Animikiik’otcii is a 25-year old mother and artist, born and raised in Toronto. Although she has deep roots on her father’s side in Kitchenuhmaykoosib Inninuwug First Nation, Animikii was born and raised far from her father’s birthplace, in Toronto, Ontario. Since a young age, her family brought her to ceremony, including sharing circles, sweatlodge, dancing jingle in powwows as a child, speaking to and with her in her native Anishinaabemowin.
During high school she attended the Native Learning Centre, which introduced her to the 7th Generation Image Makers of Native Child and Family Services. For the last few years she has been enrolled in cultural and community centred art programs through 7th Generation.
At the age of 22 she decided for the health of her family and herself she would stop using alcohol. She sought help from the Aboriginal Services at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health in Toronto. She received her Strength Name and took part in and successfully completed a three-week intensive program as an outpatient.
Through this program she was able to access traditional knowledge, culturally centred healing methods and practices, and made connections with the helpers at Soul of the Mother in Six Nations where she has completed two fasts and attends seasonal ceremonies.
Animikii’s older sister is a midwife at Seventh Generation Midwives Toronto. Animikii was also a client of the same clinic throughout her pregnancy with her daughter. She takes part in their weekly community and cultural based program, The Baby Bundle Project. There she has learned how to bead and sew. She has created wearable pieces for babies in remote communities, and spends time with members of her community from newborn babies to Elders.
Currently she is doing an artist residency at the University of Toronto Scarborough in partnership with 7th Generation Image Makers. Animikii’s love for her community and Indigenous American community at large grows the more she learns and makes connections.