Spotlight On: James Simon Mishibinijima

James Simon Mishibinijima

Credit: Jean Simon

Today we are pleased to feature Ojibway artist James Simon, also known as Mishibinijima. His book of drawings, Pictographs, is officially in print today—Happy Book Birthday! To learn more about the book, which depicts the myths and legends of his ancestors, check out the product page here.


Who is Mishibinijima?

  • An Ojibway artist from the Wikwemikong First Nation, based on Manitoulin Island
  • An educator as well as a mentor for his fellow artists
  • His art emphasizes themes of respect, peace and interconnectedness
  • His works are represented nationally and internationally in collections including the Royal Ontario Museum and the Vatican Museum


What has he worked on?

  • A great many paintings, drawings and other art works
  • A series of teaching materials about the four seasons for the Wikwemikong Board of Education
  • Illustrations for Portraits of Spirit Island: The Manitoulin School of Art Comes of Age
  • Pictographs: The Graphic Art of James Simon Mishibinijima


What are people saying about him?

“Mishibinijima’s intricate detail and use of symbols, adapted from birchbark scrolls and petroglyphs to represent various elements of his art and teachings, are brought to life with vibrant colors.” –Winona LaDuke


What should I read next?

  • 150 Stories / 150 récits with stories by various authors (including Mishibinijima)
  • And Now You Know: 50 Native American Legends by John W. Friesen, Virginia Lyons Friesen
  • Spirits on Stone: Lake Superior Ojibwa History, Legends & the Agawa Pictographs by Thor Conway
  • Before and after the Horizon: Anishinaabe Artists of the Great Lakes edited by David Penney


Where can I find more information about Mishibinijima?


Hope you enjoyed this dive into the work of James Simon Mishibinijima. Be sure to check out Pictographs (available today!) to see some of Mishibinijima’s amazing and beautiful artwork.


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The Porcupine's Quill would like to acknowledge the support of the Ontario Arts Council and the Canada Council for the Arts for our publishing program. The financial support of the Government of Canada through the Canada Book Fund (CBF) is also gratefully acknowledged.