About us...

ACCI flows from the knowledge that Cree culture must be captured, maintained, shared, celebrated, and practiced. Cree Elders have spoken of the need for a central place for the protection of the way, and have developed a vision for Aanischaaukamikw over several decades.

Jul 2, 2015

ACCI Collection Officer, Paula Menarick @ Otsego!

ACCI Collection Officer, Paula Menarick @ Otsego!

 It was a privilege to attend the 2015 Otsego Institute for Native North American Art History summer seminars in Cooperstown, New York. We focused on connoisseurship of materials and the theorization of materiality. 

What is the Otsego Institute?     
“The Otsego Institute for Native American Art History was founded in 1996 to support and promote the highest standards in the field of Native American art history. Between 1997 and 2002, the Otsego Institute symposium, planned by the institute and sponsored by NYSHA, brought together Native and non-Native artists, museum professionals and scholars, to address theoretical issues in the study of Native American art.   In 2002, the format of Otsego Institute activities was modified from an academic conference to an advanced workshop for graduate students who examined Native American art history within a framework of formal lectures, hands-on workshops, and informal discussion of contemporary research and scholarly practices with co-participants and faculty.” http://www.otsegoinstitute.org/

The seminars consisted of readings, lectures, group discussions, hands on activities with objects from the Thaw Collection of American Indian Art. Each participant presented an object related to their current and prospective dissertations and curatorial projects. I chose to present a James Bay Cree Beaded Hood that related to the ACCI replication project, where I made a beaded cap and contemporary versions of a beaded hood using traditional techniques. 

Jun 9, 2015

International Archives Day 2015

June 9, 2015 is International Archives Day!

To celebrate ACCI has added a photo to the International Council of Archives International Archives Day 2015 web page.


Last year's 2014 submission was a photo from the Dr. Richard Preston fonds, and this year we are proud to use one of Dr. Harvey Feit's photos.

For more information about International Archives Day check out the ICA event page or check them out on Facebook.

Apr 23, 2015

Earth Day 2015 - 25th Anniversary of the Odeyak

Yesterday was an inspiring day to honour an inspiring and heroic voyage. Earth Day, April 22, marked the 25th anniversary of the journey of the Odeyak from Whapmagoostui to New York City. Youth delegates Elders along with past and present Cree leaders from all corners of Eeyou Istchee gathered together at Aanischaaukamikw Cree Cultural Institute (ACCI) to commemorate and celebrate the remarkable effort of the Inuit and Cree peoples to stop the damming of the Great Whale River.  

Daniel Bosum Sr.

The day was launched with a warm welcome from Joshua Iserhoff, Youth Grand Chief of the Cree Nation Youth Council, ACCI’s president Abel Bosum & Willie Iserhoff, Director of Culture for the Cree Nation Government. A beautiful blessing from elder Daniel Bosum Sr. and opening hand drum song from Redfern Mianscum set the tone for the day.

Original paddles from the Odeyak voyage were reunited with the watercraft. One paddle coming from Vermont, donated by Dr. Hans Carlson, and the others coming from Eastmain, donated by CBC’s own Christopher Herodier. We thank them for their generous donation; the paddles will become part of the permanent collection at ACCI.

Odeyak Paddlers & Nishiyuu Walkers

The day was not only a day of commemoration, youth empowerment and environmental stewardship, but also day of celebration! CBC North’s Christopher Herodier broadcast live from Aanischaaukamikw during the lunch hubbub for his radio show Eyou Dipajimoon, when delegates and participants had a chance to mingle, chat with old friends and meet new ones. After lunch Powwow dancer Darren Saganash danced as the Waseshkun Drummers from Waswanipi filled the Billy Diamond Hall with the heartbeat of the drum. Lloyd Cheechoo, Richard Bosum, & Diane Bosum sang beautiful songs for us. Christopher Herodier made an impromptu performance with some great tunes. The day ended fittingly with a stunning vocal performance from rising star Miriame Hasni. 

