A Journey to Manitoulin Island – notes on a voyage of reconciliation

by Maggie Panter

Coral Petzoldt and I set out on a bright Saturday morning for a trip to Manitoulin Island to Connect to the Land, a tour organized by some folks from Church of the Redeemer and Trinity St. Paul’s.

There were nine of us, three folks tented, one stayed in Little Currant, and the rest were housed in cottages overlooking the water.

We attended a church service in Kagawong, St. John the Evangelist, the mariners’ church. Fr. Aiden has five children that he is responsible for! We spoke to the head of the Historical Society in Kagawin and visited the Old Mill Heritage Centre after walking along the Bridal Veil Falls.

We visited at the Wikwemikang (Wiki) reserve. It’s the only unceded land – and are the only band to have the treaty – a judge’s ruling to prove it.

On the Whitefish River Reserve we were permitted to climb Dreamers’ Rock accompanied by a guide, a sacred site.

We toured the Debajehmujig (Storyteller’s) Theatre headquarters, including the Art Gallery and animation studio.

We saw a beautiful Roman Catholic church in M’Chigeeng. It incorporated many Indigenous symbols and artwork. We participated in a Medicine Walk at the Ojibway Cultural Centre and Museum. We enjoyed an archaeological site at Shegwiandah and were given a tour by the archaeologist there.

In all it was a very informative week!

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