What is Turtle Island?
The continent that was called North America by Europeans who invaded a nation, was originally called Turtle Island by many indigenous communities.
Why Turtle Island? Well, according to many indigenous creation stories, long long ago, the Earth was covered with water after a flood. Then many sea creatures tried to take dirt from the bottom of the ocean and bring it to the surface but failed. The muskrat was the last animal to attempt this task. One day the muskrat swam to the bottom of the ocean and stayed there for a very long time. Finally, the muskrat reached the surface of the water but perished as the wet soil lay in its paws. Thankfully, Nanabush (a supernatural being) took the soil and placed it on a turtle's back. That day, the land began to take shape, and thus turtle island was born. Now, not all indigenous creation stories feature a turtle. Some feature Ravens and other mystical creatures. However, throughout indigenous cultures, the understanding of our world and planet was interpreted through the story, allegory, and myth which helped societies get behind a common story and thrive together. Shoutout to the Indigenous People across the world. Happy Indigenous People's Day!