Adapted from Association of Friends, August 1995
Art, a lifelong resident of Birch Island, exemplifies commitment and community engagement. Married to Violet Wemigwans since 1952, they raised nine children together, demonstrating dedication and hard work. Art’s notable involvement in minor hockey for nearly 30 years showcases his patience and commitment to youth, leaving a lasting impact on many happy faces.
Active participants in Pow-Wow events since the mid-’70s, Art and his wife share a deep interest in Native culture and environmental preservation. Art recently celebrated his 78th birthday at a Pow-Wow in Birch Island, where the host drum, “Waasnoode,” honoured him with a special song. Additionally, Art serves on the Elders Advisory Council of the Ojibwe Cultural Foundation, highlighting his commitment to preserving cultural heritage.
Expressing concerns about the environment, Art perceives the Earth as severely unwell, describing it as burning up from the inside. Drawing attention to changes in animal behaviours, such as bird migrations, he emphasizes the impact on fishing and anticipates challenges for his community. Art links environmental issues to human activities, particularly criticizing strip cutting by forest companies. He highlights the detrimental effects on flora, fauna, air, and water, underscoring the urgency of addressing these destructive practices.
Art also addresses broader community concerns, advocating for more organized activities that involve everyone—children, young people, mothers, and elders. He emphasizes the importance of community and family cohesion in building strength and health. Art’s insights, shared in excerpts from the Association of Friends in August 1995, reflect not only his personal experiences and commitment but also a broader call to address environmental issues and foster community well-being.