By Bob Malone
As proponents of the Newcastle Wilmot Creek Heritage Park, we have been working with David Mowat, formerly historical advisor to the Mississaugas of Scugog Island First Nation in Port Perry, to ensure that Anishinaabek cultural interests are well represented in the proposed Park. We attended the inauguration and swearing-in of Chief Mowat of the Alderville First Nation (Ojibwa) on the morning of July 22, 2019.
The ceremony included a smudging bowl; a pouch of tobacco for participants in the proceedings; a traditional Ojibwa bonnet presented to the Chief and a circle of those involved in the ceremony around a medicine wheel. The speaker related the story told by the ceremonial wheel and spoke of the responsibilities the new Chief and his Council faced going forward.
We were honoured to have been invited and the Chief acknowledged our presence during his inaugural remarks. He also pledged his continued involvement in the plan to establish the proposed Wilmot Creek Heritage Park, which is intended to celebrate European and Anishinaabek peoples uses of the lands around the Creek.