anohc kipasikônaw/ we rise / niipawi

October 2, 2020 - September 21, 2021

Gordon Snelgrove Gallery 

This project has developed from a concept proposed by Vanessa Hyggen and Sandy Bonny (Office of the Vice Dean Indigenous, College of Arts & Science) and begins with reclaimed materials: 13 Cambrian slate stairs that were removed from the Thorvaldson Building, having been worn and reshaped by 100 years of student and faculty footsteps. 2020 Indigenous Artist in Residence, Lyndon Tootoosis working with Hyggen, Bonny, and members of the campus community, carved the names of the 13 moons of the lunar calendar that guides indigenous chronologies. While the project began in the Snelgrove Gallery in January of 2020, the carvings were completed during the plague year offsite. We wanted to collectively animate their installation into the foyer of the Snelgrove Gallery in the Murray Building, to find a way to reach out to the students and community we would ordinarily host, as one of the key sites of intersection between the university and its multiple publics.

On the day of each full moon, we have gathered to send a message online to Indigenous students, faculty, and allies. We begin each lunar event with ceremony performed by the Elders who have been with us since inception, Evelyn Linklater and Florence Highway. This is not broadcast, but allows the new ‘moon’ to enter into the space in a good way. They then bring a message to the audience in Nehiyawan and English to introduce the teaching of the moon. As Evelyn and Florence are from Pelican Narrows further north of Saskatoon, they often share a different name for the moon, for not only is the name different in dialects, it is named to reflect what is happening within the natural world at that time and reflective of that location. After this orientation by our Elders, a special guest brings Indigenous knowledge specific to their own arena of expertise or practice.

Vanessa Hyggen brought forward the name for the project, anohc kipasikônaw, with translation provided by her mother. Hyggen, Bonny, Tootoosis and jake moore, curator of the project, agreed on the rough English equivalent, we rise knowing that the anohc as a sense of now, today, or immediacy was not overt in the English as so much is implicit in this language, and the Michif niipawi, or ‘stand up’ according to Norman Fleury’s 2013 dictionary produced by the Gabriel Dumont Institute. The three languages together created a poem that recognized their distinctions but showed how they could operate together:

Now we rise up, we rise, stand up.

Each event is broadcast live and documented to share online. The video documentation of this project was made possible with the support of a SK ARTS Special Initiatives Fund and the kind collaboration of PAVED ARTS, Kyle Zurevinski, ISAP, Clint Neufeld, and the office of the Vice Dean Indigenous.

Friday, October 2, 2020 – pimihâwipîsim / ᐱᒥᐦᐋᐏᐲᓯᒼ / Migrating Moon

Sunday, November 1, 2020 – ihkopîwipîsim / ᐃᐦᑯᐲᐏᐲᓯᒼ / Frost Moon

Tuesday, December 1, 2020 – opâwahcikanasîsipîsim / ᐅᐹᐘᐦᒋᑲᓇᓰᓯᐲᓯᒼ / Frost Exploding Moon

Wednesday, December 30, 2020 – kisîpîsim / ᑭᓰᐲᓯᒼ / Great Moon

Friday, January 29, 2021 – mikisiwipîsim / ᒥᑭᓯᐏᐲᓯᒼ / Eagle Moon

Sunday, February 28, 2021 – niskipîsim / ᓂᐢᑭᐲᓯᒼ / Goose Moon

Monday, March 29, 2021 – ayîkipîsim / ᐊᔩᑭᐲᓯᒼ / Frog Moon

Wednesday, April 28, 2021 – sâkipakâwipîsim / ᓵᑭᐸᑳᐏᐲᓯᒼ / Leaf-budding Moon

Thursday, May 27, 2021 – pâskâwihowipîsim / ᐹᐢᑳᐏᐦᐅᐏᐲᓯᒼ / Egg-laying Moon

Friday, June 25, 2021 – paskowipîsim / ᐸᐢᑯᐏᐲᓯᒼ / Moulting Moon

Saturday, July 24, 2021 – ohpahowipîsim / ᐅᐦᐸᐦᐅᐏᐲᓯᒼ / Flying Up Moon

Monday, August 23, 2021 – takwâkipîsim / ᑕᑳᑭᐲᓯᒼ / Autumn Moon

Wednesday, September 21, 2021 – nôcihitowipîsim / ᓅᒋᐦᐃᑐᐏᐲᓯᒼ / Rutting Moon

Anohc kipasikônaw / we rise / niipawi is a series of reclaimed slate stairs carved with Cree syllabics. The stairs will be installed at the Gordon Snelgrove Gallery over the course of the next 13 moons.

Art launch: anohc kipasikônaw / we rise / niipawi

On the day of the full moon, the first of 13 carved stone steps will be installed at the Gordon Snelgrove Gallery

The College of Arts and Science is excited to announce the installation of the collaborative art project anohc kipasikônaw / we rise / niipawi in the foyer of the Gordon Snelgrove Gallery.

The installation will kick off with a small gathering on Oct. 2 during pimihâwipîsim (ᐱᒥᐦᐋᐏᐲᓯᒼ, the migrating moon). The space will be prepared with a smudge and prayer offered by Elders Evelyn Linklater and Florence Highway, followed by words from Department of Indigenous Studies faculty member and language keeper Randy Morin.

