Thursday, 27 April 2017

Tay Valley First Nations Artifacts

The Oàmiwinni speak of 10,000 years of the "Algonquin Drum Beat Upon the Land” whereby the intention of the original treaties between England and First Nations as marked in the Wampum Belt — that the nations were to be equal and the knowledge of the indigenous people was to be respected. Treaties were never about giving up land, but governing land together.
Tay Vally is located west of Perth, Ontario.

The Tay Valley community is built on unceded Oàmiwinni territory, and protocols were followed during the ceremony to celebrate the new display. All of the artifacts were labelled, indicating when and where they were found. Many had been found a long, long time ago by settlers. They are on loan from the Perth Museum.

We didn't go to the ceremony, crowds don't appeal to either of us. In fact, there was such a huge crowd, some people couldn't get up to the cases and planned visits later. This is heart warming. A lovely clerk opened the doors for me, when we visited in April. There was a smudging, during the ceremony.

The purpose of our visit was to see the artifacts and to buy a book the township is selling. It's an interesting documentary of the development of the region.

The clay pot shards were representative of pots that were begun to be made around 1200 years ago.
The arrowheads, gouges, scrapers and skinning tools were used. Bone buttons, a cartridge, clay pipes, and the like were left by early settlers. You can visit the township's website Searchable Database to find out which lands were given to which settlers. Many were given to United Empire Loyalists, many as free grants. This is one example, below. The unceded land given to Elizabeth Billing in 1805. It was then sold in 1842. Many parts of these grants are totally unsuitable for farming, with shallow soil, and riddled with wetlands.

The book At Home in Tay Valley, a history of indigenous peoples and European settlers, is also available for purchase at the municipal office. Proceeds from book sales go to a scholarship for a student graduating from Perth and District Collegiate Institute or St John Catholic High School and beginning post secondary education.

Indigenous artifacts opening ceremony in Tay Valley Township draws large crowd

The opening of an exhibit of Indigenous Artifacts, held Saturday, March 25 at the Tay Valley Township Municipal Office, attracted a standing-room-only crowd of over 100 members of the community interested in learning more about the 10,000 year history of the Omàmiwininì (Algonquin) in this area.


Olga Hebert said...

And id I may ask a rhetorical question -- do we see the irony of the brouhaha over immigration today?

Anvilcloud said...

Looks like a good place to visit. I am not fond of crowds either, so we won't be going to the Festival of the Maples this weekend. I'm happy enough that we got there once though.

Yamini MacLean said...

Hari OM
such an important and interesting exhibit! YAM xx

DUTA said...

Sounds interesting. I like your sentence on treaties being about "...governing the land together."

Karen said...

Good morning Jenn. I can't read the labels on your photos, but I'm very curious about the artifacts in the top right photo.Can you tell me what they are? We have dug up some items that look like those in our garden (which is in the middle of a natural meadow).

Karen said...

Could you tell me what those artifacts are in the top right photo? I can't read the labels. I've found some items that look like them in my garden, which sits in what was always a natural meadow.

Nancy J said...

Such an important part of history, and to have the artefacts, preserved or protected in glass topped cases, for everyone to view, is so special. Crowds, I do not like them at all either.

Jenn Jilks said...

Sure, Karen. It wasn't a great set of photos, sadly. I blame my progressive lenses. We'll go with that!

It says, "Large ground stone tools that appear in the Archaic perids. The small skinning knife (10) and larger scraper (11) were almost certainly used for preparing hides. Other tools, like the gouges and axes (12 - 15) may have been used for wood working!
They are from the Perth Museum. #15 was found not far from me!

Cat Lover said...

Hi Jenn, sounds like a fascinating exhibit. Like Karen, my Dad found arrowheads in his veggie gardens many years ago.
Glad these artifacts are available for everyone to see.
Thanks for sharing.

William Kendall said...

That's the sort of thing that would draw me right in!

Karen said...

Thanks Jenn! That is exactly what I thought one of my implements is, a tool for preparing hides. It almost has a greasy feel to it after all this time. It fits in my hand like it was custom made for me to do my hide!

Nora said...

Wow I have never seen as good a collection as this. Even in our museum here! I will go back and study and try to read the labels on them as well. Thanks for this posting. I love this kind of history.