Manòmin is the Heart of the Community
Ardoch Algonquin First Nation's relationship with Manòmin goes back to the mid nineteenth century when the surrounding forests were being burned and clear cut as part of the square logging trade. At that time, Algonquin families were struggling to survive because of the thick black smoke that was all around. Animals had fled and traditional subsistence plants were not able to sustain growth because of the smoke. Learning of the struggle, relatives at Alderville First Nation sent Manòmin seeds which were planted in the lake by the Whiteduck family. The seeds grew into three beds of Manòmin which Ardoch families have cared for ever sense.
In 1979-1980, the beds of Manòmin at Ardoch came under attack by the MNR who tried to open harvesting to commercial interests. Ardoch Algonquin First Nation families along with allies from various Indigenous communities and settlers withstood a 60 day standoff with the MNR and the OPP and prevented any commercial harvesters from gaining access to these Manòmin beds. Elder Harold Perrry was instrumental in leading the community to a successful conclusion of that conflict. It was Harold's ancestors who received Manòmin seeds from Alderville and his family who have been the primary caretakers of Manòmin in Ardoch since that time.
Manòmin is a plant with spiritual significance that stretches back to the Creation of Anishinbaabe people and the Great Migration. During that time our ancestors were told to continue until they saw this plant growing on the water. As a result Anishinaabe people settled all over the Great Lakes and developed relationships over thousands of years. Omaminwinini (Algonquin) people followed the paths and tributaries of the Kiji Sibi and the ancestors of Ardoch Algonquin First Nation families settled within the Tay, Rideau, and Mississippi River watersheds.
The video below explains the importance of Manòmin for Anishinaabe people and why it must be protected.