Writer urges Manitoulin Planning Board to be mindful of First Nations

To the Expositor:

Aanii. I am a 25-year-old Anishinabe educated youth from Wikwemikong.

I would like to kindly request that the Manitoulin Planning Board keep in mind the First Nations peoples, ways of life, and beliefs when completing the Official Plan.

We are told by our ancestors that Manitoulin Island is one of the most sacred places on Earth. Once the Creator completed this Earth we all share, he took all the best water, soil, and air, and made Manitoulin Island his last place of rest.

Manitoulin was the central location in which all communities around the Great Lakes would come to meet to discuss various issues. Please do not destroy and commercialize this Island we now share with non-Native settlers. The entrance to the Island via the bridge has changed so much in the past years, making it look like I am driving into a commercial area of a suburban community. Please honour the traditions of our people, as we have kindly allowed you to settle here. Miigwetch.

Heidi Manitowabi

Wahnapitae First Nation