Animikiig History

Animikiig is the Ojibwe word for the initial rumblings that tell us of the thunder storm that is to come.

Initially called Young Voices, Animikiig, was founded by Yvette Nolan and DM St. Bernard in response to the growing number of new Aboriginal playwrights.

Native Earth is proud to have had work such as Agokwe by Waawaate Fobister, Giiwedin by Spy Dénommé-Welch and Salt Baby by Falen Johnson as part of the program before they went on to full productions. We anticipate more great works will find full voice in the Animikiig Creators Unit.

We are extremely grateful for the  past work done by our past artistic directors in building Animikiig and Thundering Voices, and look forward to deepening their work through the amalgamation of both programs into the Animikiig Creators Unit.

In response to the deepening skill level of the Animikiig participants, Yvette Nolan launched the inaugural year of Thundering Voices in 2009. This more intensive tier of artist development was named in tribute to our late company Elder and friend, Helen Thundercloud. As an adult educator, Helen was committed to First Nation’s efforts to achieve self-determination.

Native Earth Performing Arts recognizes our responsibility as artists to ensure that Aboriginal stories persist on Canadian stages. Through the work, participants develop writing skills and their own processes to develop work, tread the path to self-actualization, build up discipline, assurance in self-expression, business acumen, and become a part of a community that will serve their work into the future.


We acknowledge the support of The Chawkers Foundation and the Ontario Arts Council (OAC), an agency of the Government of Ontario, which last year funded which last year funded 1,681 individual artists and 1,125 organizations in 216 communities across Ontario for a total of $52.8 million.