Whiteshell - Sacred Stones - Petroforms - Ojibway-Ojibwa-Ojibwe

Discussion in 'Ancient, Indigenous, & Tribal Calendars' started by Susan Lynne Schwenger, Nov 2, 2014.

  1. Susan Lynne Schwenger

    Susan Lynne Schwenger The Final Synthesis - isbn 978-0-9939480-0-8 Staff Member

    Messages:
    6,114
    Whiteshell's sacred stones

    3307689.
    Petroforms at the Tie Creek site show a turtle with filled-in carapace.
    (BILL REDEKOP / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS )
    3307705.
    Anthropologist Jack Steinbring, who battled to protect the petroform sites. (BILL REDEKOP / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS
    3307709.
    Steinbring lectures at Tie Creek: He says the petroforms were created up to 2,000 years ago, before aboriginals divided into tribes. (BILL REDEKOP / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)

    3307714.

    A turtle, this one with the carapace empty. Scholars say the petroforms are linked to spiritual ritual and predate the making of art for art’s sake. (BILL REDEKOP / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)
    3307711.
    Tie Creek snake petroform. (BILL REDEKOP / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)

    3307749.
    A pregnant woman. (BILL REDEKOP / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)
    Petroforms speak across the ages


    NEAR NUTIMIK LAKE

    -- In the summer of 1979, 15 prisoners, many of them aboriginal, were transported by helicopter
    to a remote area of Whiteshell Provincial Park for the purpose of building a steel fence.

    It must have seemed a Fitzcarraldo-like endeavour.

    The prisoners didn't have a clue why they were building a giant steel fence in the middle of nowhere, recalled Jack Steinbring, the former head of the University of Winnipeg's anthropology department.

    There was nothing there except Canadian Shield.

    In fact, the fence was the culmination of an 11-year fight led by Steinbring to protect
    the largest collection of ancient aboriginal petroforms

    -- rock outlines of animals and geometric shapes, built in prehistoric times-- in North America.

    People still recall meetings where Steinbring would pound his fist on the table arguing
    that the Whiteshell petroforms were sacrosanct.

    "Every boulder is a prehistoric artifact," he wrote in a published paper.

    "Its position must remain exact, and the lichen beds of the site must not be disturbed."


    The province finally relented.

    Steinbring arrived to lecture the prisoners about why they were building the fence.

    Some of them, particularly the aboriginal prisoners, showed empathy, he said.

    The 15 minimum-security prisoners spent several weeks constructing the steel fence
    that stretches at least a kilometre long.

    It's eight feet high with three strands of barbed wire strung across the top.

    It surrounds a nine-acre area called the Tie Creek Site.

    It's a vast table rock from which one can see for many kilometres in any direction, according to one description.

    The petroforms inside are estimated to be up to 2,000 years old.

    The site is difficult to reach, requiring a hike of over six kilometres of muskeg and flooding,
    but that's probably a good thing.

    You don't have to go to Tie Creek to see petroforms, however.

    It's the heart of the petroform site but better known to the public is Bannock Point, which is open to tourists. You can see as many or more petroforms at Bannock Point with one difference.

    The petroforms at Tie Creek have not been disturbed.

    If you didn't know the background, it would be easy to have a Stephen Leacock moment at Bannock Point.

    A story by humourist Leacock might go something like this: Eons ago, some bored aboriginal teenagers spent an afternoon arranging a bunch of rocks into animal shapes as a prank.

    Serious scholars have been studying the shapes for hidden meanings ever since.

    It's not so.

    Granted, it doesn't take much to make the outline of a turtle or snake out of rocks.

    But the act was not to create an art form. The concept of "art for its own sake" was alien
    to early aboriginal peoples, former provincial archaeologist Anthony Buchner wrote in Manitoba Archaeological Journal (Vol. 2, No. 1, 1992).

    "Most (aboriginal) songs, dances and paintings are fully functional within the realm of ritual," Buchner wrote.

    That ritual, which includes building the petroforms, reinforces "societal values and traditions and defines the nature of one's relationship to the unknown."

    The building of the petroforms was a spiritual act, specifically, an act of worship.

    Just as important, the petroforms are a rare example of physical evidence of "the world view"
    of early aboriginal people, Buchner said.

    Like Tie Creek, Bannock Point is also a uniquely flat table of rock, unusual for the Canadian Shield
    that is characterized as topographically "deranged," in one petroform study.
    (Glaciation 10,000 years ago completely scrambled the drainage system, creating myriad small lakes.)

