Migration Journey Spreads Great Lakes Issues Awareness: Anishinabe Claim to Find 12 Grave Sites on Spirit Mountain

Migration Journey Spreads Great Lakes Issues Awareness: Anishinabe Claim to Find 12 Grave Sites on Spirit Mountain

For seven generations, Anishinabe prophecies have foretold a great walk of its people retracing the original migration path of their ancestors—from the Atlantic Ocean through the Great Lakes. The seven generations have passed and the incredible journey began earlier this summer. The Walkers, lead by Butch Stone of the Bad River Reservation in Wisconsin, arrived in Duluth, Minnesota on September 15, 2001 and shortly thereafter concluded their historic journey on Madeline Island.

The Walk included seven sacred stops that have been foretold in the original Anishinabe prophecies. One of those sacred sites was Duluth’s Spirit Mountain, where the Ojibwa people have held vision quests and other sacred ceremonies for hundreds of years. The prophecies also accurately predicted that each of the sacred sites would be in the midst of some kind of environmental battle, which would serve as a sign of the major transition that is to come. This held true from a major toxic fish-kill at a sacred site on Lake Erie to the threat of Spirit Mountain being transformed into a golf course and hotel.

Spirit Mountain is an integral part of the southwest Lake Superior Watershed overlooking the St. Louis River. It holds over 400 acres of old growth forest, diverse wetlands, and one of the area’s last thriving trout streams. Developers hope to convert the area to a golf course and four-story hotel by next spring.

On September 15th, the Walkers held a traditional Anishinabe “Shaking Tent ceremony” on Spirit Mountain. The following morning the Walkers’ spiritual elder led them on a search for grave sites on the proposed golf course site. Using an Anishinabe traditional “grave finder”, 12 grave sites were discovered.

The sites were documented with a Global Positioning System and further analysis will be completed by an archaeologist in the coming weeks, depending on grant funding. If the sites are confirmed, federal law dictates that the area must be preserved. For more information about the Migration Journey, go to http://MigrationJourney.cjb.net

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Images courtesy of Steven Huyser-Honig,
West Grand Boulevard Collaborative, & Yellow Dog Watershed Preserve.