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Monday, September 25, 2023
Museum lecture explores Indigenous connection to Niagara River
Travis Hill will lead the lecture on July 21. Supplied

Indigenous Peoples’ relationship with the Niagara River – its significance, influence and history – will be the focus of an in-person lecture at the Niagara-on-the-Lake Museum on Thursday, July 21.

Travis Hill, of the Tuscarora Nation and a member of the Beaver Clan of the Haudenosaunee Confederacy, will lead the hour-long presentation of “By Foot and Paddle.”

A Fort Erie resident, Hill is widely respected for his cultural knowledge.

He  has been a part of the Niagara Parks team for almost 20 years and is the manager of the Old Fort Erie heritage site.

Since the end of the last ice age, Indigenous Peoples of many nations have arrived, fought, lived or travelled through Niagara. 

All have been drawn to its unique natural resources and ease of transportation, by land or water – by foot or paddle, says Hill.

Their trails and portage routes provided the basis for many of today’s modern roads and highways.

Recent archeological finds in Fort Erie also reveal the extent of a massive flint-knapping industry dating back at least 11,000 years, and shows extensive trading of tools and weapons between Indigenous groups.  

 “And when you see artifacts that are in fact pieces of beautiful art you know these people were not just at war, or nomadic, they had well developed communities,” said Hill, who has given presentations on Indigenous culture and interpretation throughout Ontario and the United States.

The museum’s lecture series offers extensive insights into the astonishing Indigenous history in Niagara, and the centuries-old significance of Niagara waterways to Indigenous people.  

Hill lecture begins at  7:30 p.m. and registration is required. Tickets are free for members, $10 for non-members.

Go to www.notlmuseum.ca for more information.

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