||August 17, 2007
Following traditional travel
As a part of the Angele Project at the Temagami Train
Station celebrating the life of Bear Island's Angele Egwuna and her marriage to
Grey Owl and their descendants, Craig Macdonald will be speaking on his
remarkable research on Saturday August 18th, 3-5 p.m. at the Dream Keepers' at
the base of the Fire Tower. The event will be followed by a Traditional Fish
Dinner (Call for reservations 569-4569). Craig will speak the next day at the
Bear Island Recreation Centre from 2-4 p.m.
||An old trail on Temagami's Bear Island.
Craig will discuss his research on traditional travel
routes of native people, their campsites and the geographical names used by
local indigenous people. He has been studying the travel routes and associated
considerations for decades and has traveled the routes developing it. His
Historical Map of Temagami which took 26 years to produce was published by the
Ontario Geographical Names Board and shows traditional winter and summer routes,
portages and other locations.
For a detailed look at Craig's history log on to http://www.legionmagazine.com/features/canadianreflections/06-05.asp
and read Mapman of Temagami by D'Arcy Jenish in the Legion Magazine (May/June
2006). For a detailed description of the development and use of the route by
Craig log on to http://pages.interlog.com/~erhard/nastagan.htm. The article
called The Nastawgan is named after the native ways or routes native people
traveled in Northeastern Ontario. It is a fascinating insight into the travel
routes and their problems. The use of the names given to various aspects of the
routes provides a real authenticity to the story.
Otter Lake in Perspective
Otter Lake in the north end of North Bay is its third
largest lake and city fathers purchased a large part of it from the MNR for
future recreation use by North Bay recreationists many years ago. The current
council noted that the lake was seldom used and decided to bolster its reserves
by selling it. The council did not recognize that the city's lack of leadership
in developing the 76 hectare lake for recreation was the problem. Several
groups have now rallied to research, access and petition for the use of the lake
for North Bay's future generations.
A Friends of Otter Lake group found that some old roads had
the potential for access. They also concluded that the North River off
Widdifield Station Road could provide access and cleared it accordingly. On
August 5 & 6 over 100 people accessed the lake by the river under the leadership
of the Widdifield Ratepayers Association, the Trout Lake Conservation
Association, the Nipissing Naturalists and the North Bay Hunters and Anglers.
Visitors took interpretive walks on trails and access roads
and kids played on the beach and swam where an old nudist camp previously
existed. The Friends of Otter Lake manned a Kiosk on Saturday at the Downtown
Improvement Association festival where several hundred people signed a petition
that will be presented to Council prior to the tenders to purchase the property
are tabled on August 22. North Bay residents can support the initiative by
The canoe trip I mentioned last week is a bit behind
schedule as I write this column but I got a phone call that they are on their
way to Mattawa and beyond. I look forward to hearing more about it.
Speaking of canoe adventures I note in a Globe and Mail
article by Preston Manning that he was involved in a canoe trip to celebrate the
200th anniversary of "one of Canada's greatest explorers and geographers David
Thompson". Master canoeist Norm Crerar and his crew paddled a 25 foot voyageur
replica canoe 700 miles on the Columbia River. There were various stops and
different participants including Manning and his wife.
Thompson's adventures of incredible hardship mapping the
Columbia are told in Graeme Pole's book David Thompson (2003). Thompson traveled
88,500 kilometers by any means available and surveyed 3 million square
kilometers of wilderness. Another canoe trip is planned for next year.
By the way the July/August edition of Canadian Geographic
tells the incredible story of Thompson's wife Charlotte, a Metis who gave him 13
children in a 57 year marriage that began when she was just 13 years of age.
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