WESTERN ONTARIO DIVISION
Winning Number: 806007
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The Mishipeshu is the great underwater Panther and protector in the underworld. Indigenous Medicine people would call on the great cat for assistance in helping those who had fallen sick. It was said that his assistance would help the people fighting demons in their illness, and that was also the role of the medicine people.
The Mishipeshu is a powerful force in the underworld and could cause storms. It is said that they have copper scales under their fur. When asking for safe passage, feast food was put out for them.
Here’s a short story of what happened to those that would take copper from the home of one. A Jesuit missionary named Claude Dablon told a story about four Ojibwa Indians who embarked on a journey to the home of Mishipeshu to take some copper back to their home, and use it to heat water. The very second they pushed off and backed into the water with their canoe, the eerie voice of the water panther surrounded them. The water panther came growling after them, vigorously accusing them of stealing the playthings of his children. All four of the Indians died on the way back to their village; the last one surviving just long enough to tell the tale of what had happened in his final moments before he died.
The artwork painted on the body of the canoe was put there to protect the on the water and to pay homage to the Great Mishipeshu mighty spirit of the underwater world.
The fish represent prosperity and remind us of the many ways Indigenous peoples employ signs on the land through ancestral ways of communication such as pictographs found across the land. The fish also represent the intellect of the community and are also the wisdom keepers, the fish come from the water and connect to the underwater world, thus it is the wisdom from the spirit world that is held valuable.
Special thanks to Boghosian & Allen LLP for making this possible.
About Canoe Welland 2017
CanoeWelland2017 will be the culmination of Canoe Kayak Canada’s summer racing schedule and will bring together approximately 1,800 athletes from coast to coast to vie for the title of national champion.
CanoeWelland2017 sera le point culminant des courses de l’été de Canoe Kayak Canada qui rassemblera environ 1 800 athlètes canadiens qui tenteront de se mériter le titre de champion canadien.