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Somewhere along the 401, west bound, before sunrise on June 22: This is at one of those OnRoute rest areas, open all night and good thing as this boy usually hits the open road around midnight.  Didn’t get on it until around 1 a.m. though, leaving Ottawa while the party was still in full service whoop!

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At Alexandra Park, downtown Orangeville, Ontario, Canada, June 22, 9 a.m. Saturday morning:  a beauty park for an Indigenous Day celebration, art show and sale.

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Super Heavy Duty:  at Alexandra Park, Saturday morning:  walking around the almighty.  Seeing that place name at that hour of the day on that fine morning sure made this anishnabe boy stop and think.

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At the Gala, in Ottawa, Thursday night, June 20th:  silent auction in progress.  That is a Mark Seabrook/twinravens authentic, up for grabs and it went!  It’s 24×36 inches on canvas, Stevenson paint on Canadian made canvas/stretcher.  We put those big colourful plants in there as a reminder there is medicine growing all around us, right there in our own backyards…

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At the Gala, in Ottawa:  Fancy Shawl Dancers getting ready to make their entrance.  They put on a grand show at the Gala and I’m glad I went!

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Petroglyphs Provincial Park, near Peterborough, Ontario, on June 16th: Father’s Day on the road.  The gals were going in a diff direction so I started out on my own and found myself out here.  Not many visitors on that day, so I made my way out there without a fuss.  The Parks folks won’t allow any photos of what’s in there so here are a few from Google:

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If you’re interested you can check out the story for yourself but I’ll just say that the date these made the news was in 1951, the same year the Sheg. thing up on the island made the news, and also the same year the Government of Canada made it legal for First Nations people to practice their own cultures once again.

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Super Heavy Duty:  check out that figure at top, who appears to be waving hello/good bye/who knows…

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Its that figure connected to the circular piece with the radiating lines that I wanted to get up close to and personal with.  Same with that large bird with the long legs.  Large alright:  these are huge pictures!  That bird is huge!

Like I said:  I was the only visitor in there and so walked around the area in the assigned walking areas, up above and separated from the rock surface.  I went around a couple of times, thinking, if I could just get down there in next to them, that would be amazing.  The young lad working the door was reading my mind!  He asked me where I was from and was I First Nations.  After I answered his questions using that twinravens accent, he said I could go in!  He soon produced a smudge bowl, some sage, and a form I had to fill out covering the who, what, where, when and why stuff.  The why:  Anishnabe, Spiritual Journey, Survivor of Colonialism.

While I was smudging down he opened the gate and said its all yours.  WOW!  I went in there with my sock feet touching down on the sacred, and man oh man, this fella could feel the almighty, loud and clear.  They had a ceremonial place just inside the gate, with tobacco on some stones and water in a copper bowl, so I went through the rituals on my own before I went in any further.  Thank goodness for that stuff.

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Now this boy has had the good fortune of reaching, here and there on this good land we call Canada.  Here we are on the sands, south shore of Manitoulin Island, Lake Huron close by, at sunset, in some long ago August.

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Here we are in the fields back home, Mindemoya, Manitoulin Island, the fields where I was raised and the fields I worked with my dad at the front.  This is in some long ago July, at sunset.

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Every now and again those hands manage to land:  here we are on the limestones at Carter’s Bay, south shore of Manitoulin Island, in some long ago afternoon in August.

These hands managed to land right on that character with the line connecting to the circular design.  And it landed on the bird with the long legs!  It landed on a bunch of them!

I wish I had the words to describe all of what was going on between me and those magical pictures, created so many moons ago.

What I can say for sure: it was breath taking.

I walked out of there, maybe knowing something differently.  By the time I was walking out of there, other visitors had arrived and I was aware of them watching me going through my own rituals.  As I was coming back through where the ceremonial tools were placed a tourist asked me:  What are those yellow and red things there on that rock?  I said they were tobacco ties left by others.

Super Heavy Duty visit.

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Check this out:  on the walk out I came across this turtle on the path.  Now I know it wasn’t there on the walk in because I would have seen it.  But it was there on the walk out.  Look at what it’s doing.  And do you know what the turtle is in old Anishnabe stories?

Holy smokes!

What a day, what a visit, and what sights to be seen.  What a Father’s Day indeed.

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Sixties Scoop Survivor with Child, acrylic on canvas, 20×30 inches, by anishnabe artist Mark Seabrook.

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Ravens hitching a ride, acrylic on canvas, 24×36 inches, by Anishnabe artist Mark Seabrook.  Private Collection.

We have plenty more paintings to make, and places to go!

 

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