Our Thunderbird Symbol
The Thunderbird represents the heart of Algoma University.
Its thunder, lightning and rain cleanses and gives power to the earth and its people.
Adopted in the early 1970s from the pictographs within the Agawa Bay region of Lake Superior, it symbolizes our collective hope as we emerge from a dark past into a brighter future for all - learning from and with each other.
Ceremonial and Offical Marks
In 1981 our Thunderbird was made into a flag for the occasion of a healing and reconciliation memorial and ceremony conducted after the first Shingwauk Reunion, which honoured the two branches of Founders of education on the site, traditional and contemporary, Native and non-Native; Shingwauk and Algoma. The Thunderbird Flag was made by Algoma Student and Student Council member Pam Forster, and presented by her and Rolland Nadjiwon, Founding Executive Director of the Keewatinung Institute, to Dr. Dennis Howell, Chairman of the AUC Board of Trustees, and Shingwauk Alumnus and Garden River Elder, Daniel Erskine Pine Sr. It was blessed by the Bishop Frank Nock of the Anglican Diocese of Algoma and raised by him and Dr. Howell at an Honour Ceremony and Song for the Flag by a local Native Drum Group.
The Flag has been flown since as the symbol/dodem of then Algoma University College, now Algoma University.
The Thunderbird flag flies proudly in front of the front entrance to Shingwauk Hall. Although the Thunderbird as a symbol of Algoma University may evolve over time, the flag will remain as it was presented in 1981.