Remer, MN: ‘Home of Bigfoot’

The now famous trail cam photo that kicked off speculation about Sasquatch in the Remer, Minnesota area.

The now famous trail cam photo of a dark humanoid figure walking in the woods that kicked off speculation about Sasquatch in the Remer, Minnesota area.

I have a nagging question about Sasquatch. If this giant ape-man of the northern boreal forests is real, where is he in the oral tradition of native peoples? Wouldn’t Sasquatch be all over those stories? It stands to reason that Sasquatch creatures would have been more plentiful and less inhibited in the days before industrialization, right?

Well, turns out Sasquatch does appear in native stories. As is common with such folklore, variations exist among different North American peoples.

As this article shows, in the Northwest “Bigfoot” is a real creature, something closer to humans than bears, which are themselves seen as kinfolk.

But in other tribal traditions, Sasquatch is part physical, part supernatural — a spiritual being that appears at significant moments, usually as a message to the people who see it. Bigfoot is a “brother,” a husband to the mother Earth. He walks between dimensions, which is why we don’t see him all the time.

“There is your Big man standing there, ever waiting, ever present, like the coming of a new day,” Oglala Lakota Medicine Man Pete Catches km told Mathiessen. “He is both spirit and real being, but he can also glide through the forest, like a moose with big antlers, as though the trees weren’t there… I know him as my brother… I want him to touch me, just a touch, a blessing, something I could bring home to my sons and grandchildren, that I was there, that I approached him, and he touched me.”

Well, it turns out Bigfoot is actually from Remer.

From a May 5 Manja Holter story in Business North:

Unlike other towns of the area, Remer isn’t situated on a lake and doesn’t attract the amount of visitors that resort destinations north of the Brainerd area typically do. Based on a locally taken trail camera picture that supports dozen of accounts of sightings of the big, furry creature, town officials are now hoping to cash in on the phenomena to generate tourism.

Business owner Marc Ruyak spearheaded the event. He first had the idea seven years ago.

“Back in 2009 when the trail camera picture was taken, I saw it on the national news and thought how this could be something great for our town.” But after toying with ideas of how to promote a possible event and how to garner support, he and his wife found out they were expecting for the first time and Bigfoot had to take a back seat.

When an attempt to pass a multi-million dollar school referendum failed in May 2015, Ruyak feared for the future of his small hometown and resurrected his brainchild. He joined forces with the Remer Chamber of Commerce, the city of Remer and the Northland Lions Club to push forward and make the Bigfoot event happen.

Meanwhile the proposed referendum passed in a second run in November 2015. “We wanted to capitalize on that fact and asked ourselves ‘How can we get the next generation involved?’ stated Scott Kesti, president of the Remer Chamber of Commerce and Main Street business owner.

Ruyak combed through records of sightings, some centuries old, and discovered in the process that no town in Northern America claimed to be the true home of Bigfoot. (However, the town of Willow Creek in California calls itself “The Bigfoot Capital of the World.) In turn he had the phrase trademarked and has applied for copyright.

So, Bigfoot is from Remer, at least when he inhabits our spiritual plane.

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