    The Whiteshell petroforms have been steadily attracting increasing interest.

    Many aboriginal people have visited to rediscover the spiritual side of the petroform site.

    Groups have arrived from as far away as Minnesota, Wisconsin and, most recently, Colorado to conduct traditional ceremonies.

    Dave Courchene, who runs Turtle Lodge in Sagkeeng First Nation, which specializes in traditional teaching, recently led a group of 50 youths there on a vision quest.

    They camped at the site and fasted for four days (though not all of them lasted).

    I know this because the tour guide informed me when I arrived that I'd just missed the group.

    It was 11:45 a.m. In 15 minutes, they would be sitting down to their first meal in four days, he said.

    The Bannock Point site is decorated with colourful prayer ties attached to the trees.

    Prayer ties are typically long swatches of coloured cloth.

    There are also tales of spirit visitations. Ron Bell, who has been giving tours of the petroforms for 30 years, is perhaps best placed to tell those stories.

    He claims to once have seen an apparition of a warrior, and he wasn't alone.
    "The lady beside me was hitting my arm and pointing like this," he demonstrated.

    Another time, with a skeptical teacher and his students, Bell stood near a tree filled with prayer ties
    and banged a drum. "Every time I hit the drum, four prayer ties started swinging."
    He kept doing it again and again with the same response. "(The teacher) said to me,
    'How could that be?' I said to him, 'The old ones like to dance.' "

    These stories are perhaps best told around a campfire after dark.

    Of course, scientists eschew tales like those told by Bell, but Courchene of Turtle Lodge has another description for it. He calls Bell "very fortunate."

    Another time, Bell took a group through Bannock Point at night, the best time to experience the spiritual presence, he says. "As we were walking out to the parking lot, there was a huge flash of light,
    and there was an old man standing on the side of the trail with an eagle feather fan and he was waving goodbye," said Bell. "I never heard so many power door locks in my life."
    *******
    Petroforms are stones arranged into the outline of a figure, like animals, in prehistoric times.
    (Pictographs are ancient paintings on rocks; petroglyphs are carvings in rocks.)

    Petroforms are not unique to Manitoba.

    The first anthropology paper on petroforms was written in 1889 concerning effigies of a man and a woman, both almost four metres long, found in South Dakota.

    The writer described the effigies as "rude" because of their overt below-the-waist features.

    The same writer, T.H. Lewis, later reported on petroform sites in northwestern Iowa and southwestern Minnesota. Rock figures of humans and bison have been found near Stevenville, Alta., and petroforms are found in various parts of Saskatchewan.

    One mystery is why there are none east of northwestern Ontario.

    There are many more petroforms in the Whiteshell besides Bannock Point and Tie Creek.

    Archaeologists have identified petroforms on the south side of Rainbow Falls, Jessica Lake
    (badly disturbed, however), Reed Falls, White Lake, the south bay of Red Rock Lake, Tulabi Falls,
    and other areas.

    Bell said he has come across over 200 petroforms in the Whiteshell area.

    Turtles, snakes and human effigies are the most common type of petroform.

    It's a mystery why most other animals aren't represented.

    There are also geometric petroforms.

    The builders are believed to have been pre-tribal aboriginal peoples.

    That is, they were a "generic" people before they divided into distinct tribes like Cree and Ojibway,
    said Steinbring, in a telephone interview from his home in Ripon, Wis.

    The retired Steinbring remains a professor of religious studies and anthropology at the University of Wisconsin, and an adjunct scholar at Ripon College.

    Another mystery regarding Whiteshell petroforms is why there is so little evidence of human occupation
    in the vicinity. There was no nearby settlement.

    Some of the petroforms seem to be part of a transportation route
    between Whiteshell lakes while others are not.

    "It's remote country and, I think, the populations were probably very small," Steinbring said.

    That has made it harder to date the petroforms.

    However, one campsite was discovered and excavated at nearby George Lake.

    Found at the campsite was pottery that matches with other potsherds dating back to about 1 A.D.,
    said Steinbring.

    Assuming the natives who camped there built the petroforms, that would make the petroforms
    about 2,000 years old. But they could go back as far as 5,000 years, Steinbring said.

    That is based on the assumption that the campers were responsible for the petroforms.

    The other hope is to one day be able to date the lichens encrusted on the petroforms.

    Attempts have so far failed.

    It was Steinbring who made the astonishing discovery that there were astronomical alignments
    to the Whiteshell petroforms, a finding expanded upon later by Buchner.

