Heritage and History
This is a big country. Canada has a huge expanse of land and water. It spans larger than most with much of it wild and untouched, allowed to respond to the elements and to nature with those who understand her best.
It has an incredible history. The heritage of Canada comes mostly from the history of other peoples, those who travelled far and wide trying to improve their lives, to take care of family, and to seek opportunity in various forms. Not much has changed really; people still come here hoping for a safer, more abundant life. And then there were those who were here to begin with and thankfully are still here.
On a recent road trip with a great friend, we allowed the road and some very basic plans to guide us. What fun! With over 1500 km of exploration, we visited suburban areas, country areas, agricultural areas, artistic areas, and a good number of First Nation territories.
With great interest and respect I looked up about some of these territories as we drove through. One in particular on Manitoulin Island in Lake Huron, Ontario, provided a fantastic history review on their website. The Wiikwemkoong Unceded Territory makes up the homelands of the Peoples of the Three Fires Confederacy: the Odawa, Ojibway and Potawatomi. These Anishinabek tribes first experienced the European contact as early as 1610. 1610!!! That’s over 400 years. Quite the journey of trading, treaties, agreements, and arrangements, challenges of “other peoples’” plans, religious intentions, and more, finally keeping control over their lands and thus the “unceded” designation and a place in the history books. Proud and strong.
Living within the influence of Montreal, I sometimes forget how huge this country is. Driving through these different places, we only touched on a tiny portion of it. I was reminded of the importance of history. Remembering where a country came from and how it journeyed to where it is today, the good and the ugly parts, is vital to being able to progress with value and respect forward.
Through our drive we also saw regions that indicated English, Scottish, Irish, French, Spanish, and Dutch heritage. Even more were probably present. We also visited a Norwegian connection in the Muskoka region, valuable in the air battle training during World War II. Neither of us knew of how Norway and Canada were involved together and continue this friendship and allied connection today. Extra meaningful for my friend with Norwegian roots! I was reminded of the gratitude for the team effort that happens with allies during any kind of battle and recovery time afterwards.
Heritage and history, it touches us all and is a part of us all. The more we learn about it, the more it should be able to help us see our way forward. It should allow us to better understand each other and what we value and require for a fulfilling and joyful life. We still have much to learn and much to apply but I, for one, am incredibly grateful to be sharing this journey with such an incredible place and all the peoples, lands, and waters, which are considered today’s Canada.
What a great way to end off the month which started with the Adventure Oracle Card! Adventure it was!
Wiikwemkoong Unceded Territory logo: