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Powwow Country: Petroglyphs Provincial Park Woodview, Ontario


Compiled by Shari Narine







Petroglyphs Provincial Park

The largest known collection of Aboriginal rock carvings in Canada can be found in the Petroglyphs Provincial Park, in Woodview, approximately 50 kilometres northeast of Peterborough. The area where the 900 carvings are now situated has been designated as a National Historic Site. Among the images depicted in the carvings are humans, birds, turtles and snakes. The park, which is open from mid-May to Thanksgiving, also includes an interpretive visitor centre. The Learning Place, which opened in 2002, is managed by the Curve Lake First Nation. Besides a hands-on activity room for youngsters, The Learning Place is where a movie titled The Teaching Rocks is shown. As for the petroglyphs, they are accompanied by numerous interpretive plaques. The carvings are believed to have been made by Algonkian people between the years 900 and 1,400. These days First Nations people call the carvings Kinomagewapkong, which translates into “the rocks that teach.” The area is also considered a sacred place. For area Ojibwe it is a place of pilgrimage. As a result, for spiritual reasons some Aboriginal people object to photographing or videotaping the carvings. Though it has its annual opening in mid-May, the park is not open daily until June 20. During spring and fall months, the park is closed most Mondays and Tuesdays. For those visiting the park to see the petroglyphs, early arrival is recommended to allow enough time to cover the distance from the front gate to the petrolglyph site as well as to take in all the carvings.