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Donald Kakaygeesick, Guest Artist

donald kakaygeesick

Donald Kakaygeesick, born June 28, 1959, son to Robert and Florence Kakaygeesick. Siblings: Robert, John, Karen, Stanley, (Donald), Randy, Martha, Kenneth, and Kelly. 

Donald was the fifth child and fourth boy born in a seven-male family. Donald has one older sister Karen and one younger sister Martha. The last name Kakaygeesick came from Donald’s great-grandfather’s Anishinaabe name, Kakaygeesick, which translates to Everlasting Sky. 

Before Kakaygeesick was used as our last name., Shee-Sheeb Dodem or Duck Clan was said to identify our family. Shee-sheeb is duck, Dodem is Clan. 

Donald’s great-grandfather Kakaygeesick passed on a sacred crimson rod to Donald when he was a young boy. Kakaygeesick told his parents to give this to him when he was old enough. Donald also carries a pipe which was made by his great-great grandfather Aye-Aush-A-Wash, which represents Treaty # 3 in Canada in 1873.

“Growing up and as a passenger, I recall very clearly when crossing the river by oar boat to go to town. (Later there was an outboard motor on that old wooden boat.) I looked hard at Tatanon when he was smoking a cigarette. He saw me watching him and immediately threw the cigarette overboard. Knowing now he knew images have lasting effects. He always was careful about how we perceived him. He spoke no English but always spoke to us in our language. He was the kindest person. We called Tatanon.”

In 1979, Donald earned his GED and went to Rainy River Community College (RRCC) majoring in oil paintings, pottery, and general art. Early on, he became an apprentice to his art professor. He also took classes in Bemidji and Minneapolis and also studied radio communications and psychology. His first art show was at RRCC. 

“My journey continues.”