“Niikonii Kiinaa” or “All My Relations” by Jason Quigno was dedicated on Thursday in Muskegon, Michigan. Native News Online photographs by Levi Rickert
Published October 7, 2018
MUSKEGON, Mich. — Under blue skies with a breeze coming off Muskegon Lake, “Niikonii Kiinaa” or “All My Relations,” the latest sculpture by Anishinaabe artist Jason Quigno (Saginaw Chippewa) was dedicated in downtown Muskegon, Michigan outside the Muskegon County Visitors Center on Thursday, October 4, 2018.
Jason Quigno being introduced to the those in attendance at the dedication.
The majestic 16.5-foot, 12,000-pound Canadian black granite column sculpture depicts the spirit, stories and values of the Anishinaabe, the Native people of the Great Lakes region who migrated west to Michigan from the eastern shores of North America as early as the First Century.
“All My Relations” is Quigno’s tallest work to date.
Quigno said “All My Relations” design was inspired by the Teachings of the Seven Grandfathers: love, respect, honesty, bravery, truth, humility, and wisdom. Collectively, the teachings represent the core values of what is needed for community in the Anishinaabe culture.
Quigno, who has been carving stone since he was 14, is a life-long resident of Michigan
and is a direct descendant of Chief Cobmoosa, also known as the Great Walker, one of the most recognized nineteenth-century Grand River Ottawa leaders. Quigno is a tribal citizen of the Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe.
Little River Band of Ottawa Indians Ogema Larry Romanelli
“This sculpture will serve as a reminder of our ancestors who lived in this area,” said Little River Band of Ottawa Indians Ogema Larry Romanelli. “I remember a man, who was a steelworker, who help build the Mackinac Bridge and large buildings. He even taught other Native people to become steelworkers. Well, he used to live across the street from here in what then was a hotel. The man was my father and he would be proud to be able to look down from his window to see this beautiful sculpture that will be here long after we are gone,” Romanelli continued.
Judy Hayner, the former executive director of the Muskegon Museum of Art, who spearheaded the fundraising effort for the sculputre.
Quigno speaking to audience at the dedication.