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PostPosted: August 8th, 2018, 12:55 pm 
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Does anyone know of a good resource for finding out where a lake name originated? I’m particularly interested in Dashwa Lake, NW of Atikokan, SE of White Otter.


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PostPosted: August 8th, 2018, 7:17 pm 
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Location: Marathon/Superior
There's a ministry website where you can search provincial geographic names but I can't seem to find it. If you really want the info, you could contact the OGNB. They might be able to help.

The Ontario Geographic Names Board
Mapping and Information Resources Branch
Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry
2nd Floor North
300 Water St
Peterborough ON K9J 8M5
Tel: 705-755-2134
E-mail: geographicnames@ontario.ca

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PostPosted: August 9th, 2018, 12:28 am 
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Joined: March 26th, 2013, 9:27 pm
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Location: Winnipeg, MB
There's a link on this page but I couldn't find Dashwa in the database

https://www.ontario.ca/page/geographic-names

I'm not sure if this is the information I think it is though. I have a geological names book for Manitoba. There must be something similar for Ontario.


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PostPosted: August 10th, 2018, 8:41 am 
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Thanks Jonathan and Neil. I sent an email to OGNB. Fingers crossed.


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PostPosted: August 10th, 2018, 11:16 am 
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If you want to do a bit of sleuthing yourself, try the Ojibway Language dictionary by Frederic Baraga.

Here might be a meaning in the root of the name "Tashk..." with entries referring to splitting an object. A split rock, a gash in the sky line, split wood....

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PostPosted: August 14th, 2018, 12:07 pm 
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Thanks Erhard, that's a great idea. Reguesting the dictionary from the library. Father Baraga's Cross is on the Minnesota North Shore of Superior. It commemorates his safe crossing of the big lake in stormy weather. I stopped there with high school kids a couple times.

Here's what I got back from the OGNB: "Our summer student searched in our historical names records here in our office, and found the following information about Dashwa Lake, which has appeared on maps as early as 1933: “Chippewa word for ‘tortoiseshell’” We were unable to locate any additional information about the origin or this reference. I hope this helps somewhat."

As an aside I enjoy the Chuck Taylor shot. For almost 20 years I used to go thru a pair of Converse every 2-3 years, then I got hooked on Five Ten Water Tennies - more expensive and no more durable, but way stickier rubber.


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PostPosted: August 20th, 2018, 11:36 am 
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I picked up Baraga's dictionary from the library. It confirms the OGNB in the English section under the entry for turtle. Thanks all.


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PostPosted: August 20th, 2018, 1:23 pm 
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If you can't get to a library, the Baraga dictionary is available at the Wisconsin Historical Society website. It is a 45.5 Mb download and comes in pdf format.

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Here is the website URL -

http://content.wisconsinhistory.org/cdm ... p/id/27216

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PostPosted: September 11th, 2018, 10:37 am 
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On September 9th at 9:34am my wife, Claire, gave birth to Dashwa Alexander Paulsen. 8lbs 1oz. All healthy. I'm hoping to have him in a canoe for a quick paddle on our lake this week.

Here's what I wrote to family and friends that wondered about the name:

Dashwa is indeed a lake in Ontario. A lake that my sister, Wendy, and I, along with Mom and Dad spent a week of many summers camped upon for ~week, often with relatives and close friends. Dashwa (and the adjacent and connected lake, Crowrock) was the place that the northwoods and I became inseparable. Think of fond family memories and wilderness all rolled together. It is a family name, though one that has never been used before.

When I have time, now that all are certainly healthy, my intent is to write something longer about the memories of Dashwa, as well as the significance of the turtle in native myths - both Claire and I loved the concept of naming our munchkin after a being that carries its home wherever it travels and moves slowly through the wilderness on both the land and in the water.

Thanks again for the resource suggestions.

Bear, Claire, and Dashwa


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