Ânskohk: How to say it, what it means . . .
A respected member, storyteller and language-keeper of the Cree community, Mr. Joseph Naytowhow, gave the word Ânskohk. It is pronounced as “ans-cook.” Translated it means “passing on the teaching—tying one generation to the next or passing the story on.”
About the Ânskohk Indigenous Literature Festival
The shorter story
The Ânskohk Indigenous Literature Festival was created to showcase the diversity of writing by Indigenous authors, to educate the general population about the richness of Indigenous literature, and to promote further understanding of Indigenous peoples. The Ânskohk Festival is designed to appeal to a broad audience.
Since 2004, the Ânskohk Indigenous Literature Festival has promoted hundreds of authors, hosted readings, workshops, and seminars.
The longer story
The first Ânskohk Festival was held from September 29 to October 1, 2004 as part of the Saskatchewan Native Theatre Company (SNTC)’s overall mandate to present cultural and artistic experiences to promote cultural awareness and create understandings about the richness and diversity of Aboriginal culture. A partnership was created with McNally Robinson Booksellers to utilize their established relationships with publishers and their expertise in hosting reading series. The festival received tremendous support from the community of Saskatoon and within the province of Saskatchewan. The majority of the readings were sold to at least at 80% capacity with some readings “sold out” prior to the festival starting. Elementary and high school teachers were encouraged to reserve space for readings. The response was so tremendous that many had to be turned away.
In 2009, the SNTC could no longer support this event and it was cancelled. In 2011 Saskatchewan Aboriginal Literacy Network (SALN) hosted the festival to try and help revive it. Through that process, SAWCI was incorporated and since 2012, SAWCI has carried on the vision to celebrate the cultural contributions of Indigenous writers. It is SAWCI’s vision to uphold the local, provincial, national, and even international reputation of this festival as it grows.
SAWCI and Ânskohk History
You can view a PDF archive from our previous website. It provides you with the histories of both SAWCI and Ânskohk and chronicles many of the wonderful speakers and topics that have been featured at special events from the past.