AJIJAAK ON TURTLE ISLAND
Ajijaak on Turtle Island tells the story of Ajijaak, a young whooping crane. Separated from her family in a Tar Sands fire caused by the monstrous Mishibizhiw, Ajijaak must make her first migration from Wood Buffalo, Canada, down to the Gulf Coast on her own, finding her voice and a family through the interconnectedness of all of creation.
Ajijaak begins her travels with a medicine bundle, given to her by her parents, as her guide. She encounters deer, buffalo, coyote, and turtles as well as communities of people from Ojibwe, Ho-Chunk, Lakota, and Cherokee Nations, living in balance with their environments. These people share with Ajijaak prayers, songs, and dances that celebrate life on earth and help Ajijaak find the meaning and strength of her own song.
It is with this song that Ajijaak must restore balance to Turtle Island and return Mishibizhiw to sleep.
Ajijaak’s story puts forward visions from indigenous communities to reach the next generation of storytellers and change-makers. All of our environment is interconnected. Life’s energy burbles throughout all aspects of our world. Ajijaak on Turtle Island brings community together through puppetry, traditional dances, animations, and kites and reveals the symbiotic relationship between cranes and Native American/Indigenous people, inspiring the next generation of eco-champions.
The world premiere presentation of Ajijaak on Turtle Island was hosted at La MaMa in NYC, February 8-18, 2018.