According to Iroquois oral tradition, "the earth was the thought of [a ruler] of a great island which floats in space [and] is a place of eternal peace." Sky Woman fell down to the earth when it was covered with water, or more specifically, when there was a "great cloud sea". Various animals tried to swim to the bottom of the ocean to bring back dirt to create land. Muskrat succeeded in gathering dirt, which was placed on the back of a turtle. This dirt began to multiply and also caused the turtle to grow bigger. The turtle continued to grow bigger and bigger and the dirt continued to multiply until it became a huge expanse of land. Thus, when Iroquois cultures refer to the earth, they often call it Turtle Island.
We often forget that America has a history from before it was called America. When i think of North America as Turtle Island, it helps me to perceive that there are many ways to tell history, many hidden stories yet to be uncovered, and many stories lost to time.
post written by Sarah Poyet
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Turtle_Island_(Native_American_folklore) | image from https://www.inspiringyoungminds.ca/turtle-island-poster.html