Physical attendance at the event is limited due to COVID-19. However, the public is invited to participate remotely through a livestream.

Friday, Oct. 2
11 am (Saskatchewan time)
Livestreamed on YouTube

About anohc kipasikônaw / we rise / niipawi

As a space dedicated to student voices and central to our campus, the Snelgrove Gallery is an ideal venue for this project, which celebrates Indigenous presence in the academy and foregrounds Indigenous knowledge systems.

Honouring the lunar calendar, anohc kipasikônaw / we rise / niipawi will be installed over the course of 13 moons. Each installation will be marked by the placement of a reclaimed slate stair tread inscribed with the name of the current moon in Cree / Nehiyaw syllabics.

Carving of the slate was initiated during Indigenous Achievement Week 2019 as a collaborative initiative of the University of Saskatchewan Galleries Artist-in-Residence Program, Indigenous Student Achievement Pathways, and the College of Arts and Science. Many student and staff members of our campus community participated in carving the stone under the artistic leadership of Lyndon Tootoosis, Sandy Bonny and Vanessa Hyggen.

In the absence of students within our physical campus spaces this fall and winter, ISAP and the galleries want to celebrate the power and permanence of students' role within the College of Arts and Science's communities of learning, research, scholarly and artistic work. Alongside installation of anohc kipasikônaw / we rise / niipawi, Indigenous faculty will be invited to share messages to University of Saskatchewan students, released as social media posts the day following the full moon of each lunar cycle along with images of the artwork as it is installed. 

Project Development: anohc kipasikônaw/ we rise / niipawi

The Gordon Snelgrove Gallery is hosting "Lunch and Learns" daily from Jan. 7–10. These presentations from across the college community address the intersections of Indigenous knowledges, pedagogical practices and contemporary art, grounding a new collaboration with the working title: anohc kipasikônaw/ we rise / niipawi

This project has developed from a concept proposed by Vanessa Hyggen and Sandy Bonny (Office of the Vice Dean Indigenous, College of Arts & Science) and begins with reclaimed materials: 13 Cambrian slate stairs that were removed from the Thorvaldson Building, having been worn and reshaped by 100 years of student and faculty footsteps.

Our 2020 Indigenous Artist in Residence, Lyndon Tootoosis has responded to the materials with a thematic of the lunar calendar that guides indigenous chronologies. The thirteen slate steps evoke the thirteen moons of the lunar calendar used by Indigenous peoples to guide their movement and life decisions.

The campus community is invited to collaborate in raising new stories from the steps, which will be refigured by hand-carving under the guidance of Tootoosis, Hyggen and Bonny over the Winter Term.

Join us in discussion: Everyone is welcome!

Monday, Jan. 6

  • 10:30 am Smudge and blessing, opening remarks followed by a small reception.
    1:00 pm Blanket Exercise

Tuesday Jan. 7

  • 12:30 pm Lunch and Learn: Lyndon Tootoosis, Nêhiyawak, "Battle River” Cree, member of the Poundmaker First Nation. Lyndon is a carver, storyteller, and interpreter of petroglyphs and is joining our campus community as the newest Indigenous Artist in Residence with Campus Art Galleries and Collection.

Wednesday Jan. 8

  • 12:30 pm Lunch and Learn: Randy Morin is a storyteller and language keeper from Big River First Nation, and a faculty member in Indigenous Studies – this term, among other classes, he is teaching Cree 110: nehiyawetan, Let Us Speak Cree! with Indigenous Student Achievement Pathways (ISAP).

Thursday Jan. 9

  • 12:00 Lunch and Learn: Sandy Bonny, team lead for ISAP in the College of Arts and Science, is a non-Indigenous member of Saskatoon’s Treaty 6 community with an interdisciplinary background in Earth science and the literary arts – she’s excited to talk about rocks as generative materials for both art and ‘scientific storytelling’.

Friday Jan. 10

  • 12:00 Lunch and Learn: jake moore, Director of Campus Galleries and Collection will share a talk titled: “Storied Matter and teaching a stone to talk inverted: Mattered story and learning how to listen”.


  • Along with the 13 Slate Steps, the Gordon Snelgrove Gallery will host a temporary installation of the painting, Poundmaker Intercedes, by Kent Monkman 7-10. Its exhibition is made possible through the generosity of the Chief Poundmaker Museum and Gallery, specifically though the kind assistance of curator, Floyd Favel and Milton Tootoosis.
  • Historical Portraits plus: Beginning with Annie Maude “Nan” McKay (BA1915), we will present portraits of Indigenous graduates of USask to surround current students and members of the university community with their predecessors and make evident the long line of Indigenous presence and success within the institution and highlight the formative role Indigenous Knowledges have played in building the contemporary institution. This is an active building and an ongoing process, something we are doing now. To mark this becoming, we will have a portrait studio set up to photograph current students and participants in the process. 

This project is a partnership between the College of Arts and Science, Kenderdine/College Art Galleries and Indigenous Student Achievement Pathways.

Event Details

January 08, 2020 - January 10, 2020
10:30 AM - 02:00 PM
Gordon Snelgrove Art Gallery

Vanese Hyggen