As summer lingers with crops of corn, squash and beans, known in Indigenous agriculture as the three sisters, we owe thanks to our hosts the Anishinabi, Algonquin people who shared the land with immigrant/settlers.
nourishes mother nature’s
body and spirit
“You have arrived on Algonquin land. The Creator put the Algonquin here to occupy this land. The Creator also gave the Algonquin a language to communicate with. It was told to our ancestors that: As long as the sun will shine, As long as the rivers will flow, As long as the grass will grow, the Anishinabe life would continue to circle forever.” Circle of Elders, Kitigan Zibi Anishinabe.
As reported by the Canadian Museum of History Kichi Sibi Archeological Sites, “Some Native People living in the Valley in the early seventeenth century were familiar with agricultural products. In 1613, Nibachis, an Algonquin chief, showed Champlain corn fields near his village. Agriculture may have existed in the region for some time before that, but it is difficult to estimate the significance of cultivated food during the Woodland Period.
In the journals of Samuel de Champlain, he noted: “there is a settlement of (native people) who till the soil and raise maize. The chief is named Nibachis. They showed me their gardens and fields where there was maize. Their soil is sandy and for that reason they devote themselves more to the chase than to tilling the soil in contrast to Ochataiguins. When they wish to prepare land for they cut and burn the trees and they do this very easily, for there are only oaks and elms. When the wood is burned they stir up the ground a little and plant their maize, kernel by kernel.”
Today, Mādahòkì Farm in West Ottawa’s greenbelt offers an Indigenous experience where native people and immigrant/settler’s “share the land” in the spirit of truth and reconciliation. It is a refuge for Ojibwe Spirit horses which were native to North America/Turtle Island before the arrival of Spanish horses and their descendant mustangs. To learn more about the cultural experience connect with https://indigenous-experiences.ca/madahoki-farm.
Living in Kanata is a daily reminder that our community’s name is an indigenous word meaning “village” or “settlement”. It is the origin of the name of Canada.