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It’s refreshing to visit your old nesting grounds once in a while, to reconnect with family and friends.

Events like impromptu family reunions and funerals will do that for you. Some are more pleasant than others.

Parry Sound, Ontario. Town dock looking out onto Georgian Bay June 2017

Parry Sound, Ontario. Town dock looking out onto Georgian Bay June 2017

My home town is very similar to the small town mentioned in my novel, a fictitious town called Seguin Sound. Yes, it was on Georgian Bay. Yes there was a CPR Rail trestle spanning across the river and our childhood. Yes, there was a Native reserve nearby.

Parry Sound CPR rail bridge view from the town dock

Parry Sound CPR rail bridge view from the town dock

I was fortunate that on the one clear day for that long weekend that an old flame took me for a boat tour around the Wasauksing First Nation Reserve (what we always referred to as Parry Island) and a little farther out into blue and green paradise. It was good fresh air therapy.

Island Queen siting from a cottage

Island Queen sighting from a cottage

It was a good thing we got out on that beautiful day because the scheduled Island Queen boat cruise the following one was cancelled due to fog.

Island Queen boat cruise cancelled due to fog

Waiting for the Island Queen boat cruise

Growing up in that small town, I had schoolmates from the Wasauksing First Nation and those who bused in from other reserves. During my quiet high school years, I chummed with some of the girls during lunch time. I even shared crushes with some of the boys.

I am trying to use the Wasauksing reference more, in respect for the Ojibway, the Indigenous people who lived across the water from my old home town. As I mature and evolve in my adopted home town of Ottawa, I strive to learn more about the Algonquin people who inhabited the area and those who still do.

I am trying to learn the Algonquin words for places and things. In an age where you desire to express, it’s a constant learning experience and a challenge to know the correct terminology related to culture, gender and lifestyles.

I will likely make mistakes now and then but at least I am trying.

I feel the calling to once again support the spiritual leaders in the movement to restore the sacred site Akikodjiwan in the Ottawa River to its natural state. Some call this a David vs. Goliath story. Some call it futile. I summon up the faith, the energy to pray and trust that politicians and other stakeholders will do the right thing.


#Canada #Canada150 #Reconciliation #Healing #Akikodjiwan