Of course, the main reason to visit the Algonquin Way Cultural Centre near Eganville, is to follow in the footsteps of a people whose history in Ontario’s Highlands predates our European ancestors by many, many generations. But whether forged by nature, or shaped by man, some of the most enduring clues to the last ten thousand years of our history are carved in stone.
You might not think “geology” when considering traditional wisdom and native culture in Ontario’s Highlands, but First Nations’ understanding of, and relationship with nature is not limited to plants and animals. Even the rocks have spirits, but when it comes to material things, the extensive collection of stone artifacts displayed at the Algonquin Way Cultural Centre demonstrate an intimate knowledge of different rock types, their physical properties, and a significant “industry” in the extraction and trade of the most prized raw material for tool-making. Dig a little deeper, and you’ll also notice certain similarities between the sciences of geology and archaeology as you learn to identify an artifact, and what to do if you find one, with fun programming and activities for the whole family.