Muin'iskw (Jean):


For almost 30 years I have been inspired by the Spirit of Kejimkujik. I have canoed many of its lakes and rivers, stepped into the past with the Ancestors at ancient campsites, and walked the trails with the Spirits of the land. The petroglyph images inscribed in the slate rocks along Kejimkujik Lake have been an honour and a privilege to protect. I made a commitment many years ago to protect and preserve these ancient writings of my Nation's Ancestors, and I feel that I have been given in return many gifts to share. I truly believe that the Ancestors have given me protection and guidance as I travel my journey. They have also given me stories of various petroglyphs, and the responsibility of being the keeper of these stories, and seeing that they get passed on to our people.

One of the ways I share these stories is by telling them directly to the visitors that come to Kejimkujik Park every year. I am proud to be able to represent my people, to help others understand who we are and where we come from, and to share the wonder of the ancient petroglyphs and the history they hold and the stories they tell. There is a magic in guiding our own people down to the rocks, and having them touch the images and make their own connection with the past and with the Ancestors.

Another way I share these stories is through my art. I incorporate the petroglyph images in my paintings and in my rock etchings, to help keep the images alive as they fade from the slate. The combinations of images that I create serve to tell the stories of life in those long-ago times, and remind us of the lessons of our Ancestors. I also know that, for some, this will be the only way they will ever experience the messages that were left for us so long ago. I was also privileged to provide the design for the 7 foot monument that stands at the edge of the Kejimkujik sacred sites. The Ancestors gave me this design, in the shape of our Grandmothers' peaked caps, and as I put the design on paper they told me the story and purpose of each piece.

I have for many years played my hand-drum and sung the traditional songs of my people. However, I never imagined that I would be privileged to sing songs that have been passed to us from our Ancestors. These songs include teachings for Crowfeather and me to pass on, and this in itself is a very humbling experience.

Most of my life has been spent with Kejimkujik, and the artwork, stories and songs have all been gifts from the Spirits of the land of Kejimkujik. But whether I am painting, singing, or telling a story, I always do it with our children in mind. I always consider how we can help them, protect them, and most of all provide them with guidance, as they will one day take on the guardianship of Mother Earth. However, there are many of our children who need healing, and to see them suffering is difficult to bear.

One of the songs we have been given, "Voice Of The Thunderbeings," tells of a young man Dancing for his people. As I write this, I am planning to go to the Gathering Of Nations pow-wow. While I am there, I will do what will probably be my final Dance, to ask for healing, medicine and guidance for our children and our people. As this is the largest Gathering in North America, I am sure that many spirits will be present, and that there will be strong medicine there.

As I have spent almost all my life at Keji, this is truly my home. I believe that my ancient spirit came from here, and returned me here when I was only a teenager. As I have journeyed through life, many changes have taken place, and there were times when I wanted to leave Keji, but it was always for only a short period. Then the spirits would come to me wherever I was and lead me back home. Eventually, I knew that I had to follow through on the commitments I made to Keji. Today I continue to honour these commitments, and so the spirits of the land take care of me. I feel very honoured and humbled that the Ancestors called upon me so many years ago to be the guardian of such a sacred place.



Note: Muin'iskw was the one of the main sources of information for this website.

A collection of her legacy of wisdom can be found here.

She made her journey to the Spirit realm on 21 June, 2011. She will be missed.


Crowfeather (Dan):

I have been walking the 'Red Road' since meeting Muin'iskw in 1999. Before that, I had no firm beliefs, except that I knew there was some guiding hand behind the universe. I could not accept the teachings of Christianity, because for me there seemed to be too many layers between myself and Creator. However, I respect the spiritual choices of anyone who is sincere in their beliefs, and who does not use their religion to harm others. When I learned the teachings of traditional spirituality from Muin'iskw, they spoke to the Cree blood that I carry, and I knew that I had found my way at last. It also confirmed why there were always strong and beautiful Aboriginal women in my life, guiding me and protecting me. Both my mother and step-mother carried Cree blood, my first wife and daughters have Ojibway and Cree blood, and of course Muin'iskw had Mi'kmaw blood. Blood has always been present, although I only recently have realized the significance.

I am not a Healer or an Elder, but I am occasionally given the privilege to help people who are in need. My spirit name is "Center Of The Heart," and I have been told that I am sometimes given words that people need to hear, and these are placed in my heart for me to share. While I am honoured that the Spirits find me useful in this way, I claim no credit for the words I share with people. I am no more deserving of thanks or admiration than a telephone.

I have also been given a gift of music. I learned to play guitar and sing at an early age, but only recently has the songwriter awoken within me. Both Muin'iskw and I are given songs, sometimes individually and sometimes shared. Each of these songs carries a message, some of teaching and some of healing, and they are intended to be shared with the people. We are currently working to record these songs and, at some point when they are complete, we hope to produce a CD so that they can reach a wider audience. Meanwhile, we share them with our friends whenever we can.

I am also a carver, both in stone and wood. I have made several talking sticks for various people, and have also been privileged to make several sacred pipes out of alabaster and soapstone. I have discovered that what others say is true: if you learn to pay attention, the stone or the wood will show you what is within, and will help in the creation process. The act of carving a ceremonial object should be one of teamwork, and works best if you put yourself aside.

My walk on this path is always interesting, and I have learned many things and met many good people. I have to thank Muin'iskw for her many many teachings, and for her patience with her man's many questions as he ran to try to catch up. I also thank our mutual mentor, David Gehue, for his guidance and encouragement, and for his gift of friendship. Both were amazing sources of traditional information, and they will be missed by those of us who still have so much to learn. I have also received much guidance and help from Dancing Bear, an Elder who always has answers to the questions that perplex us. Finally, I honour my brother, Standing Bear, with whom I have shared many experiences. I also thank all of those who have given me a teaching to carry with me on my walk - some by deliberate teaching, some by their good example, and some by their bad example. I honour you all for your interaction in my life.

You can e-mail me at crowfeather@muiniskw.org

About our music:

Muin'iskw and I were privileged to receive the amazing gift of songs from the Spirits. I believe that these songs are important messages, and that it was our task to record them and make them available for people who need to hear them. After a number of years of learning the hard way about home recording, we released an album called "Spirit Songs," and we called ourselves "Crowfeather."

More information about our music is on this page.

About our logo:

The small character you see on the left of this site's logo is a petroglyph image of a Ni'kmwesu (Nee-gum-weh-soo). This spirit being was one of the races of 'Little People' known in olden times. Ni'kmwesu has the power to transport a person to another place and time...and I hope we can do the same for you, through our site.


While the sources would be too numerous to mention individually, we offer our thanks to all those who have provided us with the facts, information and teachings that we are privileged to share here. In specific, we acknowledge the many teachings we have received from Dancing Bear, an Elder with much knowledge to share.

Also, we offer our thanks to the Nova Scotia Museum 'Mi'kmaq Portraits Collection' website for many images of Mi'kmaq people, mostly from the stills taken during production of the MI'KMAQ television series. 

Website awards:

Canadian Web Award - 2007

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Updated: 26 Mar 2016 Print Page