Saturday 14 November 2009

Wahta Reserve

Wahta Mohawks, a rural First Nations community located in Bala, originated in Oka, Quebec and settled in the Muskoka region in 1881. As early as 1450, they managed to get along. Longhouses contained  several clans, as living in a group strengthened the individuals. Originally called the Gibson Reserve, they now are called Wahta, the Mohawk word for the sugar maple.

This reserve was established in 1881. Protestant Mohawks moved from their original home in Oka, Quebec after issues regarding religious, civil and economic differences with the Catholics. An agreement was reached with Catholic Priests whereby the Protestant group of the Oka community would move to the Muskoka district in the spring of 1882; the people instead chose to move in the fall of 1881.
They arrived in October, just in time for winter. Conditions were harsh, some have since moved from the reserve, but others have prospered and established a fabulous community. Their administration building is one which resembles the traditional longhouse.


Gaelyn said...

I like hearing about the first people of the land. Imagine moving into one of your winters with no housing until you built it. Nice job on the Tribal Center. I have seen an excavated long house at the Makah museum in NW Washington. Thank you for sharing some of their story Jenn.

Carolyn said...

Nice post Jenn! I have always had a connection to the First Nations people and if we listened to them more we would be a richer world. There is a statement from one of the first nations leaders that sticks in my mind and is so true..."we are the first to know when things are going wrong and the last to be asked!"
Have a great day.

EG CameraGirl said...

So, Wahta is in Bala? Very interesting.