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Ottertooth Forums * Temagami canoe routes & backcountry travel * Archive through April 9, 2008 * Observing Customs Maple Mountain < Previous Next >

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Post Number: 2
Registered: 08-2007
Posted on Sunday, August 19, 2007 - 9:18 am:   Edit Post Delete Post


As my trip to Maple Mountain approaches I am anxious to learn the customs of the First Nations people with regards to my travels through the Lady Evelyn lakes on to Maple Mountain.

I have eMailed the Chief, but to no avail. I have read in this forum of tobacco offerings. I would like to know what is involved in this, how it is done, what do I do and say, etc.

In particular, is there anything that I should specifically do to respect the customs of the First nation as I enter the lakes along my way? Is there something extra special that I should be prepared to do and say when arriving on the summit of Maple Mountain (given that it is regarded as a sort of 'spirit house')?

Any help would be appreciated. I went to the area 11 years ago completely ignorant of such customs and observances. Now that I return a much more mature person, I want to ensure that I am at peace with the land.


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Post Number: 244
Registered: 03-2004

Posted on Sunday, August 19, 2007 - 4:50 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post

Most people do nothing special because they do not know the history of the area or the spiritual meaning of the mountain to the native peoples.
Here is a simple thing that you could do. Give a tobacco offering when you start on a new body of water and when on the top of the mountain. It may or may not work but it is said that you should have calm waters and good weather.
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Post Number: 191
Registered: 04-2007
Posted on Monday, August 20, 2007 - 4:19 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post


(which is a New Zealand Maori name, if you didnt
know... meaning "much-home-family")

Tobacco, as HB sez...

burn it on a cedarwoodsmoke-ember-log at Sunrise/Sundown.

Waft the smoke in your face
and, in your hair...
get it deep in your chest...

feel the wind in both... while you paddle...
know none of them are yours...
they are just being shared with you...
because you chose to honour them...
to see... and ask: What Can I Learn Here?

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Post Number: 89
Registered: 03-2006

Posted on Monday, August 20, 2007 - 8:46 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post

Good suggestions from Hilbilly and Sundown. You're doing the most important thing already, going there with mindfulness.
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Post Number: 4
Registered: 08-2007
Posted on Tuesday, August 21, 2007 - 12:15 am:   Edit Post Delete Post

Thank you everyone for your help. I am wanting to do this correctly with the utmost honour to the land and all that it has to offer. I do wonder if there are specific Spirits both in the Lakes and on Maple Mountain that I should address? I am beginning to learn that there are no set words to say, but that this should come from the heart and be an individualistic address to the Spirits.
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Post Number: 743
Registered: 02-2004

Posted on Saturday, August 25, 2007 - 6:10 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post

You already understand the spiritual meaning.
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Post Number: 90
Registered: 03-2006

Posted on Sunday, August 26, 2007 - 10:14 am:   Edit Post Delete Post

When you go, honour the ancestors of the land you are travelling on, as well as your own ancestors. Honour the animal people who live where you travel. Honour the four directions, North, East, South, West, as well as Father Sky, Mother Earth, and Grandmother Moon. How you choose to honour the above is up to you. Sometimes I use tobacco, sometimes cedar, sometimes song or poetry, sometimes meditation.

That's generally what I do. It's a blend of Nishnabe, Native American, Eastern, and Pagan European practices. The spirits are more concerned with your intentions than with your specific practice.

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