BEST PLACE TO RE­AL­IZE WE’RE ON NA­TIVE LAND

NOW Magazine - Best of Toronto - - City Scape -

TA­BOR HILL OSSUARY Me­mo­rial Park, Bel­lamy north of Lawrence Ev­ery day we quite lit­er­ally stomp all over what was once na­tive land. “Toronto” in Huron means fish weir, a place where peo­ple gather to har­vest fish. But few sites of na­tive sig­nif­i­cance are memo­ri­al­ized like the Ta­bor Hill Ossuary, two pits ex­ca­vated in 1956 that hold the re­mains of about 470 na­tives, be­lieved to be 15th-cen­tury Iro­quois. Ar­chae­ol­o­gists from the ROM who dis­cov­ered the site say the graves show signs of be­ing part of an an­cient cer­e­mo­nial re­burial that fol­lowed the re­lo­ca­tion of a na­tive vil­lage. Some area vil­lages date back to the 14th cen­tury. The bones were rein­terred in 1961 in a spe­cial cer­e­mony held by the city of Scarborough at­tended by sev­eral First Na­tions reps. It’s also one of sev­eral stops in the semi-an­nual Great In­dian Bus Tour, or­ga­nized by the Na­tive Canadian Cen­tre. Cen­tre spokesper­son Mon­ica Bodirsky says the pur­pose of the tour is “to show what’s un­der the con­crete and steel in terms of where the First Na­tions foun­da­tions are.”

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