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Native American Legends

The Three Sisters

An Ojibwa Legend

Mariners find three islands laying in the waters of Thunder Bay, a safe shelter from the storms that lash Lake Superior. According to legend, the aptly named "Welcome Islands" had a strange origin.

Of the six children of a great Ojibway chieftain, only the youngest was of tender and dreamy nature, constantly relating her communication with spirits of the forest to her family. Endeared to her father by her sweet nature, the girl was ridiculed by the elder sisters.
One day, the young maiden heard the great and kindly voice of Nanna Bijou say he had chosen her to be the bride of his son, North Star. That evening she related the story and told of the God's instructions of when and where she was to meet the Great Spirit's son. The sisters laughed mockingly and accused her of being sick in the head. The chief, angered by their cruel treatment of his youngest daughter, beat the daughters with a strip of deer hide. Full of hate because of their punishment, the sisters planned the younger girl's death.

Recalling the place and time of the meeting, they followed their sister into the woods. North Star, being a spirit, could not be seen by the elder sisters, thus as the young sister embraced North Star and they shot their arrows into her heart, the arrows also pierced North Star's heart. Instead of falling, their sister was borne gently upwards to the sky by the spirit. Frightened at what they saw, the sisters ran wildly through the woods. Nanna Bijou, furious at their deed, turned them into stone and hurled their into the waters of Thunder Bay.

There today, lay the three islands, and who can tell."truth is often stranger than fiction".

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