You can now find photos of the gathering here.

"awaniki asiniskaw ithiniwak? Who are the Rocky Cree?" was a three-day gathering that took place on May 26 – 28, 2023 at the University College of the North in Thompson, Manitoba.

This gathering focused on sharing knowledge of asiniskaw ithiniwak (Rocky Cree) language, culture, and history. It aimed to promote cultural awareness and foster a sense of shared identity, especially among young community members.

The asiniskaw ithiniwak are a distinct group of Cree-speaking people living in the northern boreal forest of western Canada. In Manitoba, the focus of the gathering, there are six Rocky Cree communities: piponapiwin (South Indian Lake); kisipikamahk (Brochet); nisicawayasihk (Nelson House); okawi mithikananihk (Granville Lake); pakitawahk anik (Pukatawagan) and kahkitinamiw (Black Sturgeon Falls).

Traditionally these communities maintained relationships among each other through travelling storytellers and annual gatherings. The Missinipe or Churchill River, considered the lifeline of the Rocky Cree, was the key travel route that connected them within their territory. As colonization eroded traditional relationships and significant hydroelectric development in the area altered landscapes and travel routes, communities became more isolated from each other and lost close relationships to each other and their identities as asiniskaw ithiniwak.

This is why the theme of identity was central to the gathering and seeks to support the cultural revitalization of asiniskaw īthiniwak.