When I met Cy, I was a kid. Living in Toronto, unaware of who or what I was. I met the most spectacular people, who by just being, just talking near me, taught me so many of the ways of our people that until then, I did not know. Years have passed, everybody has moved on in their lives and somehow, we always manage to meet again.
Cy has been a big influence on so many lives, mine included, and he continues to share his knowledge, his passion for art and his love for his people. His current endeavours include taking that knowledge to schools across Ontario, sharing those teachings of art and telling the stories to all of the children, so that they are taught the history of the “People of Turtle Island”.
I was able to catch up with Cy recently, as he was finishing up a project at Ecole Harris Public School in Rockwood, Ontario, and was able to watch the children’s reactions to the finished project. These kids obviously enjoyed the endeavour with Cy and were very grateful for the knowledge that was shared with them. The discussion included several children who expressed their opinions and what they learned from the project about Indigenous People in thoughtful, respectful ways and were also praised for their ability to come together as a group and work side by side in a learning environment, together.
These children should be very proud of themselves. They helped to make history at their school and are part of a larger, exciting new frontier of inclusion, acceptance and love for all human beings.
Chi Miigwetch, Thank you very much Michael “Cy” Cywink for all that you do!