The Gallery opens with a life-size alabaster and bronze sculpture by Cree artist, Lloyd Pinay. The sculpture incorporates characters and elements from the many different versions of the Wi sa ke cahk and the Creation of Turtle Island story.
The Trickster is a principal character in many First Nations' stories. He is known as Wi sa ke cahk to the Cree, Nanabush to the Saulteaux, Inktome to the Dakota and Nakota, and Sagija'k to the Dene.
Tipis provided a comfortable and portable home year-round. In the summer, people camped on the open plains to hunt bison and collect plants. At designated times, as many as 200 families would gather together for ceremonies or large communal bison hunts. In the winter, people moved into valleys or wooded areas where they were sheltered from the wind and had lots of firewood.
The tipi is the quintessential symbol of First Nations who live on the plains. But did you know that each part of the tipi symbolizes a moral principle? These principles, such as respect, humility, faith, and sharing, that must be followed if the family and society are to live together in harmony.