    Too many petroforms for them to be a coincidence were built pointing toward the eastern horizon,
    the direction of the summer sunrise.

    The sun played an important role in spiritual beliefs of earlier peoples generally.

    The sad part about the petroforms at Bannock Point is they have virtually all been disturbed
    or rearranged by vandals and pranksters. Also, many of the petroforms are newly made.

    It helps to have a guide who can tell you which petroforms are "authentic."

    "Steinbring and Buchner, their plan seemed to be we'll give them (the public) Bannock Point
    so they'll leave the other sites alone," said Bell.

    Fortunately, the petroforms have a corporeal angel in Bell.

    He is so well versed in the petroforms that he can usually reconstruct any that have been disturbed.

    Bell, 64, is also a treasure as a tour guide for his knowledge and storytelling abilities.

    He grew up in Winnipeg and spent his summers between a family farm in Treherne and the Whiteshell.

    "I've been walking around here for 60 years," he said at Bannock Point. "I have pictures of my mother walking me in a stroller on these rocks."

    He turned into a hippie in the 1960s and, in 1969, travelled to the state of New York to attend
    the iconic Woodstock Music Festival.

    He eventually settled down and became a heavy equipment operator, his job for the past two decades in the Whiteshell with Manitoba Conservation. But he loved the petroform site and roamed the area often.

    For the past three decades he has been the unofficial guide and guardian of the Bannock Point site.

    He did so voluntarily until the past three years when Manitoba Conservation started to pay him.

    It was here, too, that Bell had his spiritual awakening. "I grew up and went to church as a young person because my parents said to. But I got more spirituality going to one aboriginal ceremony than all my years at church," he said.

    Aboriginal people have accepted him.

    He has participated in many fasts of up to eight days in length among the petroforms.

    (Fasting, Courchene explained, "is universal to connecting in a spiritual way.")

    Bell even helps conduct sundances around Manitoba and Saskatchewan.

    "It just suits me better to follow this path," he said.

    "To me, this is a way of life. I live my life by the teachings in this ground, that I learned over the years from aboriginal people. I don't drink, I don't do drugs. I live my life the traditional way."

    As much as people who care about the petroforms descry their vandalism, Bell tells one story about a disturbed petroform that didn't want to return to its former shape.

    The petroform was of a frog.

    But Bell arrived one day to see someone had rearranged the stones into an outline of a turtle.

    So he arranged them back into the outline of a frog.

    He arrived early the next day to find them in the outline of a turtle again.

    So he changed them back again.

    And the next morning, the frog was turned into a turtle again.

    "So I changed it back into a frog and stayed over night and in the middle of the night I could see the stones move into the shape of a woman and she talked to me," he said.

    The upshot was he should stop reconstructing the frog.

    The spirits seemed to be telling him that despite disturbances of the petroforms,
    the site has not lost its power.

    "People always say, 'Oh, he must have bumped his head.'

    But I could see the stones get up and move," he said.

    Bell said he wouldn't believe his stories if he hadn't seen them himself.
    "I would have said, 'You expect me to believe that? I'd call you a damn liar.'
    But I have seen some things that are miracles."

    "It never fails that someone will have a vision," said Courchene, "and it's amazing what young people
    are seeing and what they are witnessing. That's how powerful the site is.
    As teachers, we can't control that or interfere with it."

    Bell even talks about a "grandmother stone" he alleges has healing powers.

    It's an odd-looking boulder because it's entirely pink, completely denuded of lichens.

    He tells the story of a man who threw off his leg braces after standing near the stone,
    without knowing it was a healing stone. "He said, 'I don't understand what happens
    when I walk past this stone.'"

    Visions can come in a dream or an actual spirit sighting, said Courchene.

    When the recent group of youths fasted at the site, three boys had a shared dream of a little girl.

    The dream was interpreted to convey to the boys of the sanctity of women.

    Two wolves also crept to the edge of their camp, the first time that had ever happened.

    Courchene feels science makes it almost impossible to discover the spiritual side today.

    "That's the challenge we all face in today's world. The scientists are so strong in the mind
    and everything has to be analyzed. That's not the world of spirits," he said.

    "The vision comes in different ways.

    You can have dreams that elders help to translate.

    The other really important thing is as much as you want a vision, what is equally important
    is that a vision comes to a feeling, that you feel the land, everything becomes more amplified,
    the sounds, and what you witness at night, the stars and moon, and you begin to reconnect
    with the source from which we derive our life."

    It's hard for Courchene to put into words the meaning the site has for some aboriginal people.

    Some people have sat down and cried.

