The History and Culture

Like many shoreline areas, the Heritage Coast has been a focus of human exploration and settlement from earliest times, and it has a rich prehistoric and Aboriginal history. Artifacts dating back 10,500 years have been found at sites along the coast, left behind by people known as the Paleo-Indians. Since then, successive groups of Aboriginal peoples have lived in the area. By 1610, when the first Europeans arrived, the coastal area was populated by Ojibwe, Cree and Huron. The European explorers and voyageurs who followed the coastline into the heart of the continent opened up the area to trade and settlement. By the mid-18th century, fur trading posts dotted the coast from the French River on Georgian Bay to the northwest coast of Lake Superior. Today, the history and culture of the Heritage Coast is celebrated at museums, parks, living history sites, archeological digs, and in traditional Aboriginal events

Reprinted by permission of the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resourses