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Anishinaabeg at Lake of Bays, The

A water-based people, the Anishinaabeg – the original people of this region – were a hunter-gatherer society that often travelled here to the narrows at Trading Bay (Lake of Bays). The area that is now Dorset was a special, spiritual place abundant in natural resources. For thousands of years the Anishinaabeg set up small camps here harvesting maple syrup and birch bark, fishing and trading in the spring and summer, and hunting and trapping during the fall and winter. Eventually, the Anishinaabeg realized that their hunting and harvesting rights and territory had been lost through a series of treaties. They continued to travel to the region to work as fishing and hunting guides and trading with seasonal tourists and cottagers. The descendants of the Anishinaabeg are members of the seven First Nations of the Williams Treaties (1923), the nearest of which is the Chippewas of Rama First Nation. The legacy of the original inhabitants lives on through the many landmarks, rivers, lakes, and islands that bear Anishinaabemowin (Ojibwe) place names.

Location

Cedar Narrows Heritage Park in Dorset (at the Highway 39 bridge that spans the Dorset Narrows)

Region: Central Ontario

County/District: County of Haliburton

Municipality: Township of Algonquin Highlands

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