1080 Keewatin St,
Thunder Bay, ON, P7B 6T7

January 22, 2021 - March 28, 2021

Dakobinaawaswaan (Baby in a Cradleboard) gathers more than 100 cradleboards representing Indigenous communities from across North America. In the language of Aninishaabeg peoples, “dakobinaawaswaan” describes a baby being wrapped up and placed in a cradleboard, or tikinagaan. Spanning generations and geographies, this living collection —including miniatures, toy cradles and baskets— presents a wide range of imagery, beadwork, and specialized materials. As functional objects and cherished works of art, cradleboards speak to a connection to the land and knowledge passed down. Here the beauty of the cradleboard is honoured as a vessel for cultural traditions, community, and healing. Each one tells the story of a child bundled with love and care.

Brought together by Shirley Stevens and the Cradle Keeper Co-operative of Northwestern Ontario, this exhibition is dedicated to the late Freda McDonald, the Elder for this initiative, who encouraged the project from the beginning.


curated by

Caitlyn Bird


funding provided by

Ontario Arts council logo