top of page

Miigwewin, Miigweng
To Give: the Makaks as Gifts
Donner — Les makaks en guise de cadeaux

Watercolour showing woman in skirt and tunic with long hair, holding a basket of red flowers and presenting a flower

“One of The Indian Women who received His R.H. the Prince of Wales Pah-metush-gu-tungung Rice Lake, C,W, 7th Sept. 1860.” Colonel Robert Brown scrapbook, Trent University archives, Fond 05-008 (Reverend Lloyd Delaney fonds), Isolated Manuscripts #18. Colonel Robert Brown lived at Gore’s Landing and was retired from the Royal Scotch Fusiliers.

« Une des femmes indiennes qui a reçu Son Altesse Royale le prince de Galles, Pah-metushgu- tungung Rice Lake, C,W, 7 sept. 1860. » Album de coupures du colonel Robert Brown, Archives de l’Université Trent, Fonds 05-008 (Fonds du révérend Lloyd Delaney), Manuscrits isolés nº 18. Le colonel Robert Brown vivait à Gore’s Landing et était retraité des Royal Scotch Fusiliers.

Miigwewin binjibaamagad iw miigwech kidwag anishinaabeg. Miigweyin gegoon kenjgaade ezhi mno de’ed ow nishnaabeg e miigwed ge goon. Iw pii miigweyin ge goon mi iw wiindamaageyin gi wiidokaazyin.

Pii gaa miindwaa giw Europeans miigwewin nishnaabeg gii kidwaag gchi nishing. Mi enaake gaa zhichgaadeg gchi naaknigewin, minwaa gii kendaawak ge zhichgeng.

The Anishnaabemowin for gift comes from the word for thank you. For Anishinaabeg, gifts reinforce relationships between people, other living beings, and the land. Gifting creates relationships as a promise of help and survival.

Gifts given by Anishinaabeg to Europeans emphasized alliances. They were a form of treaty, and an acknowledgement of the responsibilities that each party brings to the relationship.



Le mot « cadeau » en anishnaabemowin vient du mot « merci ». Pour les Anishinaabeg, le don renforce l’importance des relations entre les personnes, les autres êtres vivants et la terre. Offrir un cadeau crée des relations centrées sur la promesse d’aide et la garantie de survie.

Ces cadeaux étaient offerts par les Anishinaabeg aux Européens dans le but de renforcer leurs alliances. Il s’agit d’une forme de traité, et d’une reconnaissance du pouvoir et des responsabilités que chaque partie apporte à la relation.

During the 2023 visit, Michi Saagiig people made offerings to the spirits of the ancestors, acknowledging their continuing relationships. Photo by Sarah Van Ryn, 2023.

bottom of page