“No Ferrochrome…” part of message at Indigenous day to teach about water

Chief Andy Rickard (left) watches as Chief Dean Sayers address those gathered at the event, September 18, 2021 (Dan Gray/SaultOnline.com)

“When you go on to that water, when you go near that water remember and acknowledge… use tobacco… thank that water for continuing to look after us… thank you [the water] for being alive.”

Images from the water awareness event held at the National Historic Site, September 18, 2021 (Dan Gray/SaultOnline.com)

That was the request of Batchawana First Nations Chief Dean Sayers, during the Water Awareness Day at the National Historic site in the Canal District. The day, designed for sharing Indigenous cultures and information on the water, was put together by Batchawana First Nations with the help of Lake Superior Watershed Conservancy.

Chief Sayers had shared that another message for anyone looking to encroach further on the waters, the waters which the Indigenous people have declared are living and such have certain rights.

“We will not, we will not endorse any more encroachments, any more poison in our waters. No ferrochrome on the Great Lakes, No ferrochrome in the watershed, no isotopes, no bearing of nuclear waste in our territories,” said Sayers.  “We will not compromise, we will not. We will not give up our inherent promises that we made to all of creation.”

Garden Rivers newly re-elected Chief Andy Ricard shared much of the same sentiment of his counterpart in relation to the history of industry in our community.

Images from the water awareness event held at the National Historic Site, September 18, 2021 (Dan Gray/SaultOnline.com)

“We are right on the St. Mary’s River, we are right beside industry, we have been right beside industry for many years,” said Ricard. “All these things that flow down past our communities, all these things that go into the various water systems in our area, it’s definitely a critical concern for our community when we are talking about the water and the health of it, because water is life.”

Organizers who spoke to SaultOnline say they intended to provide education, share traditional teachings and raise awareness about water on the Great Lakes throughout the day.

Sayers ended his address with a thank you and a reminder of where they were standing.

“Thank you for all coming here today and miigwetch for all the organizers.  Have a beautiful ceremony and a beautiful day next to our our Kitchi gami, that beautiful lake.  Miigwetch.”

The event runs until 5 p.m. this evening at the Sault Ste. Marie Canal National Historic Site.


  1. This country is going down the toilet faster each day. The only way Canada will ever end this endless Bull$%it is to change the Constitution, build Canada’s pipelines and Hydro Dams and move into the 22 Century. Canada is one of the few countries in the World that never had a Civil War . All Mr. Trudeau is doing is creating division and hatred between different groups in Canada. This may be his plan, the Liberal Policy thrives on one created by Racism, bigoty and hatred. One law , one unified Canada with equal rights for all should be the Political Platform for all parties in Canada.

    • Great Message, Steve. Hopefully Saultites are seeing this Corrupt, Lying Joke of a PM for what he truly is – a Communist who is working on taking away our freedoms and changing our Beloved Canada into a Communist Regime.
      The ONLY way to rid ourselves of this Traitor is to Vote Conservative.

  2. Thank you, Chief Sayers! One of the worst things to ever want to come to Sault Ste. Marie…..a killing, debilitating ferrochrome plant. We have enough sickness and death in our city. Having money can’t replace the lives lost and the pain of sickness.

  3. As much as I am for good paying jobs coming here I cannot wrap my head around why any logical person would want to build and operate one on Lake Superior, to much can happen.

  4. Hmmmm are you all going to fund the unemployment from no jobs ( good paying ) in the Soo? Every day we are aware of our kids moving to Southern Ontario for work and we bit** and complain and when there is an opportunity we shoot ourselves in the foot. Remember that .

  5. I don’t know anyone that would agree to putting a ferrochrome plant on the shore of Gitche Gumee, it’s not even debatable.
    The city blew numerous chances to have much cleaner businesses move to Sault Ste. Marie in the past but the ridiculous taxes and too many hoops to jump through scared them all away.

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