Discover Ohsweken, Ontario: A Rich Blend of History and Culture
Ohsweken, Ontario is a dispersed rural community nestled within the Six Nations of the Grand River, in the County of Brant, Canada. Home to approximately 300 of the 2,700 homes on the reserve, Ohsweken is the hub of the reserve's governmental and administrative offices.
The Historical Roots of Ohsweken, Ontario
The history of Ohsweken, Ontario dates back to the mid-19th century when the Six Nations Confederacy council convened in a log building near Middleport, Ontario. In 1856, Jasper Tough Gilkison, a superintendent from the Indian Department, established a council building in what is now Ohsweken, despite protests from the Onondaga chiefs. The village of Ohsweken quickly developed in the surrounding area, becoming a center of government and community.
Celebrating Arts and Culture in Ohsweken, Ontario
The Six Nations Fall Fair in Ohsweken, Ontario
One of the oldest Agricultural Fairs in Ontario, the Six Nations Annual Fall Fair, often takes place in the first week of September. The fair features the Miss Six Nations pageant, a powwow, horse races, and a derby, making it a vibrant celebration of the community's culture and traditions.
Bread and Cheese Day in Ohsweken, Ontario
Bread and Cheese Day is a unique tradition in Ohsweken, Ontario. It began as an annual gift of blankets from Queen Victoria to the Six Nations in appreciation of their support during the American Revolution and the War of 1812. The tradition was revived in 1924 with gifts of bread and cheese. Today, thousands gather at the Gaylord Powless Arena for this event, which also includes carnival rides, games, a parade, and a street dance.
National Indigenous Peoples’ Day in Ohsweken, Ontario
Ohsweken, Ontario celebrates National Indigenous Peoples’ Day and the summer solstice on June 21 with events at Chiefswood Park and Gage Park in Hamilton. The day also features the Tom Longboat run, a tribute to the legendary Onondaga distance runner.
Grand River Champion of Champions Pow Wow in Ohsweken, Ontario
Since 1979, Ohsweken, Ontario has hosted the annual Grand River Champion of Champions Pow Wow. This event attracts over 400 dancers and drummers from across North America and features traditional Native dancing, food, and crafts.
Attractions in Ohsweken, Ontario
Veterans' Park in Ohsweken, Ontario
Veterans' Park, located at the corner of Fourth Line Road and Chiefswood Road, is home to The Six Nations-Mississauga War Memorial. This monument commemorates the 200 First Nations soldiers who fought and died during World War II in Dieppe, France, and Hong Kong, and were part of the Normandy Invasion in 1944.
Gaylord Powless Arena in Ohsweken, Ontario
The Gaylord Powless Arena, originally constructed in 1972 and renovated in 2005, is a popular venue for lacrosse, hockey, and figure skating. With seating for 648 and standing room for 200, the arena also serves as the distribution center for Bread and Cheese Day.
Ohsweken Speedway in Ontario
Ohsweken Speedway is a 3/8 mile dirt oval auto raceway located in Ohsweken, Ontario. It's a must-visit for racing enthusiasts and a testament to the diverse attractions that Ohsweken has to offer.