“Among the Ojibway legend and lore it is said that mermaids brought medicine to the people. In the painting, Soul Cloud is seated in the centre of the canoe with tobacco in his left hand, offering it to the water spirits. The imagery of smouldering sage offering smudge, thundering beats of the drum and voice form a song, and MOOKIBII emerging from the water. Evoking the feeling of being seated in the canoe– cleanse your mind, heart and soul with the smudge. Speak your prayer to the Creator, make your offering to the water, and embrace the existence of our culture.”
John Williams

Project: Mookibii
Artist: John Williams
Installation Site: Maawn Doosh Gumig Community Centre, Aamjiwnaang First Nation.

This community painting project included public workshops held at the Maawn Doosh Gumig Community Centre where friends and family gathered with food, music, and the opportunity to contribute to the painting through handprints applied to a canvas prepared by the artist. The event, participation, and dialogue highlighted the communities connection to the history and legends to the Great Lakes. 

Artist: John Williams is a primarily self-taught artist with extensive experience in the community.  The artist has previously conducted successful workshops in the community and has strong ties in the arts and culture district in Sarnia. John’s network of current and potential partners on and off the Aamjiwnaang First Nation includes: Aamjiwnaang Heritage and Culture Club, Aamjiwnaang Environment Department, and the Aamjiwnaang Greenhouse – Maajiigin Gumig “Place where plants start to grow”.