The Kitigan Zibi Anishinabeg Pimadjiwowinogamig is a cultural hub that hosts a small museum. The aim is to educate and share the Anishinabe culture, history and language through its exhibitions; kiosks; tours; workshops (cultural revitalization, awareness and language); language and curriculum development; and work with organizations to incorporate the use of Anishinabemowin and indigenous themes into their exhibits.
The Cultural Centre began around 1977, and by 1979, it relocated next to the community radio station (CKWE103.9FM). In 2003, construction began at a new site and had its official grand opening on December 9, 2005.
With the ongoing pandemic, the Cultural Centre closed, and staff worked from home until mid-August. Despite these challenges, staff managed to enter collections into the database, photograph archaeological artifacts, catch up on administrative work and keep the gift shop going through email, e-transfer and curbside pickup. Despite not having access to internet at home, one of our employees still managed to attend Zoom meetings. If the meeting was lengthy, they would sit in their vehicle, outside the Centre using its Wifi. Our dedicated staff continued to persevere despite new challenges posed by not being able to gather in-person.
The Language Department entered Anishinabemowin into CAN8, an online language learning website specializing in oral production. Photographs and sounds of nature were recorded to create our own royalty free material. They also maintained translation services and created language clips posted to Facebook and Instagram.
From mid-August to January 2021, work resumed at the Centre but remained closed to the public. We are looking into more online activities, classes and tours. Our first virtual cooking session was a success and we are looking forward to our online Algonquin classes.
Photo: Exterior of Kitigan Zibi Anishinabeg Pimadjiwowinogamig. Photo: © Kitigan Zibi Anishinabeg Pimadjiwowinogamig, 2020.