ᐅᐦᑎᐦᐄᐲᒥᔥ​ • awaash ihiipish / uhtihiipiimish

Bella M. Petawabano discusses the meaning of awaash ihiipish (baby net)

The traditional weaving reminds us of our traditions. awaash ihiipish is the logo of the Commission and it is symbolic of the work of the Commission.

The baby net is a symbol of protection. The pregnant woman had to prepare the baby net, awaash ihiipish, before the arrival of her baby. That was the first thing that she would make. Upon completion of the baby net, the mother would then attach it directly to the baby raft.

The baby net, awaash ihiipish, is a medium of protection, to protect the gift of life, to protect the baby from foreign diseases, anything that is considered bad or evil, and to prevent bad dreams, and nightmares for the baby. The traditional weaving of creating the continuous web of the baby net holds great significance and a great reminder of our connections, and our traditional systems of culture, law, knowledge that ensured effective protection of our children for thousands of years.

In terms of supporting families, especially for children, and if they required an alternative placement, the children were cared for within the extended family and all family members participated in caring for those children.