sounds like you’ve got some great pix that folks all across the world could see.

  4. Sandra Widmer says:

    Hi
    I’m a Swiss Climber and my dream is to be one day on the top of Fitz Roy. I’m very fascinated about this mountain and also of your pic you made of the mountain chain Fitz Roy…. Cerro Torre. I would love to have that pic to make a personal poster 160 x 100cm +/- for my home. Would it be possible to buy your pic for a decent price in a good enough quality? Please let me know…….. hoping I can buy it…..
    Kind regards
    Sandy

    • true_north says:

      Sandra, nice to hear the photo appealed to you. I am just not sure which one you mean since I have posted a few of Cerro Torre.

      If you could email me a small copy of the one you like I will send you the original jpg file.

      By the way, no need for $ – the thought that someone liked it enough to print it is enough!

  5. Please email me about permission to use one of your photographs in a textbook.

    • true_north says:

      Kevin, it would be no problem to use one of my photos. Just let me know which one you have in mind so I can be sure it is actually one my brother or I took. About 1% of the pictograph images in my various posts are not mine to give permission to use!

  6. lloydwalton says:

    My book about my sixteen year seach for ancient knowledge found in pictographs and petroglyphs and the rewards and consequences is now out. An often funny, often moving , often dangerous odyssey. CHASING THE MUSE: CANADA Now available from Friesen Press, and in a few weeks, Barnes and Noble, Kindle, Chapters/indigo and Amazon. I wish I knew how to post an attachment .

  7. lloydwalton says:

    Greetings We talked some time about it and the book is out. CHASING THE MUSE: CANADA. The story builds to my sixteen-year search for ancient wisdom found in Ontario pictographs and petroglyphs. It was an often moving, often funny, often dangerous odyssey. The rewards and consequences were unexpected and revelatory.

    • true_north says:

      Lloyd, thanks for the reminder! I just reserved one of six copies in the Toronto Public Library system and it should get to my local branch in a few days. Just enough time to finish my current book – one titled Stoicism And The Art of Happiness.

      Lloyd Walton. Chasing The Muse. 2019.

  8. Doesn’t seem very cool to write about Anishinaabe cultural heritage sites without inclusion or consent of the people. I know you’re not the only one to do this, but it doesn’t make it okay. There doesn’t seem to be any personal connection or permission given. It’s all very colonial imho.

    • true_north says:

      FTCE – After 35 years spent as a teacher where my focus was introducing high school students to, among other things, World Religions and History-related content, I’ve been able to travel even more extensively. My blog is a record of those more recent travels.

      In it, I am free to write about whatever I choose and do not need anyone’s permission or consent to do so. This goes for my views on the Buddhist temple sculpture of Myanmar, the merits of cycling in Cuba, and the possible meaning of the rock paintings found on the lakes and rivers of the Canadian Shield that my brother and I have recently paddled.

      The original goal of my blog was simply to do something with all the images I was coming back home from my travels with. It led me to do what being a teacher has shaped my brain to do – explain the context of those images and dig a bit deeper into the story of those who live(d) there and, in the case of the pictographs, those who created them.

      The occasional comments from Anishinaabe students at colleges in northern Ontario sometimes include thanks for introducing them to an aspect of their cultural heritage that they knew little about. The record of from where people are coming to my blog indicates that some schools are making use of my pictograph posts. As a retired teacher, I could not ask for more.

      You would have me first get the “consent of the people” before I write about traditional Cree or Ojibwe or Algonquin culture. It does beg the question – Exactly who are those “people”? And how many is enough? Two? Twelve? Why would they get to decide what I can think and write about? Will we have to create an Anishinaabe Council to grant permission in cases like mine? Would I appear before it to explain why I am interested in rock paintings? After my blog entry is written, should it be approved by someone Anishinaabe before I upload it?

      All this brings to mind the difficulty that Norval Morrisseau had when he started painting in the 1950s. The older people of his community in the Red Lake area told him that painting images of the Ojibwe manitous on craft paper was wrong and that he should stop. He didn’t. His intent was to keep the spirit of Anishinaabe culture alive. In doing so, he created a new dimension of Ojibwe culture and revitalized interest in it. What would we have if “consent of the people” had been denied and he was shut down before he started?

      BTW – imho throwing in the word “colonial” as a parting shot was a bit cliché. Argue on the basis of the content and not on the writer’s supposed racial or cultural background. You risk slipping into a race-based or ethnocentric approach. That doesn’t sound very cool at all.

      What I would encourage you to do is read some of my blog posts – and not just the ones on rock paintings of the Canadian Shield – to see how I handle the material. Why not read my post on Norval Morrisseau for a starter. Let me know what you think.

      https://albinger.me/2014/06/08/selwyn-dewdney-norval-morrisseau-the-ojibwe-pictograph-tradition/

      Finally, if you are interested in Anishinaabe culture, why not start your own blog and – based on your own research, experience and interests – write a piece every week or two. You would be providing people googling some aspect of Anishinaabe culture with another perspective and a reliable source of information.

      Do expect some negative feedback though!

  9. Pingback: Gawkers, Gapers, and Rubberneckers: Wisdom for the Trail – Florence Church of the Brethren Mennonite

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