Provincial plaques commemorate the Jean-Baptiste Lainé Site

WHITCHURCH-STOUFFVILLE – Today, the Ontario Heritage Trust, in partnership with the Huron-Wendat Nation and the Town of Whitchurch-Stouffville, unveiled provincial plaques commemorating the Jean-Baptiste Lainé Site. The site, known initially as the Mantle archaeological site, was the location of a 16th century village founded by Ancestors of the Huron-Wendat.

The provincial plaque reads as follows:

Jean-Baptiste Lainé Site

In the 16th century, prior to the arrival of Europeans, a village was founded on this site by the Huron-Wendat, a Nation of agriculturalists and fisher-hunter-gatherers. In response to increased conflict in the region, many smaller villages merged to form a three-hectare settlement of 1,700 people, with more than 50 longhouses arranged around a central plaza, surrounded by a palisade, a ditch and an embankment as protection. The economic and political functions of the Huron-Wendat Nation were highly sophisticated, integrated and coordinated. Artifacts from the site, which include a fragment of a Basque iron tool, demonstrate that the Huron-Wendat formed alliances and traded goods with other First Nations in complex networks that extended across the continent. The community later moved north to join the Huron-Wendat Confederacy in the lands south of Georgian Bay. The village was identified by archaeologists in 2002 and excavated between 2003 and 2005. Known initially as the Mantle Site, it was renamed the Jean-Baptiste Lainé Site in honour of a decorated Second World War Huron-Wendat veteran. The site is significant to our understanding of Huron-Wendat socio-economic and political history.


“The Jean-Baptiste Lainé Site was one of the largest and most culturally complex 16th century settlements in North America. The site provides extensive information about life in Ontario at that time and a deeper understanding of the rich history and accomplishments of the Huron-Wendat people and their Ancestors. The Ontario Heritage Trust is honoured to commemorate the Jean-Baptiste Lainé Site.” – Harvey McCue (Waubageshig), Chair, Ontario Heritage Trust

“The plaques unveiled today tell an important story about Ontario and the Huron-Wendat Nation. Our heritage tells us who we are, where we have come from and what we have accomplished. Here today, we are celebrating the site of a vibrant Indigenous village that will teach future generations of Ontarians about our shared heritage.” – Eleanor McMahon, Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport

“The Jean-Baptiste Lainé Site was a great Huron-Wendat community and centre of culture and economy for our civilization in the centuries before European contact. The archaeological discoveries in Stouffville have provided invaluable new insights about the lives of our Ancestors – our architecture, the scale and complexity of our agriculture, our arts and tools – as well as the political alliances and trade networks we established with other nations that extended across the continent.” – Konrad Sioui, Grand Chief of the Huron-Wendat Nation

“The Town of Whitchurch-Stouffville is extremely privileged to have such a fascinating piece of history right here in our own backyard. We are honoured to have an official provincial plaque to commemorate the Jean-Baptiste Lainé Site to forever recognize the Wendat community in our Town.” – Justin Altman, Mayor, Town of Whitchurch-Stouffville

Quick facts

  • The provincial plaques are permanently installed in a public park adjacent to Wendat Village Public School in Whitchurch-Stouffville.
  • The plaques are in English, French and the language of the Huron-Wendat people.
  • The Ontario Heritage Trust’s Provincial Plaque Program commemorates provincially significant people, places and events in Ontario’s history. Since 1956, over 1,279 provincial plaques have been unveiled.

Learn more


For more information about the Ontario Heritage Trust and the Provincial Plaque Program, contact Kimberly Murphy at 416-325-5074 or

The Ontario Heritage Trust is an agency of the Government of Ontario dedicated to identifying, preserving, protecting and promoting Ontario’s heritage.

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