Natives -of the Bruce Peninsula
Native Community on the Bruce Peninsula
The original "peoples" of the Bruce Peninsula lived in the land for 1000's of years. Neyaashiinigmiing, or Cape Croker is the name of the reserve located just north of Wiarton on the shores of Georgian Bay. It is a spectacular location , and the annual Pow Wow at Cape Croker should not be missed. Please find below same information on the native history and native culture of the Bruce Peninsula
- Native History
- Chippewas of Nawash
- Cape Croker Annual
NATIVE HISTORY OF THE BRUCE PENINSULA
At one time, both by oral history and archaeological evidence, all of the modern Bruce Peninsula (or the "Saugeen Peninsula" as referred by the Ojibway) was home to the Chippewas of Saugeen Ojibway Territory. From time immemorial, hunting and fishing were plentiful in this area. Archaeologist are able to find arifacts from Early Woodland Period (1000 BCE to 1000 CE) calling the culture that left artifacts in the Saugeen Ojibway Territory as the Saugeen Culture. Other than pottery, the projectile points called Saugeen Point are typical characteristics of the Saugeen culture. Consequently, associated with both the Chippewas of Saugeen Ojibway Territory and the Saugeen Culture peoples were winter camps around Owen Sound, Cape Croker and the Collingwood area, as well as summer camps in Walkerton, Wiarton, Goderich, Tobermory and Red Bay. Traditional territory also included all of the Saugeen River watershed. Thus, places such as Tobermory, Meaford, Goderich, Cape Croker, Owen Sound and Orangeville are located in the traditional Saugeen Ojibway Nation Territory. The permanent settlement at the outlet of the Saugeen River which lent its name to the region and its people was called Zaagiing, meaning "at the river's outlet," i.e. "at the mouth of the river."
The Chippewas of Saugeen Ojibway Territory are a member of the Council of Three Fires of the Ojibway, Odawa and Potawatomi Nations. The Confederacy came to help in the Battle of Skull Mound and in the Battle of Blue Mountain. Though the Council of Three Fires often fought against the Iroquois Confederacy (or the Naadowe as they are called in the Anishinaabe language), the Chippewas of Saugeen Ojibway Territory peacefully shared the territory with the Wyandotte/Wendat Nation who also made the area their home. The Ojibway Nation called the Wendat peoples Ni'inaa-Naadowe ("The 'Nadowe' within our homeland"), but the French referred to them as "Huron" and lent their name to the Lake.
People from many nations moved into Saugeen Ojibway Territory after the War of 1812. They came from Ohio and from the State of New York. As a result of the American Indian Removal Policies of the 1830s more people came from Michigan and Wisconsin. Some were on their way to the Manitoulin Island project. Some moved from Coldwater on the Narrows. Others came from the Toronto and Niagara regions after European and Loyalist newcomers affected their territory. Due to these influxes of people from other areas, the history of the original Chippewas of Saugeen Ojibway Territory is often confused with that of other Anishinaabeg who settled in Saugeen Ojibway Territory after the American Revolution. In addition, often confused together are the histories of those Anishinaabeg who settled in Cape Croker in 1854 with the history of the original Chippewas of Saugeen Ojibway Territory.
One of the earliest documents recognizing Nation to Nation relations between the Crown and Indigenous peoples, the Royal Proclamation of 1763 stated "Indian land" could only be sold to the Crown. However, the document did not differentiate between those who were the original resident of the land cession in question and those who settled as part of the refugee migration, which has caused long-held animocity among the Anishinaabe commuities located in the Saugeen Ojibway Territory.
In the Saugeen Surrenders, due to development pressures of the European Canadians, mainly in the form of farming, the Saugeen and Owen Sound Indian Reserve was ceded to The Crown. However, five smaller areas were reserved for the Chippewas of the Saugeen Ojibway Territory.
A Tale of Flowerpot Island - A Native Legend
Land Bridge - Native Legend, Scientific Fact
CHIPPEWAS OF NAWASH - CAPE CROKER
Cape Croker is the non-Native name for this area. It is called Neyaashiinigmiing. The name of our First Nation is "Nawash," after Chief Nawash who fought beside Tecumseh in the war of 1812.
Cape Croker and its park are an integral part of the Niagara Escarpment, an important limestone formation that runs from the Niagara Peninsula in the south to Manitoulin Island in the north. In 1990, it became the sixth area to be designated a World Biosphere Reserve by the United Nations. Now there are some 300 such reserves in the world. The Escarpment is the last refuge in southern Ontario for many unique flora and fauna. Neyaashiinigmiing is no exception. Close by the Park you will find alvars, a kind of prairie distinguished by a thin veneer of plant cover over a limestone base. On the limestone bluffs that surround the Park are some of the oldest living trees in eastern North America. Only centimeters around, they are, nevertheless, centuries old. A huge and ancient underwater forest lies in the waters around Cape Croker.
The Bruce Trail runs thorugh Cape Croker - please respect the nature on the Bruce Trail.
CAPE CROKER ANNUAL POW WOW
The Annual Cape Croker Pow Wow takes place every August.
The tradition of First Nations dance is ancient. The modern day Pow Wow evolved from the Grass Dance Societies that formed during the early 1800's. The dances were an opportunity for warriors to reenact their brave deeds for all tribe members to witness.
The growth of reservations gave rise to the modern Pow Wow. This was a time of transition for Native People across Turtle Island. Tribal customs and religions were outlawed. The Grass Dance was one of the few celebrations that was allowed into this new era. The Grass Dance became an opportunity to maintain some of the earlier tribal customs that were vanishing.
Elders have been told by their grandparents that the men did most of the dancing, only in recent decades have the women been accepted to dance among the men in the Sacred Circle. Hand drums and log poles are often used to provide the beat. Most songs have been passed down from one generation to the next.
The Pow Wow is a time for renewing old friendships and making new ones. Once again, the Pow Wow Circle is Strong and alive.
Throughout this great country of ours, many people come together to celebrate life with its traditions and teachings.
When attending a Pow-wow (pau wau - a gathering of people coming together to trade) The following are to be observed out of respect to the Creator and the Pow-wow Ceremony.
- Pow wows are a Alcohol and Drug Free event
- Dogs are not permitted
- Everyone is asked to stand and remove their hats for certain songs the only exception is, if your hat has an Eagle Feather in it.
- Pictures are not permitted during the Flag, Prayer, Honour songs and when an individual is honouring a drum through a whistle.
- Always ask permission before taking any pictures.
- Always ask permission before making any recordings.
- We ask that people don't crowd around the drummers.
- In our traditional teachings we are to abide by the seven grandfather teachings in everything that we do
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