Omett was a good giant and helped
Nanabijou when he wished to raise a mountain or make
a new lake. Omett fell in love with Naiomi, Nanabijou's
daughter. Naiomi liked Omett and encouraged him to display
One day Omett was moving a mountain when a peak broke
off, struck Naiomi and killed her. Greatly frightened
of the wrath of Nanabijou, Omett hid Naiomi's body in
a shallow lake and covered it with a rock shield.
Searching for Naiomi, Nanabijou was striding over the
great shield when he felt vibrations from under the
rocks. Reaching into the sky, he grasped a thunderbolt
and drove it into the rocks, splitting them open. In
the wide canyon he discovered his daughter's body. Nanabijou
buried Naiomi in the bottom of the canyon.
From her grave grew the rare and beautiful flowers found
only there. To punish Omett, Nanabijou turned him to
stone and placed him on the canyon wall to watch over
the grave for all eternity. Standing on the shores of
Thunder Bay at the head of the great Lake Superior,
one can perceive, on looking out across the waters of
Thunder Bay, a great land formation situated directly
in the mouth of the Bay. It requires no imagination
whatever to see that this form resembles the sleeping
body of a giant, arms folded across his massive chest
as in the majesty of death.
Mystery and legend surround the origin of this strange
phenomenon of nature and down through the ages the following
story seems to have survived.
On an island just outside Thunder Bay, now known as
"Isle Royale", once lived a great tribe of Ojibway Natives.
Because of their loyalty to their Gods, and their peaceful
and industrious mode of living, Nanabijou, the Spirit
of the Deep Sea Water, decided to reward them. One day
he called their Chief to his great Thunder Temple on
the mountain and warned him that if he told the secret
to the white man, that he, Nanabijou would be turned
to stone and the Ojibway tribe perish. The Chief gave
his promise, and Nanabijou told him of the rich silver
mine, now known as "Silver Islet".
The Great Spirit told him to go to the highest point
on Thunder Cape, and here he would find the entrance
to a tunnel that would lead him to the centre of the
Apparently the Chief and his people found the mine,
for the Ojibway became famous for their beautiful silver
So beautiful indeed were they, that the Sioux warriors
on seeing them upon their wounded enemies, strove to
wrest their secret from them. However, torture and even
death failed to make the gallant Ojibway divulge their
secret and the Sioux chieftains had to devise another
scheme to find the source of the Ojibway silver. One
day they summoned their most cunning scout to a pow-wow
and a plan was formed.
The scout was to enter the Ojibway camp disguised as
one of them. This he did and in a few days succeeded
in learning the secret of the island of silver. Going
to the mine at night he took several large pieces of
the precious metal in order to prove to his chieftain
that he had fulfilled his mission. The scout however
never returned to his camp, for on his way back he stopped
at a white traders post to purchase some food. Having
no furs or money with which to pay for the goods, he
used a piece of the silver. Seeing such a large piece
of the gleaming metal, two white men sought to obtain
the whereabouts of its source, in order to make themselves
fabulously rich. After filling the Sioux scout with
alcohol they persuaded him to show them the to the mine.
When almost in sight of "Silver Islet" a terrific storm
broke over the Cape. The white men were drowned and
the Native was found in a crazed condition floating
aimlessly in his canoe, but the most extraordinary thing
that had happened during the storm, was that where once
was a wide opening to the bay, now lay what appeared
to be a great sleeping figure of a man.
The Great Spirit's warning had been fulfilled and he
had been turned to stone. On a little island at the
foot of the Sleeping Giant, can still be seen the partly
submerged shafts of what was once the richest silver
mine in the northwest.