Cecil Twance

Cecil Twance (Present-day Speaker of Biigtigong Nishnaabemwin)

Cecil grew up with surrounded by Nishnaabemwin. At a time when language was everywhere in Biigtigong, Cecil gained an appreciation and respect for Nishnaabemwin. He understood the importance of our language to our identity as individuals, and as a Nation. Cecil believes it is his responsibility, as a carrier of our language, to be involved in the language revitalization efforts. He expresses the importance of leaving a legacy for our future generations.

Cecil, along with his wife Lavina, raised their three children in Biigtigong. Valuing the importance of family, they made raising their children in a safe and loving home their priority. Cecil and Lavina have a very special love for their grandchildren. Instilling in their grandchildren the values of and great appreciation for our Nishnaabe way of life, they are ensuring that their grandchildren are connected to the Biigtigong community and traditional lands. Understanding their relationship with our physical world, his grandchildren enjoy the taste of our traditional foods and appreciate the source. Goose, moose, beaver, fish, rabbit, and partridge are amongst the favourites of their grandsons.

Cecil is a community-minded person and makes contributions to the quality of life in the community. He has a very special love and relationship with our children. Always taking the extra time, he establishes connections with our children. Cecil loves to laugh and shares his laughter with everyone. He values the gift of laughter and understands the importance of our humour to our way of life.

He is filled with stories of our history. His knowledge of Biigtigong life is a direct result of the time he spent with our elders. Cecil made it a priority to learn the knowledge from his ancestors. His stories speak of our rich history and of our relationships with everything around us. He carries these stories and with the gift of his storytelling ability, shares these stories in a unique manner. Cecil speaks frequently about our language being very descriptive and full of action. He says that each word of our Nishnaabe language contains within it a mini-video, and this mini-video is what we experience when we express and understand our language. As an understander and speaker of Nishnaabemwin, Cecil experiences the world from the perspective of our ancestors. Cecil is a proud Nishnaabe, who cares profoundly about our Nishnaabe way of life.