Ojibwa Tale: Sea Lion of Silver Islet

The term Ojibwe comes from Utchibou, name given to the XVIIe century to a group that lived north of what is now Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario. Here is one of their tales: The sea Lion of Silver Islet.

The Ojibway were part of a series of very close, but distinct groups, occupying a territory located between the northeast of the bay Georgian and eastern Lake Superior. These peoples who gathered near present-day Sault Ste. Mary are also called Saulteaux, a term that today refers primarily to the Ojibway peoples of northwestern Ontario and southeastern Manitoba.

Ojibway The sea Lion of Silver Islet

The Sea Lion of Silver Islet

Silver Islet is not only beautifully picturesque, but leaves one
with the sense of having “rubbed shoulders” with the chiefs
and brave that once traveled its shores.

It is here that the great legend of the Sea Lion originated. HAS
pet and constant companion of Nanna Bijou, spirit of the Deep Sea
Water, was the giant Thunder Bird. Nanna Bijou had another great
companion in Nagochee, the great Lion. Nagochee was no ordinary
animal, for he was credited with having the wings of an ease and
the feet of a duck. His speed was that of the wind and he could
swim faster than any great fish.

One day the Spirit God was called upon to go on a long journey.
He hurriedly departed on the back of his beloved Lion, completely
forgetting to take his Thunder Bird. jealous at being left behind,
the Thunder Bird planned to destroy the Lion.

As Nanna Bijou returned, the Thunder Bird's screeching voice shook
the heavens and a terrific storm broke, striking the Lion and rider.
A great wind snapped off one of Nagochee's wings and he was twisted
over, throwing his master into the Big Sea Water. The Lion could
not swim the storm tossed waters, but 'Nanna Bijou made it to shore.
Thinking his beast had failed him, he placed a curse on the Lion
and turned him to stone.

There today, the faithful old Lion looks solemnly out over the
water, waiting for his Master to return.