THUNDER BAY – The Nor’ Wester Mountains (Amenki Mountain Range) have been home to Ojibwe for thousands of years. Ojibwe used the Nor’ Wester Mountains as a passage way and encampment between what is now Thunder Bay and the Pigeon River Border. The Ojibwe have always considered the Nor’ Wester Mountain range as a sacred place.
Rally and Barbecue on Wednesday
The Ojibwe people have respected the importance of the unique nature and biodiversity and exquisite beauty of the Nor’ Wester Mountain range where they found solace, peace and a place to revive their spirits and health. They are a place to pray, hold traditional ceremonies, and a place to collect traditional medicines, food, and water from.
When fur traders, then Jesuit Priest and then European Settlers came to the Fort William area, they shared with the Ojibwe their values of the sacredness and unique biodiversity the Nor’ Wester Mountain range has.
Together, throughout history the Ojibwe and settlers have protected the Nor’ Wester Mountains in all land and water management plans as a sacred place for future generations. From 1910 to 2006, the pure Loch Lomond Watershed (Kazazeekeege Wargamag) was highly protected from any person or development in the area.
The City of Thunder Bay has engaged in the idea of developing their land portion of the Nor’ Wester Mountains into a Mega-Infrastructure Industrial Development known as a wind farm. The city land portion sits between and on the Loch Lomond Watershed, First Nation Traditional Territory and the provincial governments protected land known as the ANSI (Area of Natural Scientific Area).
[sws_pullquote_left]The Nor’Wester Mountain Escarpment Protection Committee (NMEPC) is sponsoring a community rally and BBQ to be held at the Neebing Roadhouse from 5:00pm to 7:30pm Wednesday, May 29. Funds raised will be used to support the review of the Renewable Energy Approvals (REA) documents and reports and to pay for technical expert advice. [/sws_pullquote_left] Many people feel the industrial development will infringe on their way of life and it could affect tax payers in many ways. But most of all, the natural biodiversity in the sacred lands will be irrevocably damaged by clear cutting and blasting areas of the mountain to install wind turbines.
Sacred groves of rare Sugar Maples, the Queen’s White Pine and Yellow Birch will need to be cut and possibly transplanted.
Within the pure and pristine Loch Lomond Watershed the sacred waters feed and the sacred trees and plants house a unique ecosystem including endangered species (ex. Eastern Cougar), rare birds, a pristine spring-fed lake, several small lakes, important beaver dams, several heritage and sacred natural and cultural sites, aboriginal medicinal plants, unique rove and diabase formations that harbors ecologically and botanically unique and rare plants, unique glacier glaciofluvial, glaciolacustrine and glaciomarine deposits, unique denning and nesting areas and important tree, shrubs and grasses naturally growing along shorelines for fish habitat and important aquatic and native plants only to name a few important examples of the rich biodiversity of the Loch Lomond Watershed (Kazazeekeege Wargamag) and Nor’ Wester Mountain Range (Amenki Mountain Range) to possibly be affected by the wind farm or any industrial development.
A peacefully rally will be held Wednesday, May 29, 2013 at 5:00 pm to 6:00 pm and followed by a fundraising BBQ at 6:00 PM ($15.00 per persons and $10.00 per child 10 & under, Cash Only.) All peoples are welcomed and invited.
The peace rally will demonstrate the need to protect the sacred lands for future generations to enjoy as a watershed, pristine, prayer and cultural area and natural way of life.
For more information visit: www.savethenorwesters.com
Article by Chris Mouland