son canoe journey

Community members, along with Waasekom, gathered at the water's edge at Chief's Point July 12. Elder Shirley John of the Loon Clan from Saugeen blessed the water the women carried from one part of Lake Huron to another July 12. The men walked alongside in solidarity and as protectors. All day walkers from the community prayed and sang for the waters of Saugeen Ojibway territory. Photo supplied

A canoe journey through the territorial waters of Saukiing Anishnaabekiing, the Saugeen Ojibway Nation, was launched Miin-giizis (Berry Moon) July 5, 2020, from Aazhoodena.

In a recent press release, the ceremonial journey is heading along the shores of Lake Huron to the northern point of the Saugeen Peninsula and then to the southern shores of Georgian Bay. It is expected that the journey will take approximately 23 days to complete.

Waasekom, leader of the canoe journey and member of the Saugeen Ojibway Nation, said, “This journey is about honouring these waters and bringing attention to the impacts of resource development and climate change on Lake Huron. It is about sharing our story as Anishnaabek and being with our Ancestors, praying and making offerings. We plan to visit our sacred, cultural and heritage sites along the way."

This is the third canoe journey upon which Waasekom has embarked. The Picking Up the Bundles Canoe Journey saw him paddle alongside the For the Earth and Water Walk led by Josephine Mandamin, from Duluth, Minnesota to Matane, Quebec in 2017.

See: Water walker makes a stop in Port Elgin

Waasekom also wants to bring awareness to Saugeen Ojibway Nation’s Aboriginal Title Claim to the territorial waters surrounding the Saugeen peninsula. The claim has been in court since April 25, 2019. This is the first time title to lands under water is being claimed through the Canadian court system. The trial could take up to three years (or longer with the ongoing pandemic). If successful the lake will see its rightful jurisdiction back with the Saugeen Ojibway Nation who have lived among and cared for these waters since time immemorial.

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