WALK WITH OUR ANCESTORS
Respecting – Honoring – Acknowledging – Remembering
Certain persons of Menominee Indian Heritage, the Coalition to Save the Menominee River, private area landowners and others, joined in a Peaceful Awareness Walk amongst the Ancestors of the Menominee people. The location was Sixty Islands on the Menominee River west of Stephenson, Michigan.
The day began at sunrise with a water ceremony. The sunrise teachings help to deepen connections with the earth and strengthen the work of all. The ceremony was followed by opening words from area leaders as well as short talks regarding the area’s history and significance. A light breakfast was served.
The National Park Service has listed on The National Register of Historic Places the Sixty Islands area of the Menominee River near Stephenson, Michigan. This site, “Anaem Omot,” which translates to “The Dog’s Belly” is the traditional name for the Sixty Islands area. This area in Michigan and Wisconsin features archeological remains of Indigenous burial mounds, dance circles and ancient agriculture. Tribal members have paid homage to this location for many years making offerings and wishes for good luck to the young woman who spirit visits the terrace overlooking 60 Islands “Anaem Omot is a traditional cultural place significant to the Menominee Indian Tribe,” wrote National Park Service spokesperson Ellie Stuckrath.
The walk began at 11 AM. Women and girls are to wear long skirts, while men and boys were to wear ribbon shirts or vests or wear the best. Comfortable shoes for walking through the woods are necessary.
The walk itself began on the open gate side of Boneyard Road. The reasoning behind the walk was to drawn attention to the proposed mine would indeed pollute the water and damage the historical sites as well as all properties along the Menominee river. Participants traversed through the woods on the logging road known as Boneyard Road. Boneyard Road is a public Road that Gold Resources Company has gated off. The area is rich with culture. We walked past the area of the Indigenous burial mounds. We were immersed in ancient culture. Many of us tied our prayer bundles to trees in the woods. We exited from the woods by walking under and around the gated, no trespassing area. We were met by company security guards who called law enforcement. There were no arrests or citations.
Approximately 75 people attended the feast that followed the walk. Closing remarks followed the feast.