Turtle Island

Turtle Island

On July 1, Golden Brick Road Publishing House celebrated Canada Day.

In keeping with GBR’s mission of diversity and social change, we want to honour the history of this land we call North America and the future potential of Canada. GBR is a publishing house comprised of voices turned into the written word. The authors come individually with many thoughts, stories, lessons and missions but stand as one with a uniting message to make change and help others. Every author is a piece of the puzzle that comes together to create this publishing house, with the knowledge that they have a responsibility to make an impact with their voice. Like our authors, GBR feels strongly about opening reader’s eyes and allowing them to see life differently every day. When you allow yourself to see constant change, listen to the lessons, and to expand your mind on a daily basis, that’s when the internal growth happens. This is where the lessons of our land’s past are integral in knowing and acknowledging, especially during a celebration like Canada Day.

We hold great respect for this stolen and sacred land referred to by indigenous people as Turtle Island (Source). The name comes from various Indigenous oral histories that tell stories of a turtle that holds the world on its back. We are grateful for our Canadian freedoms and prosperity, but we also feel that it’s our responsibility to remember what was taken from the indigenous people: Turtle Island.

“The Story of Turtle Island: Traditional Story of Onondaga (The Earth on Turtle's Back) . . .

Long ago, before the Earth was here, all was water. Many creatures lived in the water, swimming about. 

Far above the clouds, there was, however, a land where lived a powerful chief. His wife was going to have a baby. In that Sky land was a great tree with four large roots, stretching out to each of the four sacred directions and bearing many kinds of fruits and flowers. One night the chief's wife dreamed that the great tree had been uprooted. The chief perceived that this was a dream of great power and thus must be fulfilled. With great effort, the tree was uprooted, leaving a large hole in the sky. The chief's wife leaned to look through the hole but lost her balance and fell. Grasping at the tree as she fell, she only managed to hold onto a handful of seeds. The water creatures below saw her falling. They realized that she was not a water creature and tried desperately to think of a way to help her. 

‘I have heard,’ said one, ‘that there is earth far below the waters. Perhaps we should try to get some for her to stand upon.’ One by one the animals tried to dive down far enough to retrieve land, but one by one they failed. Finally brave little muskrat tried one last time. 

Deeper and deeper she dove until her little lungs almost burst. Suddenly she found a bit of land. Scooping it up, she frantically swam to the surface. But alas, where to put the land? Turtle said, ‘Put it on my back. I will hold up the Land and the Sky Woman.’ And so they did. Sky woman landed safely on Turtle's back and was very thankful. She cast the seeds about. The Land became ever so beautiful. Some people call that land ‘America.’” (Source)

So what does that mean to us, as occupiers of this land?

Golden Brick Road Publishing House believes in learning about history in order to progress in society. Recognizing our relationship to the land honours the responsibility we all have, and using our voices through the written word or books is the vehicle that propels it.

Written by Kiki Carr, Blog Curator
Lead Author and Upcoming Author at Golden Brick Road Publishing House

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