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The city is located on the southern bank of the St. Marys River, which flows from Lake Superior to Lake Huron. The river forms a gorge where it passes through the downtown core and this was one of the features motivating its name; "Sault" means "jump" in French, referring to rapids or waterfalls. The rapids are visible from many points throughout much of the city and have been described as sounding like a herd of thundering buffalo as they churn through limestone rock formations before tumbling into pools below. This area has long been home to First Nations peoples, known by their Ojibwe dialect as Bawating (pronounced [bɑˈwætʃiŋ]).