July 2018 - Toronto ON
More in the Dupont/Spadina area.
Nation: Moose Deer Point First Nation First Nations Affiliation: Shawnee, Lakota, Potawatomi, Ojibway and Algonquin.
Philip Cote is a Sundancer, Pipe Carrier and Sweat Ceremony leader recognized by Elder Vern Harper and Floyd Looks for Buffalo Hand. Cote received his Indigenous name Noodjmowin (The Healer) in 1979 from Joe Couture and was made a member of the Falseface Society at the Seneca longhouse in 1992.
After I took these photos I went to the Toronto Archives up the street and saw this photo.
The beginning of the Mural depicts an Eagle Dancer representing the ancient Ice Runners also known as the “Oh-kwa-ming-i-nini-wug” of Algonquin lineage who were here in those early days looking towards the future. The Return of The Buffalo is represented here and are part of the story of this land as there were once giant wood buffalo that roamed across this land now called the city of Toronto.
The second Ice-Runner is the man running behind the wolf (The Wolf is the First Brother of Man), and the Black Thunderbird symbol in the Medicine Wheel Circle is the symbol of the Anishinaabe People who were the first to inhabit this territory. Then you will see the Tobacco Plant, which is an important Sacred Medicine offered up in our Ceremonies. Tobacco is in the East on the Medicine Wheel. It is one of the four sacred medicines.
The Crane is part of The Anishinaabe Clan System and Governance. The Crane Clan shares power of Chieftainship with the Loon Clan. Crane Clan takes care of leadership of external relations, external negotiations, speaker of the community, leadership and mediation and expresses of sentiments for the people, but wishes of the group.
The next symbol, the Beaver, is the symbol of The Wendat People who were the next in the order of inhabiting this territory.
Next you will see an Anishinaabe Moccasin. It is a message of the many trails Indigenous peoples traveled across the city over 13,500 years ago. The Moccasin is on Cedar which, a medicine that is put down on the arbor of the Sundance. Cedar is in the South on the Medicine Wheel and is used as usually as a tea and for bathing and cleansing in Cedar Baths.
The next symbol is the Star Symbol of the Cree peoples who came next to the land to live here. And then depicted is the eagle that can travel between the physical world and the spiritual world, and is thus closest to the Creator. The eagle feather and eagle wings are Sacred, they are used in Smudge Ceremonies, and the eagle feather is a symbol of truth, power and freedom. The Beaver is a symbol of advancement and Industry/progress since he is a builder.
The Bear looks on towards the Giant Buffalo. There were once 60,000,000 Buffalo in North America, only to be slaughter by the settlers so they could take the land from the Indigenous Peoples.
The Buffalo was vital for the survival of Indigenous Peoples of North America. They used all the parts of the animal, the furs for clothing and warmth, the meat for food, the bones for tools, and nothing was wasted. It was a major food source but was taken away by the murder of the Buffalo by the Colonists.
It is said that one day there will be a Return of the Buffalo to this land and territory so they could roam free as they once did here. This is what we all look forward to. “Nindinawemaaganidok” “All My Relations”, which means We Are All Related.