In honour of National Indigenous History Month, elements of the mural titled Kiinwin Dabaadjmowin, or “Our Story,” have been reproduced with the permission of the Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation. We are honoured that Knowledge Keeper Kim Sault shared the history of the Anishinaabe people and the Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation with us. We give thanks for the Teachers and Elders that mentored Kim, Jim Dumont (Onaubinasay) and Larry McLeod (Nimkii Ninii). 

“And so, this human being then, this original man later became known as Anishinaabe. The good being that was lowered here from nowhere. Part of his journey then was to walk the land and to name things on the land.

So, as he was walking, he noticed everything was in pairs. Everything had a companion. Like all the different animals. The original man had questioned that, and so his companion became the Ma'iingan or the Wolf.

So the two of them walked this earth together. So, he did his journey. When he completed that, it was time for the two of them to part. So when you look farther up on the mural there you'll see the wolf and the man parting ways.

And so that at that time, they were told they would have similar experiences, and if you see, if you look at history and what happened to the wolf and what happened to the red people, where there was near extinction and now they're both coming back.”

“And so, he continued his journey then. He was to cross this body of water. Then because he had lots of questions. And so, he needed to cross this water to get to the grandmother and he ended up carving that canoe after witnessing the whale and remembering the whale. Then he made it to the grandmother and the grandmother shared lots of teachings with him and helped him mature. And he always questioned who his father was. She knew he wasn't mature enough yet to have that type of information, about to meet his dad, because he was a powerful being. 

So, he in turn helped her. He built the lodge for her. He brought like, he has that fire in his hands and he brought that back to her then and helped her to have that heat then within her lodge. So it was that reciprocal relationship then. And so then when she finally answered to him and told him who his father was. And his father was the powerful spirit of the thunders in that mountain, the western mountains.”

“The grandmother then made him that beautiful outfit and his medicine pouch to go to meet his father. You see he was on his journey in that canoe there. So, he was on his journey but then he heard that, that music. So that music, the red coming out of that, the mouth there is the voice. The music that pulled him and lured him and so he followed it, and he ended up following it to where he met his with who became his bride.”

“But above that, then you see that lodge. Then that would be one of the lodges of the firekeepers. where he ended up meeting his bride. You see the bear; the bear is a big part of our culture as far as policing the natural world and the medicines. So, a lot of people that are connected with a bear or maybe our bear clan or mkwa, they are our medicine people. 

And so, you'll see in the next picture, it's where he wedded the woman, where the voice came from. And then they had their children. And you'll see in the four directions, the children then also married. It would have been the doorkeepers of in each direction, the daughters. And they were gifted the medicines, the four medicines. So, you see like sweetgrass, tobacco and your cedar and sage. The four main sacred medicines that they were gifted.”

“So, then the flood came. First, he held onto that log to stay afloat and then the animals took turns diving down. And it wasn't until the smallest one, some people say the otter, some say the muskrat. But the smallest animal dove down and come up with the earth in the paw. 

So, when that sea turtle surfaced and they put that earth on that turtle in the circle, sprinkled it. And so, the original man ended up on the back of this turtle and did went right back to the basics of the sun, in that natural cycle and so danced in that circle and had the coming of the second world.”

“And so, his wife then and the grandparents were up in the sky world. You see, like the grandmother, grandpa and the wife. He still had these questions and was still on his journey to meet his father too. So, it's important to remember too that his father was a spirit, was a spiritual being.

His journey then continued on where he was to find his father and he'll see how he learned from every being. Like he learned from the buffalo, the bears, being about the medicines and even the wild man’s. Some people call him Sasquatch or Bigfoot, but he's also a spirit and helps look after people in the medicines. Like so if we go out fasting or have our ceremonies, we talk about how he's actually there.”

“He finally met his dad along his journey. He met all these beings that taught him and then he met up with his dad who I said is that powerful being in the mountains in the west, where the thunders are. And so, he could feel that power. And so that power ended up into a struggle and it ended up battling and causing lots of destruction for a long time. But what came of that was the teaching that there should be no violence between man and his son. Like there should be no violence there.

Then the original man and the father gave the original man and that pipe, and that pipe would help. He'd use that to help the people.”

“And so, the other beings they talk about, like the raccoon teaches you about cleanliness and you know the sacredness of the berries and springtime and summer's coming. And it's the first berry that represents like the heart in life. And so that little boy that was taken and taught where it shows where he was looking into that log. And the grandfathers each gave him something in that log. And in that log. Then was those teachings of the seven grandfathers. Then he was to be taken back to his people. And so, you see him waving as an adult as he's making his way back.”

“You see that's a picture of Niagara Falls and you see that megis shell come out of the water there and you'll see also the spirit of our ancestors there because they talk about our journey. When the original man was lowered here on the east coast of North America and made our way west. And there’s a map that shows that megis shell come up out of the water seven times. And told the people predictions about what would come. Our people then migrated right across. First stopping place was a turtle shaped island in the Saint Lawrence River. And you'll see Niagara Falls over by Detroit, up by Sault Ste. Marie, Manitoulin Island and then over into the States, Minnesota and Wisconsin. When they say it was over hundreds of years that that migration took place, so our people are spread right across all around those Great Lakes.”

“The buffalo. After there was contact here in North America, Euro contact where the church, the land grab, you know. And all the politics. That the buffalo was sacrificing a leg each time, for the Anishinaabe people. And they say he stood on one leg, waiting for the Anishinaabe people to be who they were put here to be. Because that was all being taken away from them. Those three trees kind of represent those three sacrifices. Those three legs.

So that's the actual painting, came from a photo of the actual, residential school in Brantford, and the people in front of it was our actual class photo.”

“And so, then the seven beings that came out of the water and told us of our senses. And the sixth sense. And then there will be a people who can see. That's that blue, the blue face. There will be a gift that people who can actually see and tell us when people are ready to hear it. The word prophet jumps into my mind. But a lot of people aren't ready to hear that. Spiritual visions, I guess that these people have.”

“Other things that were given to the people. You see that pipe and the eagle. So they had like, they had that gift of spirit and they were connected to creator and so what creator did, I think after they, they might have tried to leave four times. And on a fourth time, creator give them the gift, the connection of the eagle to be their messenger. And so that's that strong connection to that eagle then and also that pipe. And as to have that communication and with creator and with the natural world, and that aligning in a spiritual way too.”

“And so the next picture then is like a vision quest. So that represents a time where you, when I talked about creator’s thoughts, being that star world, when you connect and you seek that vision and that guidance. And seek your own purpose and have a vision to help guide you along your own path, and take your place in this natural world. 

And so you see that picture with a drum, and the grandfathers around the drum and you see some of the children and they're on top of the world and they're looking into the future. But that remember that drum is that heartbeat that was in the foot, in the center of the earth from the beginning and that same heartbeat that goes through every individual. So that's why like they're on top of the world, they're looking into the future cause it's really up to them. Hopefully they line the head with the heart, because that's where it should come from, is the heart. Any development tells us right in our creation story.”