Sault First Nation builds teaching lodge for tourists on the Agawa Canyon Train Tour
Members of the Batchewana First Nation in Sault Ste. Marie spent Friday building a teaching lodge at the new train station for the Agawa Canyon Train Tour. (Jairus Patterson/CTV News)
SAULT STE. MARIE -- Members of the Batchewana First Nation in Sault Ste. Marie spent Friday building a teaching lodge at the new train station for the Agawa Canyon Train Tour.
Each year, roughly 30,000 tourists come to the Sault to take the train tour, and the First Nation is hoping to educate them about the history of the Sault.
"Well we had an incredible opportunity as a people to be able to provide some cross-cultural awareness and education to the 800 people plus that are going to be coming through this train station here with the ACR," said Chief Dean Sayers of the Batchewana First Nation.
The teaching lodge is made out of maple saplings. Once the branches were cut, band members only had 24 hours to bend them into place before they would crack.
The owner of the Paper Mill District, where the new home of the train tour will be based, said it's important to showcase the Sault's history to tourists.
"Here we would like them to see what we our heritage is and where it all came from," said Tony Porco, owner of the Paper Mill District. "Here we’re going to display Turtle Island."
The First Nation hopes to have band members stationed at the teaching lodge to answer any questions tourists may have about the history of indigenous people in Sault Ste. Marie.