Dip your paddle in the waters off Odawa Mnis (a.k.a. Manitoulin Island) just as the Anishinaabek have done for centuries. Be transported back in time as you canoe toward the fishing islands in Lake Huron. Visit Skulls Point, the site of a ferocious 17th-century battle between the Anishinaabek and the Iroquois.
At Wiikwemkoong, the largest community on the island, you’ll find out about Zhibzhii, the underwater spirit, and hear other stories and legends of the Ojibwe, Odawa and Pottawatomi — the people of the Three Fires Confederacy. Book an appointment to visit the gallery of world-renowned Wiikwemkoong artist James Simon-Mishibinijima.
“We encourage tourists to visit and experience authentic Indigenous culture within the territory, year-round,” says Luke Wassegijig, manager with Wikwemikong Tourism. “When you visit us, you’ll delve into our culture, explore our first-class hiking trails and see the art of our world-renowned artists.”
On a popular historical tour called the Unceded Journey you’ll learn how this First Nation community became the only officially recognized unceded Indian reserve in Canada, and how the treaties of 1836 and 1862 shaped Manitoulin Island.
Local Anishinaabek guides share knowledge about a broad range of topics traditional to Anishinaabek life and culture, says Wassegijig: “Our guides can teach about medicinal and nutritional value of plants that have healed and fed our people for millennia, share traditional Anishinaabek drum and songs as well as share teachings about our core beliefs.”