    But more and more people are coming. Courchene has begun holding an annual Ignite the Fire gathering every September at Bannock Point.

    Up to 1,000 people, including non-aboriginals, attend.

    It's aimed at sharing knowledge among aboriginal people, the way their ancestors did.

    This year's Igniting the Fire is Sept. 13-18.

    "Part of our disappointment is the rocks have been moved, particularly at Bannock Point,
    but there are still some very significant sites in the area that most people are not aware of," he said.

    Non-aboriginal interest has grown, too. In his last three years as a guide for Manitoba Conservation,
    Bell says, he took through 35,000 people.

    Summer students work as guides at Bannock Point.

    Guided tours run from Thursday to Sunday at 10:30 a.m, noon, 1 p.m. and 2:30 p.m., until Sept. 4.

    Bell has had a tiff with Manitoba Conservation and stopped doing the tours for the office.

    However, he still gives tours to interested parties on request and free of charge.

    He can be reached at buffaloman1@hotmail.com.
    bill.redekop@freepress.mb.ca

    Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition July 30, 2011 J1


    3307727.
    'In the middle of the night I could see the stones move into the shape of a woman, and she talked to me.' — Ron Bell knows how fantastic it sounds, but he stands by what he says he witnessed (BILL REDEKOP / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)



    http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/opinion/fyi/whiteshells-sacred-stones-126445578.html
     
  2. Susan Lynne Schwenger

    Susan Lynne Schwenger The Final Synthesis - isbn 978-0-9939480-0-8 Staff Member

    Messages:
    6,114
    Grubfoot says:
    "Little light on the research, Bill. The Tie Creek site has been disturbed,
    albeit not as severely as Bannock Point.
    The Archives contain photos of the Tie Creek petroforms that would show
    the 'modification' of one petroform: a cross was added to a triangle
    probably to assert a belief in the supremacy of Christianity.
    You probably should've looked for criticisms of Steinbring's work, too:
    that would've given you a much more accurate dating.
    Steinbring got nowhere with oral testimonies from local natives
    who have dated the Tie Creek petroforms to the mid 1700s.

    From accompanying photo: "Steinbring lectures at Tie Creek:
    He says the petroforms were created up to 2,000 years ago,
    before aboriginals divided into tribes."

    There's a cabin at Tie Creek?!


    There is actually no question that the petroforms were made by Ojibway."

    "By relying so much on Steinbring and Buchner's findings, Redekop doesn't inform the public
    that these sites were created for the Ojibwa Grand Medicine Society
    and used to heal and teach healing. Tie Creek may still be in use as such.
    If the petroforms were recognized as intrinsic to Ojibwa spirituality and culture,
    maybe they would have been more respected.

    Sure, there's always some miscreant who will desecrate a religious site
    but I like to think more people would treat the petroforms like any religious shrine
    if they knew the petroforms were part of Ojibwa 'religion'."

    EricW asks: Is Ron Bell aka Richard Bell? Richard Bell is shown in the picture,
    Ron Bell is mentioned in the story.
     
  3. Susan Lynne Schwenger

    Susan Lynne Schwenger The Final Synthesis - isbn 978-0-9939480-0-8 Staff Member

    Messages:
    6,114
  4. Susan Lynne Schwenger

    Susan Lynne Schwenger The Final Synthesis - isbn 978-0-9939480-0-8 Staff Member

    Messages:
    6,114
    Whiteshell Provincial Park

    Bannock Point Petroforms


    whiteshellb.
    The Bannock Point Petroforms are figures laid out on bedrock in the forms of turtles,
    snakes and humans, and also in abstract patterns. Anishinabe and other First Nations people
    believe that they were left here long ago for the benefit of all people that might visit this site
    to receive their teachings and healing.

    There are no fixed interpretations of the figures.

    There are many levels of understanding, therefore, many ways to interpret the teachings.

    With each visit they can become more and more meaningful.

    An introduction to petroforms is available in the publication Petroforms of Manitoba,
    which is distributed at Whiteshell park offices and at Public Information Services in Winnipeg.

    The petroforms sites are sacred places used from time to time by First Nations people
    for ceremonial purposes.

    If ceremonies are in progress we suggest that you postpone your visit.

    Please respect this place as you would your church, synagogue, mosque or other place of worship.

    Park Interpreters offer guided tours of the Bannock Point Petroforms throughout the summer.

    The interpreters will offer insight and share knowledge of the Petroform site and their importance.

    Tours are approximately 1.5 hours long and are free of charge.

