Watch: Historic flag raising ceremony at Little Sand Bay

It was a milestone in history. For the first time since the creation of the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore, the flag of the Red Cliff Band of Lake Superior Chippewa was permanently raised over the park on June 23rd, 2021.

The National Park Service joined the Red Cliff Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians in raising the flags of the United States and of the Red Cliff Band outside of the Little Sand Bay Visitor Center. Friends of the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore provided funding for the flag pole and participated in the festivities.

Safety protocols for the ongoing pandemic limited the dedication ceremony to invited guests, who heard the following welcome message in the language of the Ojibwe people.

𝘉𝘰𝘰𝘻𝘩𝘰𝘰 𝘯𝘪𝘪𝘫 𝘣𝘦𝘮𝘢𝘢𝘥𝘪𝘴𝘪𝘫𝘪𝘨! 𝘕𝘪𝘮𝘪𝘯𝘸𝘦𝘥𝘢𝘮𝘪𝘯 𝘣𝘪𝘪’𝘪𝘻𝘩𝘢𝘢𝘺𝘦𝘨 𝘰𝘮𝘢𝘢! 𝘖𝘫𝘪𝘣𝘸𝘦𝘸𝘪𝘸𝘢𝘨 𝘪𝘨𝘪𝘤𝘩𝘪’𝘢𝘺𝘢𝘢’𝘢𝘢𝘮𝘪𝘯 𝘥𝘪𝘣𝘢𝘫𝘪𝘮𝘰𝘸𝘢𝘢𝘥, “𝘨𝘦𝘨𝘦𝘵 𝘮𝘦𝘸𝘪𝘯𝘻𝘩𝘢𝘢 𝘪𝘯𝘨𝘪𝘸 𝘨𝘦𝘵𝘦 𝘈𝘯𝘪𝘴𝘩𝘪𝘯𝘢𝘢𝘣𝘦𝘨 𝘨𝘪𝘪 𝘣𝘢𝘣𝘢𝘮𝘢𝘢𝘥𝘪𝘻𝘪𝘸𝘢𝘢𝘥 𝘪𝘸𝘪𝘥𝘪 𝘞𝘦𝘯𝘢𝘣𝘰𝘰𝘻𝘩𝘰-𝘰𝘮𝘪𝘯𝘪𝘴𝘪𝘯𝘪𝘪𝘯𝘨, 𝘥𝘢𝘴𝘩 𝘢𝘱𝘢𝘯𝘦 𝘦𝘻𝘩𝘪𝘯𝘪𝘬𝘢𝘢𝘥𝘢𝘮𝘰𝘸𝘢𝘢𝘥 𝘰𝘮𝘢𝘢 𝘢𝘢𝘬𝘪𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘢𝘣𝘪𝘸𝘪𝘯. 𝘎𝘢𝘬𝘪𝘯𝘢 𝘢𝘸𝘪𝘪𝘺𝘢 𝘮𝘪𝘻𝘪𝘸𝘦 𝘢𝘬𝘪𝘬𝘢𝘢𝘯𝘨 𝘪𝘯𝘨𝘪𝘪 𝘰𝘯𝘥𝘢𝘢𝘥𝘢𝘥 𝘈𝘯𝘪𝘴𝘩𝘪𝘯𝘢𝘢𝘣𝘦𝘸𝘪 𝘣𝘪𝘮𝘢𝘥𝘪𝘻𝘪𝘸𝘪𝘯𝘢𝘸𝘢𝘢. 𝘎𝘢𝘬𝘪𝘯𝘢 𝘢𝘸𝘪𝘺𝘢𝘢 𝘨𝘪𝘪𝘨𝘰𝘰𝘯𝘩𝘺𝘢𝘨, 𝘣𝘪𝘯𝘦𝘴𝘩𝘪𝘪𝘸𝘢𝘨, 𝘮𝘢𝘯𝘪𝘥𝘰𝘰𝘯𝘴𝘢𝘨, 𝘢𝘸𝘦𝘯𝘴𝘪𝘪𝘺𝘢𝘨, 𝘮𝘢𝘯𝘪𝘥𝘰𝘨 𝘪𝘸𝘪𝘥𝘪 𝘯𝘰𝘰𝘱𝘪𝘮𝘪𝘯𝘨, 𝘎𝘪𝘤𝘩𝘪𝘨𝘢𝘮𝘪𝘪𝘯𝘨, 𝘨𝘢𝘺𝘦 𝘪𝘴𝘩𝘪𝘮𝘱𝘪𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘪𝘯𝘨𝘪𝘸 𝘰𝘯𝘥𝘢𝘢𝘥𝘢𝘥 𝘈𝘯𝘪𝘴𝘩𝘪𝘯𝘢𝘢𝘣𝘦𝘸𝘪 𝘪𝘻𝘩𝘪𝘵𝘸𝘢𝘢𝘸𝘪𝘯.”

Hello my friends! We are happy you all came here! Our Ojibwe elders tell us that, “truly a long time ago those ancient Natives traveled here to the Apostle Islands, however, we have always called this place home. Everything all over the land has created our way of life. Everyone (the fish, the birds, the insects, the spirits in the forest, Lake Superior, and sky) is where our culture comes from.”

Watch a video of the ceremony with an introduction by Friends Executive Director Jeff Rennicke
Video edited by Jason Naify

Little Sand Bay is part of the ceded territories of the 1842 Treaty and is located within the Red Cliff Reservation boundaries. The flags of two nations fly together in recognition of the place and stories we share.

Learn more about 𝘔𝘪𝘴𝘬𝘸𝘢𝘢𝘣𝘦𝘬𝘰𝘯𝘨 (Red Cliff Nation) and listen to the welcome in the Ojibwe language here.