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by First Nations artist Gordon Fiddler 1958-2021

Gordon Fiddler - ArtistGordon Fiddler was born in Cochenour, Ontario in 1958. Originally from Sandy Lake First Nation, Gordon was a Residential School Survivor from the early 60's; he was sent to Macintosh Boarding School for 3 years. He was Oji/Cree; his father was from Sandy Lake First Nation and his mother from Sioux Lookout, Ontario.

Where is Sandy Lake First Nation?

Sandy Lake First Nation (or ᓀᑲᣞ ᓵᑲᐦᐃᑲᓃᐣᐠ, Negaw-zaaga'iganiing Nitam-Anishinaabe) is an independent Oji-Cree First Nations band government. The First Nations community, in the west part of Northern Ontario, is located in the Kenora District, 227 km (141 mi) northeast of Red Lake, Ontario. Its registered population in June 2007 was 2,474. As of December 2015 the total registered population reached 3,034. Sandy Lake First Nation maintains an affiliation with Nishnawbe Aski Nation, as a signatory to the Treaty 5.

Where is Cochenour?

Red Lake is a municipality with town status in the Canadian province of Ontario, located 535 km (332 mi) northwest of Thunder Bay and less than 100 km (62 mi) from the Manitoba border. The municipality consists of six small communities—Balmertown, Cochenour, Madsen, McKenzie Island, Red Lake and Starratt-Olsen—and had a population of 4,107 people in the Canada 2016 Census.

The name of the municipality Red Lake comes from a local legend telling of two men from the Chippewa tribe who stumbled across a large moose. The men proceeded to kill the moose, the blood of which drained into a nearby lake. The blood turned the lake's waters red in colour, ultimately giving the area its name. The name appears on the Bouchette map of 1875, and was officially approved on 7 December 1909.

Where is Sioux Lookout?

Sioux Lookout is a town in Northwestern Ontario, Canada. Located approximately 350 km (220 mi) northwest of Thunder Bay, it has a population of 5,272 people. Sioux Lookout's name comes from a local mountain and First Nations story. This mountain, known as Sioux Mountain, was used in the late 18th century by the Ojibwe to watch for any oncoming Sioux warriors looking to ambush their camp. A careful eye could see the sun shining off the birch of enemy canoes crossing nearby rapids. Women and children could be led away safely while the warriors could intercept the Sioux on the water.

Turtle Legend

Turtle Legend, one of the Northern Dreams series of original artwork by First Nations artist Gordon Fiddler, depicts a turtle climbing from the water, bearing a forest on its carapace.

In Native American Turtle Mythology turtles play positive roles in the folklore of many Native American tribes. In the creation myths of some East Coast tribes (such as the Iroquois and Lenape), the Great Spirit created their homeland by placing earth on the back of a giant turtle.

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