As we come together in this beautiful place, where the Thunder Bird hugs the land in its wings, where Anemki Wajiw – Thunder Mountain, welcomes all, where Nanabijou – the Sleeping Giant, rests, may you be prompted to pay respect and to acknowledge the land and with it, certain truths.

This land is the traditional land of the Anishnawbe people and is where they and many other peoples have gathered for time immemorial.

This sacred place, originally known as Anemki Wequedong, is now also the Treaty Territory of the Fort William First Nation , signatories to the Robinson-Superior Treaty in 1850.

This place is where, with the contribution of the Métis people in this area, a small thriving community formed into what has now become Thunder Bay.

Yet it is more than what these places are called, that we must learn to acknowledge and respect. We must acknowledge and respect the relationships.

The relationship to the Land – where we are the custodians and caretakers for the next generations.

The relationship to the Water – water is life.

The relationship to the Water Carriers – the women, who hold the sacred teachings about the water.

The relationship with the Plants – that help us live and sustain us with food and medicines.

The relationship with all our Relations – the four legged, the hooved, the winged. All the ones that walk, swim and crawl and the teaching that we are not above creation, we are a sacred part of creation.

The relationship with Mother Earth – who nurtures and sustains us all. Without her, we could not be here.

The relationship with our Ancestors – who pass along teachings of the First Peoples to help us live and walk in a good way. 

We invite you to take a moment to acknowledge all these things and show respect. And by doing so, we humbly strive to live our lives – Mino Bimaadiziwin (Good Life) and to walk in a good way.   

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