Red Lake Nation News - Babaamaajimowinan (Telling of news in different places)

The Power of Moccasins on the Road to Healing & Reconciliation


August 3, 2022

Pope Francis returns the moccasins he was give in March back to Okanese First Nation Chief Marie-Anne Day Walker-Pelletier (Photo/Twitter)

In the 1990s, the National Museum of the American Indian in New York City had an exhibition called All Roads Are Good that included more than 100 pairs of moccasins placed in a circle with the drum in the center. Instead of simply placing the moccasins on the floor, they were strategically arranged with the heels elevated and the toes on the floor to allow the imagination to think of dancing. Some of the moccasins were beautifully beaded with images that tied them to their unique region or tribe from throughout Indian Country.

Seeing the All Road Are Good exhibition in the summer of 1999 for the first time was a powerful experience for me because the collective arrangement of moccasins depicted the vastness of Indian Country. It was also powerful to me because the moccasins symbolized the collective journeys of our ancestors who traversed pathways of both destruction and survival.

Shoes-and in this case moccasins-carry us on our journeys.


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