The Land Between was an important travel route and Spiritual Journey for First Nations; and a meeting ground of Great Nations. The region is therefore marked by pictographs and petroglyphs that recount human stories, life stories, and more importantly, teachings from the Great Spirit. These sites and this journey is essentially a living Bible that is over 10,000 years old.
- Mazinaw/ Bon Echo Provincial Park is the first stop and first of many pictographs in The Land Between. It marks the beginning of an ancient metaphysical of human kind, with the image of the Rabbit; the Trickster, and an embodiment of the Great Spirit. It could be said that one begins learning and growing through folly; and that one only looks to the Great Spirit, looks up, when going through hardship. It is, as are the other picture rocks, a sacred site.
- Petroglyphs Provincial Park northeast of Peterborough has the largest known concentration of First Nations rock carvings in Canada. The petroglyphs depict turtles, snakes, birds, humans and other images. An interpretative centre and hiking trails through forests, wetlands and rock barrens are assets too. This is a day use park open from May to October. See: www.ontarioparks.com
- Mnjikaning Fish Weirs is a National Historic Site and one of the oldest human developments in North America. A traditional meeting place for Aboriginal Nations, this site is located at the Atherley Narrows near Orillia. Mnjikaning, an Ojibway word meaning “fish fence”, is a complex system of underwater fences used by Aboriginal people for harvesting fish.
- Curve Lake Cultural Centre and Whetung Store: Curve Lake is central in the Williams Treaty area and within the Mississauaga Nation’s Traditional Territory. The Reserve is home to the cultural centre with displays and archives and interpretive programming. The Whetung Store at Curve Lake also features a gallery of modern First Nation art, and a museum of the community’s history. See: www.curvelakeculturalcentre.ca
In addition to the stories deliberately left by First Nations to teach and inform future generations, this landscape has a lot to teach about human adaptation and relationships with the landscape through its rich archaeology.
The Land Between is a place of rich stories of survival and innovation, from the early entrepreneurs in agriculture with successes in cheese and dairy farming, making their mark a landscape without soils, to sites marking the temporary Gold Rush of Deloro, and the many villages and settlements where people tried but retreated leaving the most standing ghost towns in Ontario here. The region is home to the Donald Chemical Building in Haliburton, marking the largest iron coke plant in North America and which is an engineering marvel. The Chemical, as it was called was responsible for delivering hydro power to the region through steam, 30 years before the rest of southern Ontario. To learn more visit: http://www.buildingbetween.ca The Land Between was a pivotal portage and travel route for Champlain to reach Lake Huron, and a chosen escape route to the Ottawa River during the war of 1812. It marks the farthest stop on the Underground Railroad, and a place of historic and current artisans who were inspired by the lands beauty from the Beaver Lodge Women to the Group of Seven.
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