Indigenous History & Heritage in Ontario

A woman carries a plate to her wigwam

Indigenous leaders, storytellers and elders have gone to great efforts to protect and preserve their invaluable knowledge. Indigenous stories are best told by Indigenous people. Learn about Indigenous history at Indigenous-owned and run experiences.

In addition, some heritage attractions, such as reconstructed villages, museums and cultural centres offer insight into aspects of Indigenous history.

Heritage Sites in Northern Ontario

Ojibwe Cultural Foundation

Dedicated to preservation and revitalization of Anishinaabe culture, custom, language and art on Manitoulin Island, the Ojibwe Cultural Foundation offers special teaching series, events and workshops. As well, meaningful and beautiful art forms such as porcupine quill boxes, basket and carvings are on display in the museum. Unique exhibits provide authentic interpretations of Anishininaabek history and culture.

Location: 15 Highway 551, M’Chigeeng, Manitoulin Island
 

Kay-Nah-Chi-Wah-Nung Historical Centre

Owned and operated by the Rainy River First Nation, the Manitou Mounds is the location of early habitation and one of the most significant ceremonial burial sites in Canada. The award-winning Centre features a wealth of educational resources and activities to learn about Ojibwe history and culture.

Location: 340 Ross Road, Stratton
 

Red Lake Regional Heritage Centre

Open year-round, this heritage centre is home to a great museum featuring multimedia exhibits and displays about the history of the region, including the Cree and Ojibwe bands whose ancestors still live there today.

Location: 51A ON-105, Red Lake
 

Fort William Historical Park

One of the largest living history museums in North America, Fort William is a reconstruction of an 1816 fur trade post and explores Métis and First Nations cultures and daily life during the early days of the trading era.

Location: 1350 King Road, Thunder Bay

 

Heritage Sites in Southern Ontario

Curve Lake Cultural Centre

Immerse yourself in the history, traditions, ceremonies and culture of the Michi Saagiig Anishnaabeg (uhnish-nahbe) people of the Curve Lake First Nation just north of Peterborough.

Location: 1024 Mississauga Street, Curve Lake
 

Woodland Cultural Centre

This multi-use attraction serves as a cultural centre, library, heritage museum and three art galleries showcasing over 25,000 artifacts and art.

Location: 184 Mohawk Street, Brantford
 

Huronia Museum and Huron-Ouendat Village

Explore the lookout tower, longhouse, sweat lodge and shaman’s dwelling at the first Indigenous village to be reconstructed in Canada depicting Huron-Ouendat culture before the arrival of the Europeans in the late 1500s. There are also thousands of artifacts in the museum. Book a guided tour for an in-depth experience.

Location: 549 Little Lake Park Road, Midland
 

Native North American Travelling College

Dedicated to the preservation and promotion of Kanienkehaka (Mohawk) culture, this education centre and museum provide immersive tours demonstrating Mohawk culture.

Location: 1 Ronathahonni Lane, Akwesasne
 

Royal Chapel of the Mohawk

The first Protestant church in Upper Canada is now the oldest surviving church in Ontario and is owned and maintained by Six Nations of the Grand River. It is the final resting place of Chief Joseph Thayendanegea Brant, a Mohawk warrior and leader who played a key role as an ally to the British during the American Revolution.

Location: 301 Mohawk Street, Brantford
 

Chiefswood National Historical Site

Built in 1853-56 by Mohawk Chief George Johnson, this was the birth home of poet E. Pauline Johnson, the youngest of Chief Johnson and his English wife, Emily Howells. Pauline drew inspiration from her grandfather, John ‘Smoke’ Johnson, the natural environment and her blended heritage.

Location: 1037 Brant County Highway 54, Ohsweken
 

Kayanase Greenhouse and Longhouse

Ecological restoration is at the heart of this Six Nations company. Learn about native plant species and tour a replica 17th-century longhouse.

Location: 993 Highway 54, Ohsweken
 

Ska-Nah-Doht Village & Museum

Constructed in 1973 within the Longwoods Road Conservation Area, this interactive heritage attraction preserves and promotes the story of the Haudenosaunee, the People of the Longhouse. Based on archaeological research and discoveries, the village demonstrates what a Haudensoaunee settlement would have looked like over a thousand years ago and offers tours, workshops and detailed exhibits. 

Location: 8348 Longwoods Road, Mount Brydges
 

Crawford Lake Conservation Area

Tour a reconstructed 15th century Haudenosaunee village, complete with longhouses, artifacts, and tools of the time, demonstrating pre-contact Indigenous life. Explore seasonal exhibits and look for the schedule of interpretive programs and demonstrations.

Location: 3115 Conservation Road, Milton
 

Channen Gallery at Simcoe Country Museum

Simcoe County Museum focuses on the earliest inhabitants of the County and features a fascinating replica of a Wendat (Huron) longhouse that you can explore.

Location: 1151 ON-26, Minesing
 

National Aboriginal Veterans Monument

Pay your respects at this monument commemorating the contributions and sacrifice of all Indigenous peoples in war and peacekeeping operations dating back to World War I.

Location: Confederation Park, on the East side of Elgin Street across from Lord Elgin Hotel, Ottawa
 

Tecumseh Monument

The death of the great Chief Tecumseh during the War of 1812 is commemorated at the Tecumseh monument. Travel the Tecumseh Parkway and retrace the final steps of Chief Tecumseh leading up to the  Battle of the Thames.

Location: 14249-14431 Longwoods Road, Thamesville
 

Petroglyphs Provincial Park

View amazing depictions of animals and people carved into a flat expanse of white marble rock by the Algonquians between 600–1,000 years ago at Petroglyphs Provincial Park.

Location: 2249 Northeys Bay Road, Woodview
 

Sainte-Marie Among the Hurons

Founded in 1639, this French Jesuit Mission to the Huron Wendat people served as the first European headquarters for ten years and featured barracks, a church, workshops and residences. The recreated attraction provides insight into the interaction between the Wendat nations and French visitors.

Location: 16164, Highway 12 East, Midland

 

More Resources

 

Last updated: August 17, 2022

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