Long ago the world was filled with evil. Men and women lost respect for each other. The Creator was unhappy about this and decided to cause a great flood to purify the earth.
A man named Waynaboozhoo survived. He turned some floating sticks and a log into a raft for the animals and himself. They floated around for a full moon waiting for the water to go down. It didn't, so Waynaboozhoo decided to do something about it.
"Maang!" he called to the loon. "You are an excellent swimmer. See if you can dive down to the Old World and bring back a lump of mud in your bill. With mud, I will create a New World."
Maang dove into the water and was gone a long time. When he finally did return, he said, "I could not reach the Old World. It was too far down."
"Amik!" called Waynaboozhoo to the beaver. "You are an excellent swimmer. Will you try next?"
Amik dove off and was gone even longer than Maang, but he too returned empty-handed.
"Is there anyone else who'll try?" asked Waynaboozhoo.
Just then a small coot, Aajigade, came swimming along and asked, "What's going on?"
"Get away Aajigade," called one of the birds. "We do not have time for your nonsense."
Now the animals began arguing loudly. Everyone had a different plan about how to get the mud, but no one could agree on whose plan they would use. For hours and hours they argued. By and by, someone noticed that the sun was beginning to go down. They would have to put off the planning until the next day. Everyone began to find his or her sleeping spot on the raft to rest for the night. Maang asked, "Whatever happened to that silly little Aajigade?"
Suddenly, there was shouting on the other end of the raft. Someone had noticed a small body floating in the water. Water birds paddled hurriedly to investigate and found that it was Aajigade. They brought his body to the raft.
Waynaboozhoo lifted him up, and looking in his small beak, he found a particle of mud. Little Aajigade had reached the Old World and got the mud! He had given his life to do this. The other animals were ashamed of themselves for having made fun of little Aajigade. They hung their heads. They felt very sad.
Waynaboozhoo took Aajigade's little body and softly blew life back into him. Waynaboozhoo held him closely to warm him and announced that from that day forward, Aajigade would always retain a place of honor among the animals.
Waynaboozhoo set Aajigade down on the water and he swam off as though nothing had happened.
Then Waynaboozhoo took Aajigade's mud in his hands and began to shape it. Next he commanded it to grow. As it grew, he needed a place to put it. Mikinaak (the snapping turtle) came forward and said, "I have a broad back. Place it here."
Waynaboozhoo put it on Mikinaak's back so that it could grow larger.
"Miigwetch, Mikinaak," said Waynaboozhoo. "From this day on, you shall have the ability to live in all the worlds, under the mud, in the water, and on land."
The mud began to take the shape of land. Waynaboozhoo placed some tiny enigoonsags (ants) on it. This made it start to spin and grow more. It grew and grew, and more animals stepped onto it until finally it was large enough for moose to walk about. Now Waynaboozhoo sent benishiyag (the birds) to fly around to survey how large the land was. He said to them, "Return to me now and again to let me know how the land is doing. Send back your messages with songs. To this day, that is what the birds continue to do. That is also why they are called the singers.
At last, Waynaboozhoo stepped onto the New World. It had become a home, a place for all the animals, insects and birds, a place for all living things to live in harmony.
Woman and The Great Flood
Story told by: Elder Francis Eagle Heart Cree
One time, long ago, the whole world was flooded with water. At this time, the greatest, tallest mountain in the world was claimed by the water, the water was 15 times higher than that mountain. Back then it had no name; today we know it as Mount Everest.
When the water came, nothing was left, no land and no people except for one woman; Sky Woman – Giizhikwe. She was extremely lonely as she looked upon the world and saw nothing but waters in all directions. She finally saw a muskrat swimming around, looking for a place to rest. She called to the little muskrat – wazhashk – and he swam to her and was given a task to swim to the bottom of the water to retrieve a handful of Earth. The little muskrat did as she said and swam and swam and swam until he was finally able to reach the bottom and grab a handful of mud. He brought it back to Sky Woman and she prayed hard and intensely for the creator to drain the waters from the world. The Creator – Gichi-manidoo – had mercy upon her and drained this water from this world. She put the dirt on the ground after the water was gone and from it grew the Turtle Mountains – Mikinaak Wajuw – on Turtle Island – Mikinaak Minis –. The Turtle Mountains are in the geographical center of North America, this is where Sky Woman stood on that turtle. We are 65 miles long, the head in the West – ningaabii’an – and the tail in the East – wendaabang –.
This is the creation story of Turtle Mountain.
As told by a local member of the tribe
After the last ice age all the land was flooded and the life who survived called for our grandfather Nanabush to help them. Nanabush came and knew something must be done, so he called for a great turtle. This great turtle came from the east and her head faced the west. Nanabush and all the remaining life climbed onto the back of this great turtle. The weight of carrying all these beings caused the turtle to sink a little. Nanabush knew something had to be done or all these beings would continue to struggle. He had an idea and dove into the water to grab some dirt from the bottom of the water, but couldn't. Nanabush then asked the animals to dive for dirt, but all were unsuccessful. Then a little voice mumbled and from the crowd of animals a small muskrat came foward. The muskrat dove down and was gone for a long time. Nanabush and the animals saw the little muskrat float up, and Nanabush scooped him out of the water. The muskrat had no life, seeing this Nanabush blew the breathe of life into the little muskrat and brought him back from death. Inside the muskrats small paw was a piece of dirt. Nanabush took this dirt and balled it up, he then placed this piece of dirt in the heart of the turtles shell. He began blowing his breathe onto this dirt and every time he blew on the dirt it got bigger and bigger. As land began to spread in all directions, hills were formed on this turtles back. The hills that Nanabush made would become a sacred place for the Anishinabe and resembled small baby turtles poking out of the ground. The land covering the turtle's shell would be known as the Turtle Mountains. The head of this great turtle faces west and is north of what is now Bottineau. The heart of this turtle where the dirt was placed is north of Dunseith. A stream flows thru the stomach of the turtle and is near Belcourt, and near the tail of this turtle is the Rolla area.
Ogishtigwanzootang - Area near the head (Bottineau area)
Odezootang - Area near the Heart (Dunseith area)
Ode Mikinaak - Heart of the turtle (Dunseith)
Daa Gashi Anishinaabekag - Where the Anishinaabe are (Dunseith)
Siipiising - area near the stream (Belcourt area)
Ozowtang - area near the tail - (Rolla area)
To know love is to know peace.
Care of self and others
To honor Creation is to have respect.
Respect the rules, others and yourself
Service animals are allowed provided we have space availability and it’s not infringing on other clients and staff’s rights.
Bravery is to face the foe with integrity.
Group work, employment, vocational
Honesty in facing a situation is to be honorable.
To cherish knowledge is to know wisdom.
Make good decisions: Prohibited
Humility is to know yourself as a sacred part of the Creation.
The wolf represents humility. The wolf lives in a community as a part of a pack. Everyone has their role and they must participate in that role for the pack to be successful.
Contribute to the chores of the shelter
Truth is know all of these things.