The coat of arms of the Huron-Wendat Nation… represents its culture, territory and history. The geese recall the creation of the world. As Yäa’taenhtsihk fell from the sky world, geese collected her on their wings before placing her on the shell of Great Turtle, the animal chief. Thanks to the land brought from the bottom of the sea by a female toad, Great Turtle became a wonderfully beautiful island, our Earth. This is why our land is known as Turtle Island. The canoe and snowshoes represent the means of transport used for moving across the land and remain an integral part of the economy and craftsmanship of the Huron-Wendat Nation. Water is the source of life and forms the paths to follow between communities. The circle of sweetgrass symbolises the interconnection among all the elements of nature – all life, including humans, animals, plants, spirits, etc., form a whole called Great Circle of Kinship. Sweetgrass itself represents spirituality and has medical value. The symbols on the canoe represent four of the original clans that are present at Wendake today – deer, turtle, bear, and wolf. Finally, the beaver is the national emblem of the Huron-Wendat Nation; it has adapted to many habitats and lives with his family all his life. He is a symbol of endurance, intelligence and pride.
Text by: Ron F. Williamson, PhD.
Text courtesy of Wendat Village Public School, Whitchurch-Stouffville, Ontario.