The Seven Gifts

I was seeing in a sacred manner the shape of all shapes as they must live together like one being.  And I saw that the sacred hoop of my people was one of many hoops that made one circle, wide as daylight and as starlight, and in the centre grew one mighty flowering tree to shelter all the children of one mother and one father.  And I saw that it was holy.

– Oglala Sioux Holy Man. The Great Vision of Black Elk.

 

The Seven Gifts is an accessible, educational art installation in Riverfront Park on the Mississippi River. It celebrates the cultural and spiritual beliefs and practices of the Algonquin Anishinaabe People, practices which had been outlawed by the Canadian government until 1951. The process of creating it is a cooperative one between an Indigenous and non-Indigenous artist supported by MMAMR to reflect the nature of the Truth and Reconciliation process. The artists are Deborah Arnold, stone carver, and Nish Nabie, wood carver.  Elder Larry McDermott, an Algonquin of the Shabot Obaadijiwan First Nation is the Indigenous advisor for the project.

 Our project has four stages:

  1. Install seven marble rocks ranging in height up to five feet in a twenty-five foot wide circle and an interpretive sign and QR code for more information. This stage is now complete.
  2. Create seven totems in bronze up to two feet representing the seven teachings from seven wood carvings. This will happen through the winter of 2022/2023 and the totems will be installed on the stones in the Spring of 2023.
  3. Landscape the area with some Indigenous plantings and create an eighth figure in bronze, a crane at the entrance. This will represent the Algonquin people who signed the Montreal Peace Accord in 1701 with a pictograph of a crane. It will be placed at the path entrance. We also will put a couple of benches nearby for people to sit and reflect on the teachings.
  4. Hold a Bi-Centennial opening ceremony and meet the artists event in September 2023.

MMAMR is managing this project with the support of Carebridge Community Support as part of the Wellness Walk, St. Paul’s Anglican Church and the Municipality of Mississippi Mills Bi Centennial Committee.

Please consider investing in this project as an expression of your commitment to the Truth and Reconciliation process. Donations can be made online or by snail mail, please mail cheques to:

Mississippi Mills All My Relations
c/o J. Coderre, Treasurer
453 Van Dusen Street
Almonte, ON K0A 1A0

Note: Please make the cheques out to St. Paul’s Anglican Church with Seven Gifts on the subject line.