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Walking Tour Stop 1

Stop 1

Archaeological evidence suggests that the Ottawa Valley has been home to the Algonquin people for as many as 8,000 years.

Long before the arrival of Europeans, the Algonquin people lived, hunted, trapped, fished, socialized and traded on both sides of the Ottawa River and along its tributaries. 

These were the waterways of the Algonquin and this was their traditional land upon which they developed their economy and upon which they depended for survival.

The Algonquin lifestyle was semi-nomadic — this meant travelling light — and living lightly off the land.  Birch bark canoes were sewn with spruce roots and waterproofed with resin and bear grease.  Mothers carried babies on their backs in wood and leather cradleboards.

In winter the larger bands broke off into families of smaller hunting camps with snowshoes and toboggans becoming essential.  Conditions could be harsh and the risk of starvation was ever present.

Clothing was made of natural elements such as animal and bird skins, bone, as well as wood and bark strips.  Shelters such as wigwams were made of wood, birch and other barks as well as bark strips. Knowledge of Algonquin culture was shared through oral history.

The Algonquin were practitioners of Midewiwin (the right path) and believed themselves to be surrounded by many “manitok”, or spirits of the natural world.

Algonquin communities were egalitarian and clan-based.  Respected elders were given important roles.  Each new generation was sent out to seek marriage partners outside their clan.

Trade was extremely important.  In fact, the Ottawa River was (before and after the Europeans arrived) one of the continent’s greatest corridors for trade, transportation and communication, having an enormous impact on the degree to which the Algonquin connected and interacted with other First Nations.

Algonquin people are part of larger cultural group known as the Anishinaabeg, as are the Odawa and Ojibwa with whom the Algonquin are closely related.

(The Algonquin language, also known as Omàmiwininìmowin, is today identified by 1,575 people as their mother tongue.)

To say that the arrival of Europeans disrupted the Algonquin way of life would be a considerable understatement.  Old rivalries escalated into wars and newly introduced diseases ran rampant.  Populations were decimated, communities were displaced and cultures were compromised.

Daydream Tulip

This early-flowering plant exhibits a unique charm, showcasing a dynamic transformation with sunny yellow blossoms evolving into luminous apricot orange hues as they mature. The resilient flowers, lasting for an extended period, open wide as they mature, gracefully capturing the sunlight between their petals. Notably resistant to adverse weather conditions and possessing a perennial nature, this plant adds enduring beauty to any garden.

Daydream Tulip

This early-flowering plant exhibits a unique charm, showcasing a dynamic transformation with sunny yellow blossoms evolving into luminous apricot orange hues as they mature. The resilient flowers, lasting for an extended period, open wide as they mature, gracefully capturing the sunlight between their petals. Notably resistant to adverse weather conditions and possessing a perennial nature, this plant adds enduring beauty to any garden.

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