    Please bring a hat and drinking water to make the experience more enjoyable.

    For more information please contact:
    Whiteshell Park Interpreter: 204-369-3157​


    Teaching Places, Healing Places: the Petroforms of Manitoba​
    [​IMG]
    Figure 1: Petroform which may represent a scroll teaching (Historic Resources Branch)
    Teaching places. Doorways to other worlds. Physical reminders of instructions given to Native people
    by the spirits.

    Anishinabe, also known as Ojibway or Saulteaux, still attach importance to the major petroform sites
    of southeastern Manitoba as special teaching and healing places.

    These rock alignments, known as petroforms, serve as physical reminders of the instructions
    that have been given to the Anishinabe by the Creator.

    These adherents of the Midewewin, or Grand Medicine Society, are dedicated to spirituality
    and the pursuit of knowledge.

    To them, the area containing the petroforms is Manito Ahbee, the place where God sits.

    It is the site where the original Anishinabe was lowered from the sky to the ground by the Creator.

    While the first people to use the petroforms have not been identified, these stones are not just relics
    of past rituals of unknown people.

    Their importance to the Anishinabe continues to this day.

    The petroform sites are places where the spirits teach those who are open to instruction.

    Members of the Midewewin, a society of healers, practise a code of ethics that promotes a long
    and healthy life through a commitment to the values of wisdom, love, respect, courage, honesty,
    humility and truth.

    The membership provide spiritual, physical and emotional healing to all who come seeking help.

    Increased knowledge in the use of natural medicines and in the power to heal are recognized by the member's passage through four to eight stages or "degrees."

    Advancement from one degree to another involves intensive periods of instruction, quests for spiritual knowledge, and initiation rites.

    The details of these rituals were often recorded in picture form on birchbark scrolls.

    Petroforms also may be recordings of these teachings.



    What are Petroforms?

    Petroforms are defined as features formed by the placement (not piling) of stones to create
    the outlines of figures or shapes.

    The stones or small boulders are arranged on bedrock outcrops in the shapes of snakes, turtles, humans and geometric forms.

    Archaeologists group petroforms with rock paintings or "pictographs" and refer to them as "rock art," although both are thought to have been made by Native people for religious purposes.

    It seems likely that petroforms were intentionally built in remote places so that whatever ceremonies
    were conducted there could be done privately.



    Interpretation of Individual Petroforms

    In a study conducted in 1989-1990 for the Manitoba Parks Branch, the Roseau River Three Fires Society,
    a local chapter of a larger international group of traditional "people of the Midewewin," interpreted several of the petroforms.

    Their explanation of the meaning of the following petroforms should not be considered the only authentic or correct version.

    Rather, their interpretations illustrate how the petroforms can be used for teaching purposes.

    Other Native groups or individuals may view the petroforms in different, but equally valid ways:

    Birch Bark Scrolls - This feature (Fig. 1) represents a scroll teaching about the choice of lifestyle
    that humans take.

    There are three paths.

    The Creator allows us to choose.

    There is a path for the white man and there is a path for the Anishinabe.

    One cannot choose the path in between because it ends quickly and death awaits the spirit.

    At some time in the future the two paths will come together, but we are not there yet.

    The rocks on both sides are there to continue to build upon the path that is chosen.

    The Sweat Lodge - This feature (Fig. 2) represents Waynaboozhoo's Sweat Lodge.
    Waynaboozhoo is the original Anishinabe.
    [​IMG]
    Figure 2: Sweat Lodge feature (Historic Resources Branch)

    In the Midewewin, The Sweat Lodge is very important.

    The history of how the Anishinabe received the Sweat Lodge is in itself a teaching.

    The Sweat Lodge was given to a boy who travelled to the dark side of the moon
    and met with the seven Grandfathers.

    It was given to the Anishinabe as a means of purifying the mind and body.

    The "sweat" must be conducted in accordance with a proper understanding.

    For those who participate, it can be a very powerful experience.

    When one is finished in the Sweat Lodge, "the eastern doorway is opened and a person
    crawls humbly out into the world, it is like being born anew."
    [​IMG]
    Aerial photograph of sweat lodge feature (Historic Resources Branch)
    [​IMG][​IMG]
    Figure 3: Human effigy feature
    (Historic Resources Branch)
    The Sweat Lodge by itself has the power to "cure" some sicknesses,
    but it is primarily a purification rite that is a first step to other ceremonies.
    The physical, emotional and spiritual purification of a person is a necessary preparation
    for participation in many religious ceremonies.

