Annual Debajehmujig 6 Foot Festival gears up for 8th season

MANITOWANING—The popular Debajehmujig Storytellers’ 6 Foot Festival is coming up fast and this year looks to be shaping up to be the best ever yet.

“We have had a lot people calling us up this year,” said 6 Foot festival Artistic Director Ashley Manitowabi. “We are really excited about the festival this year where we will be exploring the theme of the Four Kingdoms, mineral, plant, animal and human.”

Mr. Manitowabi noted that the Debajehmujig students were working diligently on their projects for exhibition at the festival.

The 6 Foot Festival kicks off on Thursday, October 5 with a screening of the documentary ‘Seed: The Untold Story,’ part of the Taggert Sigel trilogy of food documentaries, at 6 pm in the Larry E. Lewis Studio in Manitowaning. There will be a discussion following the film.

“Few things on Earth are as miraculous and vital as seeds—worshipped and treasured since the dawn of humankind,” notes the promo note. “This documentary follows passionate seed keepers who are protecting a 12,000-year-old food legacy. In the last century, 94 seed varieties have disappeared. A cadre of 10 agrichemical companies, including Syngenta, Bayer, and Monsanto, controls over two-thirds of the global seed market, reaping unprecedented profits. Farmers and others battle to defend the future of our food.”

“We will be having a community feast and a Debaj Caberet on Friday evening, starting at 6 pm, which will feature a collaborative creation by our students and seasoned performers exploring the 4 Kingdoms,” said Mr. Manitowabi. “On Saturday, there will be a lunch with land-based workshop presentations going on between noon and 4 pm. The workshops will be presented by artists and community members. At 6 pm, there will be a community jam and potluck, so bring your instruments and your favourite dish.”

Throughout the festival, Dance Machine will see artist Lee Su-Feh in an interactive exploration of a kinetic sculpture that can be transformed into multiple configurations by the actions and movements of the bodies within it. Created out of 64 pieces of bamboo suspended from a central copper disk, notes the sculpture “can be moved independently by artists and audience members to create an immersive experience.”

An art exhibit will be featured in the K.B. Reynolds Gallery as well as installations by Debajehmujig artists based on the teachings of the 4 Kingdoms.

The 6 Foot Festival will also feature the launch of Debaj’s new gift shop, a great opportunity to pick up some of Debaj’s signature apple cider vinegar. Community members are encouraged to bring their own products to sell as well.

For more information call Debajehmujig at 705-859-1820 or drop by the Debaj website at