Caldwell First Nation and Parks Canada unveil a new sign that conveys warmest of welcomes

From: Parks Canada
Figure 1 Caldwell First Nation and Point Pelee National Park unveil new name for existing Day Use Area: Madbin Jina, which means “come sit awhile”. Credit: Parks Canada

Symbolic re-naming of day-use area in Point Pelee National Park invites visitors to “sit a while” in Anishinaabemowin

September 28, 2020 Leamington, ON Parks Canada Agency

Parks Canada collaborates with and are partners with Indigenous peoples across Canada, in conserving natural and cultural heritage and sharing stories of these treasured places.

It is with this in mind that this past Saturday, September 26, 2020, the Point Pelee National Park day-use area formerly known as “Pioneer” was renamed” Madbin Jina”, as members of Caldwell First Nation, Walpole Island First Nation and Parks Canada staff gathered for a small ceremony to unveil the new road sign and interpretive elements in the park. The new name; “Madbin Jina”, invites visitors to come ‘sit a while’ and invokes a traditional expression for welcoming guests in the Anishinaabe language, Anishinaabemowin.

As spoken by Knowledge-Keeper, Janne I. Peters of Caldwell First Nation:

“In the time of our Ancestors, if someone was new to the area, lost, cold or hungry, the People would invite them into their lodges to ‘sit for a while’. All who crossed their paths in peace were welcomed and cared for as they got their bearings, were fed and rested, all for a while (ajina).

In the Spirit of our Tradition, Point Pelee National Park continues welcoming visitors from everywhere.

When you read “Madbin Jina” know that the Ancestors are welcoming you to come ‘sit a while’ in peace, and enjoy what Mother Earth has to offer here.”

The “Madbin Jina” renaming signifies a shift and renewal in the approach to presenting the full scope of our shared history at Parks Canada’s administered places to incorporate more inclusive and representative histories and cultures of Indigenous peoples. The idea of renaming this day-use area was brought forward by the park’s First Nations Advisory Circle, which is composed of members of Caldwell and Walpole Island First Nations. It is one of a number of collaborative initiatives that Point Pelee National Park is currently working on with both First Nations.

This renaming is part of a variety of projects to advance reconciliation, and to rebuild and strengthen the connection to the traditional culture and history of the park. These projects will not only focus on the implementation of First Nation stories throughout Point Pelee, but will also include support for oral history gathering, historical and archaeological research, language revitalization initiatives, youth engagement, community training and skills development.

The collaborative projects will support Caldwell First Nation in crafting their own vision and telling their own stories to Canadians, enriching the experience of all visitors to Point Pelee National Park.

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