New Signage Proudly Marks Entry to the Territory of the Anishinaabe Nation in Treaty #3, and Encourages Respect for Aki and Nibi
December marked the final stage of an education and awareness campaign for Treaty #3 that will see sixteen commissioned highway signs being raised across the territory. Two distinct designs were developed that each serve to provide education and understanding to those passing through Treaty #3, and highlight the responsibility to acknowledge and respect the sacredness and significance of Treaty #3 aki (lands) and nibi (waters).
Placed at strategic entry points, eight signs welcome travelers to Treaty #3 aki, and acknowledge the Anishinaabe Nation that has lived in Treaty #3 since time immemorial. The signage aims to foster a greater sense of place and cultural awareness, and hopes to promote not only respect for Anishinaabe territories, but an understanding of jurisdiction as well.
“These signs not only mark a physical boundary, but embody an enduring sovereignty of the Anishinaabe Nation in Treaty #3” shared Ogichidaa Francis Kavanaugh. “They extend a welcome to all who enter the territory, while reminding them of their responsibility to abide by the inherent laws that are present within it.”
By emphasizing the importance of recognizing jurisdiction, these signs invite all who encounter them to engage in a further exploration of Anishinaabe laws such as Manito Aki Inaakonigewin (The Great Earth Law), Anishinaabe Nibi Inaakonigewin (Anishinaabe Water Law), Abinoojii Inaakonigewin (Child Care Law), and others, which are all to be upheld by those who live in or visit Treaty #3 Territory.
In addition to the eight entry signs welcoming travelers to Treaty #3 aki, eight additional signs were designed to direct awareness to the sacredness of nibi, and remind travelers of the shared responsibility to respect and honor nibi in all forms throughout the year. These signs, placed along highways in each of the four directions, serve as powerful symbols for connectedness to nibi, and underscore our collective commitment to water stewardship.
Mona Gordon, a member of the Treaty #3 Gaagiidoo-Ikwewag (Women’s Council), shared words on the significance of the nibi signage. “Water is the most sacred living relationship, and the most sacred law in life itself,” she said, elevating the importance of acknowledging nibi. She continued to touch on the importance of following protocols embedded in Anishinaabe ways of life, stating “our sacred laws are about being harmonized with the sacred rules of creation.” It is the hope these signs encourage travelers to be more aware of their own relationship with nibi, and the traditional laws that govern it.
New signage in Treaty #3 Territory.
Photo of the western nibi sign after installation.
With the unveiling of this new signage, Grand Council Treaty #3 is taking a pivotal step towards greater cultural understanding by all who enter the Territory, and setting a reminder to live responsibly within Treaty #3 Territory and beyond. Learn more about the sacred laws that govern life in Treaty #3 Territory, and your responsibilities as an inhabitant or visitor, on the Manito Aki Inaakonigewin page of the Nibi Portal.
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