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Thunder Bay & surrounding Ontario

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The Peeping Squaw

From the deck of a boat on the waters of Thunder Bay you can view many points of interest. Among them is the natural spectacle known as The Peeping Squaw (Chippewa Park). Heading towards the Sleeping Giant and looking westward, an oddity presents itself as the boat passes Pie Island.

For only a short distance you can see what appears to be a woman peeping out behind the plateau that gives the Island its name. As you pass the figure appears to vanish, as if she had gone into hiding again. Legend explains the origin of this effect.

Resenting the invasion of the white man upon the territories of his people, Nanabijou, (Native Spirit of the Deep Sea Water) attempted to scare them away. With his giant Thunder Bird, he swept up and down the shores of the Great Lake creating terrible thunderstorms around the white man's camps.

Nanabijou spent more and more time away from his temple on the mountain, and soon his wife became tired of her husband never being with her. Passing the many long hours and days away, she would hunt, she was known to be a great huntress. It was while his wife was on one of these hunting trips, that Nanabijou returned, hungry and tired to find his home cold and the table empty.

He was already filled with rage at the white man and angry he went to find his wife. When he found her he chastised her for leaving their home and she rebuffed him for leaving her, in a fit of rage he raised his hand and struck her down.

As his anger subsided he bcame remorseful and went in search of her, but Manitou, the greatest of all the Native Gods had turned her to stone placing her on Pie Island so that Nanabijou would not harm her again. It is there she can be still be seen peeping out at all that approach in the hope that it is her beloved husband. If one day Nanabijou should come again and the Manitou forgives him, legend states she will disappear and if she does, she will never leave his side again.