The Anishnabek, known in the academic world as the Algonquin, never called themselves Algonquin. We, the People called ourselves Anishnabek and had names that specifically referred to where we came from. For example, Kitigan Zibi Anishnabek means Garden River People, and Kitiganik Anishnabek means Garden People.
Through generations, much has been taken from us. Today, we still encounter problems with the government and corporations cutting down our forests and taking our land. With technology and institutions overlapping our world, how we run our communities is affected. We forget where we come from, which in turn affects our stories. "Our brothers and sisters, the animals, are leaving us and there is a risk of losing our connection to them." Those of us who remember and follow our teachings will continue to survive through the stories, the ceremonies and our love for the land.
As spiritual people, it is in these stories and in our ceremonies that we have gathered strength, learned about ourselves and the connection we have to Ni-djodjomnan, Aki (Mother Earth). If we stop sharing our stories, our knowledge becomes lost.
KISHPIN BONTOYEG KIDATSOKANAN, KIGA ONIKEMIN KAJIBIKINAMAGOYEG