The Sleeping Dogs - the cliffs and rock formations along the shores of Lake Superior - are said to be the manifestation of spirits that guard the land. The Sleeping Dogs can astound us with their beauty, their longevity, their color, their sovereignty. The Sleeping Dogs can put butterflies in your belly, make you feel small (in a good way), and provide a safe, warm spot to dry in the sun.
The power of the Sleeping Dogs lies in their ability to instill in us the desire to protect the land and Water so that we can continue to live upon and enjoy this planet. The Sleeping Dogs take many forms. Beside Dogs, some look like Bears. Others like Otters, Iguanas, Turtles, Whales, Alligators, Trout, Eagles, and creatures unnervingly like Humans. They all represent those things that must be left at rest, unless one feels sure they are prepared for the release of energy that would surely follow any awakening. It is this concept that has given them their name. So, as they say, “Let sleeping dogs lie.”
The reality is the Land needs protection, as does our Water and Air. Visitors and residents alike sometimes impact the Land and Water in adverse ways. Trees were once harvested in ways that brought decades of disruption and permanent loss. Oil companies spill toxic sludge in our rivers, buy our representatives, and bring tar sands oil across the Lake Superior watershed. Nuclear waste and taconite tailings (mining waste) have been dumped in The Lake. The Water has been contaminated, wild rice beds are dying, and fish are full of mercury. Mineral deposits that lie beneath the surface are sought by mining companies who will extract what they want with cyanide. Assaults by Gogebic Taconite, Kennecott Mining and others in their quest for zinc, copper, and other minerals will leave sulfate, arsenic, mercury, lead, and other poisonous waste in the wake of their empty promises for economic prosperity.
The wealth of this world isn’t lying deep in the ground in the form of metal, oil, and coal. The wealth of this world is all around us in the form of places of peace that provide inspiration, clean Water, breathable Air, and nutritious food. Wild Rice is a gift from the Water. Very Nutritious. High in fiber. Twice the protein of white rice. There are Red Raspberries, Mushrooms, Wild Onions, White Fish, Blueberries, Maple Syrup, Trout, and Cranberries. Delicious! Real food, available in our back yards. This is only a small part of what is at stake.