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Elder Ron Bell says a disturbed petroform at Bannock Point is fixable. ( An elder who’s spent his life caring for a series of sacred stones that were recently disturbed in a Manitoba park says the site can be put back together and still has a future.

Ron Bell, who hails from the Sagkeeng , says the snake-shaped petroform at Bannock Point, which an tour guide discovered disturbed this week, isn’t ruined and doesn’t need to be protected by security.

"This is nothing new." An inukshuk now sits where petroforms made a snake many Indigenous people consider sacred. (Diane Maytwayashing ) Bell said he’s been taking care of that petroform and about 200 others that are largely unknown in the Whiteshell Provincial Park for 63 years.

The now 70-year-old elder spoke to CBC about it over the phone from his Winnipeg hospital bed on Saturday. He said while news about the petroform being disturbed is upsetting, he can fix it and would once he gets released from hospital.

"I have all this stuff recorded," said Bell, who started taking care of the site when he was seven-years-old.

Bell said an elder from Alberta spent years coaching him and explaining the meaning of the sacred site.

"We’d talk about the stars, we’d talk about the forms on the ground, we’d talk about the animals and the different teachings."

He said over the years he’s taken photos of the petroforms in the Whiteshell and knows where the stones at Bannock Point need to go to be returned to normal.A tour guide discovered the disturbed stones on Wednesday while leading a group through the site and was gathering friends together to act as security this weekend at Bannock Point, but Bell feels that’s unnecessary. ‘With education will come respect’ Kevin Brownlee, curator of archaeology at the Manitoba […]

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