First dugout canoe produced on Mooningwanaakaning (Madeline Island) since 1854

August 24, 2022

By Paul DeMain
Video by Rebecca Kemble

Saturday and Sunday, August 20-21 were ceremonial days for the “oshkimitigojiman” canoe extended to those who were deeply involved with producing the first dugout canoe on Mooningwanaakaning (Madeline Island) since 1854, as far as we can determine.

Photo: Paul DeMain

Saturday there were prayers and songs for touching the water it’s first time as a dugout on the north end 1854 Chippewa Treaty Fishing Camp, carried into the lake by the women. Sunday it had a naming ceremony, “Gitchigaming Manitowid”, or In The Spirit of Lake Superior” and she was given several maiden rides at Joni’s Beach. I didn’t even roll this one.

A public dedication of the canoe will take place Friday, September 30 at 4 PM at the La Pointe Center Arts Gallery at 103 Main Street, Mooningwaanakanig on 1854 Treaty Day, with riding time on Saturday, October 1 in the nearby bay at the end of Main Street.

My appreciation to Zac and the Red Lake delegation for that special song, rarely heard and almost lost that joined the sky, the water and this white pine together on the big lake, and the words of wisdom spoken by Frank Montano of Red Cliff, about the meaning of all living things working together to leave this world a better place.

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