Conte Ojibwé : The Trillium

Le terme Ojibwé vient de Outchibou, nom donné au XVIIe siècle à un groupe qui vivait au nord de ce qui est aujourd’hui Sault Ste. Marie, en Ontario.Voici un de leur conte : The Trillium (en anglais).

Les Ojibwés faisaient partie d’une série de groupes très proches, mais distincts, occupant un territoire situé entre le nord-est de la baie Géorgienne et l’est du lac Supérieur. Ces peuplades qui se rassemblent près de la ville actuelle de Sault Ste. Marie sont aussi appelées Saulteaux, un terme qui désigne aujourd’hui principalement les peuples ojibwés du nord-ouest de l’Ontario et du sud-est du Manitoba.

Ojibwé The Trillium

The Trillium

Some years ago, the Government of the Province of Ontario selected
for its Provincial Official Flower, a beautiful but delicate white
flower named for its lovely pink tinged, unusual three petals, the
Trillium. The white blossom, backed by three small green leaves
in the shape of a star, cannot be picked without also removing the
star-like leaves, which, if this happens, caused the death of the
entire plant.

So rare is a three-petalled flower that there must have been some
very special reason for its creation, and there was Almost 400 years
ago, one of the Jesuit Fathers sent over to Canada by the King of
France to teach Christianity to the Indians, learned from some of
his pupils that there were many more Indians to the West.

In his overwhelming desire to bring the Word of God to as many
as possible, he decided to explore this unknown land and, crossing
the Ottawa River in a small Indian canoe, entered into what we now
know as Ontario.

To his dismay, however, he found that the Indians he encountered
red here could not understand a word of the language that he had
learned from their brothers in the East.

Desperate to find a way in which to communicate with them, he searched
everywhere for a solution and then one duly he noticed that growing
all around in the forest, were many pretty white flowers, their
four petals forming the shape of a cross. These he thought, he would
use to teach the Indians how Christ was crucified. With, the help
of the little flowers he was finally able to explain to them how
Jesus had died for them but like most Indians, who would never harm
a friend, they only became very sad with the story and stayed away from him.

Realizing this, he plucked one of the petals from the flowers and
used the remaining three to teach them about The Father, The Son
and The Holy Spirit and the little star, shaped green leaves behind
the flower helped him to explain the Miracle of Christ’s birth.
When he found what a success he had achieved, he prayed that some
sign would be sent to remind the Indians of his teachings.

To his great delight and amazement, the little flowers that he
had used had only three petals when they bloomed the following year
and since that time, have never changed!