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.
A reflection on life’s energy and how it connects all aspects of our world, Ajijaak on Turtle Island brings communities together through puppetry, music, traditional dances, animations and kites. Ajijaak’s story puts forward visions from Indigenous communities, celebrating the symbiotic relationship between cranes and Native American/Indigenous peoples and inspiring the next generation of storytellers, change-makers and eco-champions.
Produced by IBEX Puppetry; Puppets are designed and fabricated by Jim Henson’s Creature Shop™ (Muppets, Sesame Street); created by GRAMMY Award winner Ty Defoe (Ojibwe/Oneida), Dawn Avery (Mohawk), Larry Mitchell, Kevin Tarrant (Ho-Chunk/Hopi) and visionary puppet artist Heather Henson.
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