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A Paddle Into Canadian History - The Land Of The Iroquois

The Grand River valley of Ontario’s is home to the largest settlement of Mohawk, Oneida, Onondaga, Cayuga and Seneca… and their little brothers the Delaware and Tuscarora. This area is rich in native culture… offering multi-aboriginal tourism experiences to the outside world.

One of the unique attractions is the guided floating classrooms in rafts on the Grand River. These trips allow people of all age, size and skill to safely paddle through the valley of lost aboriginal lands. It is the opportunity to experience first hand what it was like before the Europeans came. There are hiking stops that teach native edible and medicinal plants. And raft floats go by ancient village sites and burial grounds. While paddling, listen to talks on the Iroquois Beaver Wars and disease that ravaged this beautiful valley.

The paddling adventure starts by focusing on the extinct Iroquoian Neutrals that dominated the Grand River before 1650. At one time they were southern Ontario’s largest longhouse dwellers, a population of over 35,000 people. They were very adept at maintaining sensitive neutrality between the fierce Iroquois Five Nation Confederacy to the south and the aggressive fur trading Huron Confederacy to the north.

The rafting lectures give glimpses of the Neutrals through Jesuit journals during the 1600’s. While paddling it is easy to see the bountiful wildlife and understand why the Neutral were dependent on hunting and fishing, more then their farming neighbours.

Records show the Neutral nation to have had a totally different leadership, making them effective at war, yet peaceful at trading. In spite of this… their demise came through European beaver belt greed through manipulation of the southern Iroquois. But the history of the valley does not stop there… it continues with more war, extinction and conquering.

These guided floating classrooms on native History are day adventures that are 3-4 hours in length. They are hosted by the Grand River Rafting Company on the Cayuga section of the Grand River near Paris, Ontario. These “Learning Adventures” are available between April and October during the day or evening. The cost for a guided rafting trip is around $25 to $35 per person depending on group size.

If interested in learning more about the Huron, Iroquois and other aboriginal nations of Southern Ontario… take a day trip to the Grand River. Discover the experience of learning, paddling and hiking through the valley of the “Lost People”.

Garth Pottruff the author... is a forester and guide/instructor with a keen interest in Iroquoian History within the Grand River Valley. His love for teaching combined with his communication skills make a hike or paddling tour with him a rich learning experience.

He creative hands-on talks combine history, landscapes, story telling, edible plants and wildlife of the Grand River Valley to summon up the past of the aboriginal cultures within the Grand River Valley.

For more information on a paddling or hiking tour of Canadian Iroquoian history visit Learning adventures of Southern Ontario

Source: www.articlesbase.com