The name Gchi-Waaswaaganing, a word in Nishnaabemowin (the language of Anishnaabek), was suggested and given by the Elders of Biigtigong Nishnaabeg. Gchi means “very big”. “Waaswaaganing” means torch light. First Nations people, long before Europeans settled in the area, fished in Marathon harbour with birch spears. To see more clearly and to attract the fish, the top end of the spear was lit as a torch.
The name speaks to us as an wayfinding and programming centre and in the sharing of who we are as two nations and why we love to live in this part of Canada.