Culture

 

THE ODAWA and AMIKWA Nations

South West of Killarney, in Wikwemikong is the ancestral home of the Odawa on what is known as Odawa Mnis or “Manitoulin Island”. In 1968, an amalgamation took place between the Manitoulin Island Indian Reserve, South Bay West Band, and Point Grondine Band to form what is now the Wikwemikong Unceded Indian Reserve. Point Grondine was used seasonally for harvesting berries, wild rice, and game but also had a permanent settlement along the Beaverstone River. Logging camps at Collins Inlet were a primary source of employment for families living in the Beaverstone village. Upon closing of the mills in the early 1900’s, families had vacated the territory and moved to Wikwemikong and other neighboring communities. Wikwemikong citizens still utilize the land to harvest berries, rice, fish and wild game. As you begin your trek through the coast trail you will travel the traditional routes of the Odawa and Amikwa Nations of Manitoulin and the French River. The abundance of fish species, game, berries and wild rice attracted our people to the Point Grondine and Collins Inlet area. Located at the eastern entrance of Collins Inlet, the Beaverstone Bay is sheltered with wild rice beds, cranberries and was the major east-west canoe travel route, in ancient times as well as during the fur-trade era. The Mahzenahzing, Beaverstone and Chikanishing rivers allowed passage into the interior lakes and wetlands where beaver and moose were plentiful. It is believed that Samuel De Champlain met with a large band of Odawa what he described as “Cheveux-Releves” or “high hairs” at the southern shores of Point Grondine in 1615.

 

Authentic Indigenous Experiences

 

OUR STORY. THROUGH OUR LENS.

Wikwemikong Tourism offers an array of authentic Indigenous experiences that reflect the cultural lifestyles and traditions of the Anishnaabek people of the Three Fires Confederacy - Ojibwe, Odawa, and Pottawatomi. As Manitoulin Island's largest First Nation community and Canada's only officially recognized Unceded Indian Reserve, we welcome you to delve into our rich culture and history through our nature-based and cultural tourism experiences. Our guides will take you on a journey through time as you learn of the legends of our people while exploring the vast lands and waters of our territory. Custom group tours and itineraries can be developed to meet your learning needs. Contact Wikwemikong Tourism to learn more about our authentic Indigenous experiences. 

Contact Wikwemikong Tourism at 705-859-3477

 

 

  

Join us on our interpretive trail along Merv's Landing day hiking trail and experience the rich culture, history and medicines of the Anishinaabek. Hike through and view educational signage that will familiarize yourself with our deep connection to the land of Point Grondine.

                               

 

 

We invite you to take part in our school group tours to embark on an educational experience with Wikwemikong Tourism. We offer customizable itineraries for school groups plus with options between one and multi-day programs to accommodate your time frame and financial capacities. All group tours include a dedicated step-on guide who acts as your host and contact for the duration of your stay.

Our itineraries provide students educational and engagement opportunities to learn about Anishnaabek culture, history, and lifestyles. More importantly, as we move forward in this time of reconciliation, our programs allow students to learn about the impacts of residential schools, treaty relationships and Anishnaabek culture directly from Indigenous knowledge keepers. Wiikwemkoong, having one of the oldest catholic churches in Northern Ontario and the first residential school in our region, has a rich history to share. Our educational experiences are facilitated and designed by Indigenous academics and knowledge keepers that provide a balanced perspective while ensuring the best possible learning experience.

  

Our motor coach tours are perfect for visitors wishing to immerse in Indigenous culture while visiting many iconic Manitoulin attractions including: James Simon-Mishibinijima Art Gallery, Holy Cross Church and Ruins, Ojibwe Cultural Foundation, Cup & Saucer and Bridel Veil Falls. We partner with the Manitoulin Hotel and Conference Center who offer clean, comfortable and affordable accommodations. All motor coach tours include a dedicated step-on guide who acts as your Indigenous host and contact for the duration of your stay.

  

This intimate experience teaches you about Anishnaabek songs and drum teachings. It includes an exhilarating hand drum performance, and an opportunity to participate! Beat the drum and learn the different styles of songs that can be heard throughout Turtle Island (North America).

Duration: 2 hours

Cost: Call for Pricing

Available: Group Tours Only

Minimum (6) - Based on Availability

This educational tour focuses on the Anishnaabek use of plants, their edibility and medicinal purposes. Our knowledgeable guides have absorbed the ways of our people, they will connect you with nature by showing you the traditional uses, and sciences behind the teachings. Our guides teach the real, proven and definite side of plant based medicine not the mystical.

Duration: 4 hours

Cost: Call for pricing

Available: Group Tours Only

Minimum (6) - Based on Availability

  

                 

 

 

 

Contact Wikwemikong Tourism at 705-859-3477 to Book you Indigenous Experiences