The Cree Nation Youth Council and ACCI could not have realized this important regional event without the generous support from the Cree Nation Government’s Department of Culture, the Ministry of Culture of Quebec, Air Creebec, Cree Outfitters and Tourism Association, Cree Native Arts and Crafts Association, and Ouje-Bougoumou Cree First Nation. 


Aanischaaukamikw welcomes Abel Bosum as President

Aanischaaukamikw Cree Cultural Institute is proud to welcome Abel Bosum as President of our organization. Mr. Bosum was elected by our Board of Directors at their meeting on April 2, 2015, succeeding Dianne Ottereyes Reid. 

We look forward to benefiting from Mr. Bosum’s knowledge and experience during his term and foresee continuing advances for ACCI under his leadership. Mr. Bosum will have the complete support of, and enthusiastic collaboration from, the entire Aanischaaukamikw team as he works to further our mandate at the regional, provincial and national levels.

Commemorating the 25th anniversary of the Odeyak

Some news coverage from our Odeyak Event!

CBC News

As It Happens

Adapting Brian Deer – Week # 9

Week #9 – April 13-17, 2015

We’ve written about developing new categories to suit our collection, we’ve written about altering the format of our call numbers. This week’s post is about the little details. When we started with the 55-page classification plan, we knew we would be adding to it as we went. In 8 weeks, we have added more than two whole pages of categories to better adapt the plan to our collection. However, sometimes editing the master plan is not a matter of adaptation, but a matter of spell-check.
Raegan briefly touched on this problem in the last post. How do you spell-check a document full of call numbers such as “NBZT.VM”? Even reading it over again and again, as the three of us have done, errors in the call numbers escape notice because it all looks a bit like alphabet soup! 
The “N” category (Nature & Ecological Knowledge) is a big category—the only one with so many levels of specificity that it has some 8-letter class designators—so there are a lot of opportunities for error. After finding another class designator with a letter out of place this week, I went through all 13 pages of that category with a fine tooth comb until I was certain all was in order. I wouldn’t be too surprised if I missed something, though!

We are hoping to help other libraries avoid these errors by making our classification plan easy to download and edit once we are done. That way, it will be easier for others to adapt it to their own collection without having to type it up from scratch. We are also considering whether Word is the best file type for us to continue to use. An Excel format might have allowed us to catch those errors, but we have some concerns about accessibility. We want to make this classification scheme as easy to use as possible.
We are open to recommendations for file formats. For those of you who are considering using this classification system at your own organisation, what format would you prefer to work with?

Written by Ashley Dunne

Apr 22, 2015

Adapting Brian Deer – Week # 8

Week #8 – April 6-10, 2015

Some quirks we don’t catch until we look at them with a book in our hands. Although we have catalogued more than a third of our collection, we are still finding new topics to add and adjust in our classification scheme. The Brian Deer Classification Scheme was never meant to be applied universally to all indigenous collections. The document Raegan adapted our scheme from was from a library with a focus on British Columbian indigenous groups, so she changed it to have a focus on Quebec groups. Most of the subcategories were copied over, and we have added quite a few since we started, but this week we noticed another challenge to working with a system developed elsewhere: the person who created it was not a specialist in Cree topics.

Annie first noticed a quirk in the Language subject heading when she tried to catalogue a book on Inuktitut and saw that languages had been divided into Quebec and non-Quebec, which would put books on Inuktitut in Quebec quite a few shelves away from books on Inuktitut in general. The same would happen with books on East Cree and books on Cree in general. These provincial lines didn’t seem to make too much sense to either of us, so we got rid of that division and looked more closely at the rest of the language section.

Under Language—Algonkian—Cree (TBC), the BC system had no dialects listed, meaning books about Plains Cree were mixed in with books about Inland East Cree. Also, Montagnais/Naskapi  had its own category quite far down the list from Cree (TBG), with other unrelated language groups in between. Innu-aimun/Montagnais and Iyuw Iyimuun/Naskapi are both separate dialects of Cree, so we got rid of the TBG category and added both dialects to the list of sub-categories under Cree. Someone who had no knowledge of Cree dialects created the original order of the languages, but thankfully Annie is here to set things straight and make sure the Cree books in our collection are in the proper categories.

Written by Ashley Dunne