Great Canadian Parks / Ontario

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The Parks / Ontario / Georgian Bay Islands National Park


Evidence of ceremonies and familial customs of as many as 13 different cultures found at the archaeology digs on Beausoleil Island provide a 5000 year record of its use as a site for fishing, trade and travel. An inventory of artifacts - roasting pits, pottery at the Ojibwe cemetery and Kitchee site, and a Jesuit Christianization Ring from the Ste. Marie Among the Hurons period - establish it as a significant archival find. The Ojibwe settlement existed since the Iroquois drove out the Hurons and destroyed the Jesuit mission of Father Brebeuf whose martyrdom has been memorialized by the island that bears his name. The settlement lasted until 1856 when Indian lands were surrendered under treaty and held in trust by the Canadian Government.

 

In 1929, the government acquired title to Beausoliel and 29 smaller islands and shoals to establish a park in what was fast becoming one of the busiest cottage areas in Canada. The practice of allowing leases to private organizations such as the YMCA youth groups was discontinued in 1975. Today the convenience of well-maintained campsites, picnic areas and docking facilities has made Beausoleil Island one of our most popular attractions.

 

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