Tikanagan

Tikanagan

Young Family

Pre-1940s

Bloodvein First Nation

On loan from the Young family

This tikanagan carried Martina Fisher and 10 of her brothers and sisters as babies. Made by her paternal grandfather over 85 years ago, Martina was the last to be carried in it. She remembers stories of her mother walking six to seven miles in the winter to visit her parents, pulling Martina’s oldest brother in a sleigh and carrying her sister on her back in the tikanagan. 

In the late 1960s, her family was approached by the Roman Catholic Church on behalf of the federal Indian Affairs Department. They bought the tikanagan for $30, and it was placed in Le Musée de Saint-Boniface Museum in Winnipeg, where it remained on display for decades. Due to the distance from their home community of Bloodvein First Nation, Martina and her family were not able to see it for many years. With the emergence of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada, many First Nation objects began to be repatriated to their communities. This tikanagan was returned to the Young family, and Martina has had it with her since 2022. 

“This tikanagan is a part of us, a part of our family. It carried me and my older siblings. It’s a spiritual part of us, and it means so much to our family.”