    It is especially important for those undertaking sacred instruction.

    Immortality - This feature (Fig. 3) has to do with a teaching or legend that has a meaning for all people.

    In the legend, one of the Anishinabe people asked Waynaboozhoo (who is both good and evil, both human and spirit) for everlasting life.

    This person wanted immortality, so Waynaboozhoo turned him into a rock.

    We must be careful what we wish for.

    Most of the teachings contain very practical instructions on everyday living and morality.

    Although deceivingly "simple," these lessons are difficult for most people to apply due

    to their human nature.

    [​IMG]


    An Archaeological Perspective
    Archaeologists have difficulty studying and interpreting petroforms
    because they are not like conventional archaeological sites.

    The stones making up a petroform were simply placed on a bare rock surface.

    The stones have not been covered with soil over time; they are not buried
    beneath the ground surface like most archaeological sites.

    As well, artifacts are not usually found at petroform sites.

    Therefore, it is impossible to calculate their ages on the basis of their associations
    with datable materials or how deeply they are buried.

    At one location in the Whiteshell, archaeologists found an ancient Native campsite about 300 metres
    from two small petroforms. Excavation of a portion of the campsite revealed Native pottery
    and stone tools dating to approximately A.D. 500.

    Because no other archaeological sites or petroforms were located nearby, some archaeologists assume
    that the people who made this campsite also built and used the two petroforms.

    If that assumption is correct, then at least some of the petroforms are very old.

    Archaeologists have also studied the location and distribution of the variously-shaped petroforms.

    Most often, snakes and turtles are found along lakeshores and rivers near natural portages.

    It appears that snakes are located at portages between rivers, and turtles between lakes.

    Because water routes were natural highways, these petroforms may have served as signposts to help people avoid dangerous rapids or to point out shortcuts.

    Petroforms found in the most remote locations tend to be larger and made up of geometric shapes.

    These sites are probably places in which rituals or ceremonies were held.

    Several years ago, archaeologists determined that many of the geometrically-shaped petroforms
    are oriented to that part of the eastern horizon in which the sun rises during summer.

    This does not mean that these petroforms could be used to predict where the sun would rise
    at any given time.

    More likely, the petroforms were built to point toward the general direction of the sunrise.

    This fact is not surprising, as the sun played an important role in the religious beliefs of many Native people.
    Exactly who made the petroforms is a question that cannot be answered.

    If some petroforms date to A.D. 500 as archaeologists have estimated,
    it will be impossible to determine who built them in terms of historical Native groups.

    Today the nearest Native groups are Anishinabe and they use the sites,
    but the Anishinabe do not claim to have the only valid interpretation of the meaning of the petroforms.
    [​IMG]
    Turtle petroform
    (Ken Porteous)
    -- top --


    A Fragile Heritage
    Petroforms, consisting simply of stones placed on bare surfaces, are very susceptible to destruction
    from natural agents, such as animals or even the weather, as well as people who may inadvertently
    carry away the stones to build campfires, or who purposefully "rearrange" sites or build "new" ones.

    For archaeologists, the scientific study of petroforms can yield insights into the lives of Native people
    that are not available by other means.

    Therefore, archaeologists are interested in studying and preserving petroforms for future generations.

    For the Anishinabe, the petroforms and the areas surrounding these features are sacred places
    where the spirits communicate with them.

    The teachings inherent in the petroforms are considered necessary for the present and future physical, emotional and spiritual well-being of the Anishinabe. Deliberate destruction of the petroforms would be similar to defacing a church, synagogue or other place of worship.

    In order to preserve and protect important sites such as the petroforms, the Manitoba government
    passed The Heritage Resources Act in 1986.

    Under terms of this law, it is illegal to collect, move or alter objects
    of archaeological or heritage significance without obtaining a permit,
    and a fine may be levied against those who do not comply.

    In addition, any person finding an object or feature, such as a petroform, is required to report the finding.

    Please contact the nearest Manitoba Conservation district office.

    By so doing, it will be possible to have sites such as the petroforms preserved and protected
    for future generations.

    Native people still use the petroform sites.

    If you find an offering, such as tobacco or cloth, at a site, please do not disturb it.

    Similarly, should you happen to come upon an individual or a group using a site,
    please respect their right to do so in privacy and withdraw gracefully.​

    Historic Resources Branch​
    [​IMG]
    Figure 5. Artist's conception of construction of a petroform
    (L. Jamieson)

    http://www.gov.mb.ca/conservation/parks/popular_parks/eastern/whiteshell_petro.html
     
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2014

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