Ajijaak On Turtle Island2018-07-19T19:44:08+00:00

Ajijaak On Turtle Island

In this coming of age story, follow our hero, Ajijaack as she learns lessons along the way from her mentors and friends: the buffalo, deer, frog, dragonfly, coyote, and a turtle activist family. On her heroic journey, pieces of the Ojibwe, Lakota, and Cherokee Nations are highlighted along with cultural rituals and practices of Indigenous Peoples’ on Turtle Island (North America). Reflecting our connectedness with all of creation, this immersive story is told through rituals and puppets, projections and kites, aerial antics and life-sized maps. Tracing the tragedies befalling cranes, of disappearing forests and lakes, this story celebrates the richness of indigenous cultures that honor and protect these majestic birds.

Heather Henson, ‘Ajijaak on Turtle Island‘ weaves Ojibwe, Lakota, and Cherokee stories into the story of a beautiful puppet crane named Ajijaak. The play, directed by Heather Henson and Ty Defoe, is produced by Ibex Puppetry, a company founded in 2000 by Heather Henson, the daughter of the iconic muppets creator Jim Henson.

Artistic contributions to the play also include Grammy Award winner and champion hoop dancer from the Oneida and Ojibwe Nation, Ty Defoe (Giizhig,) Grammy and NAMA-nominated Mohawk artist Dawn Avery, and notable Ho-Chunk Nation of Wisconsin performer and musician Kevin Tarrant.


Ty Defoe  — Tony Enos  — Joan Henry  — Wen Jeng
Curtis Lee Mitchell  — Adelka Polak  — Sheldon Raymore  — Josie Tarrant

Indian Country Today Review