2016 Program Information



April 29 – May 1st 2016

Tobermory Community Centre

Tobermory · Ontario


Program Itinerary PDF Format




We invite you to join us for the 8th Annual Sources of Knowledge Forum April 29th – May 1st 2016

Friday April 29 2016

Afternoon Field Trip

Time: 1:00 – 5:00 p.m

Location: Cape Croker

Participants will be met here for the Cape Croker visit and talk and then travel by bus to Hope Bay.

NOTE: Due to the large number of participants signed up for the Friday Afternoon Field Trip, the program is Subject to Change and late registrations may not be accommodated.

Session Information:


Bruce Peninsula Shoreline North of Cabot Head

First of all, we are disappointed to announce that the advertised side visit to the archaeological site at Nochemoweniing has had to be cancelled. The enrollment for this field trip has far exceeded our expectations, to the point where the traffic at the site would be unacceptable to the Band, and indeed a logistical impossibility within the allowed visiting hours of 1-4 pm.

We are most appreciative that the Band was willing to allow limited access, but we must respect their wish to conserve the site. Instead we will have a talk about the site and its significance by noted archaeologist Dr. Bill Fitzgerald, and provide guided bus tours of the Neyaashiinigmiing community. This is an opportunity to get to better know and understand this very distinct community in our midst.

Lunch beforehand – An interesting option for lunch in Neyaashiinigmiing is the All R’s café at 331 Port Elgin Road, 519-534-1844. They have room for about 25 patrons.

Meeting Place: 12:30-1:15 PM at the Community Centre, 67 Community Centre Road, in Neyaashiinigmiing. If you are navigating by GPS the “city” entry will probably be Wiarton or Southern Bruce Peninsula. If you get lost, call John at 519-596-2081.

The visit will start with the traditional offering of tobacco and cedar to the sacred fire outside the Community Centre. This is done individually, so there is leeway in the arrival time to avoid lineups.

Approximate schedule of events

Following the traditional greeting on arrival we will move into the Community Centre to listen to and meet with some community elders.
Talks by the Elders and Dr. Fitzgerald.
2:30 and 3:15pm
At each of these times buses will leave the Community Centre for a 40 minute guided tour of the settlement. You are also free to walk or drive around Neyaashiinigmiing on your own. If so, drop by the Maadookii Senior Centre, 33 Maadookii Crescent and the Environmental Centre on Maadookii Subdivision Road. 

Be sure to leave Neyaashiinigmiing in time for the one hour drive to the Tobermory Community Centre to register and attend the social hour and mini-film festival.

Evening Activities

6:00 – 7:00 Tobermory Community Centre Social Hour – Live Music and Cash Bar

At 6:00 p.m. the doors to the Tobermory Community Centre will open for a social hour for Forum attendees with live music and cash bar.

7:00 – 9:00 Mini-Film Festival with host STEPHEN SCHARPER, University of Toronto.

Stephen Scharper will host the mini-film festival on this year’s theme engaging all in stimulating and lively discussion. This is a tradition of Sources of Knowledge Forums and not to be missed. Popcorn provided by Reader’s Haven Book Store.

Forum Films

1. Keepers of the Water (2013)

A lyrical docu-poem about women and water, narrated by Anishinabe poet and storyteller Lenore Keeshig. Filmmaker Liz Zetlin Joined the Saugeen First Nations Annual Water Walk to Lake Huron and learned how in the Anishinabe tradition, women are responsible for caring for water.

2. The Iroquois speak out for Mother Earth (2002)

In this quietly powerful film by Danny Beaton, four Elders of the Haudenosaunee (Iroquois Six Nations Confederacy) speak in a clear, frank and rational language about the environmental crisis and what is needed to seriously begin to deal with it—encouraging us to see our planet as many earth-based cultures do.

3. This Changes Everything (2015) (Avi Lewis/Naomi Klein)

Inspired by Naomi Klein’s international non-fiction bestseller. Filmed over 211 days in nine countries and five continents over four years, THIS CHANGES EVERYTHING is an epic attempt to re-imagine the vast challenge of climate change.




Time: 8:30 – 9:00 a.m.

Refreshments provided by Friends of Bruce District Parks


THE SUPERINTENDENT, Bruce Peninsula National Park
GORDON NELSON – Introduction to the 2016 Forum


Peter Storck Photo

Peter Storck

Time: 9:00 – 9:50 a.m.

Speaker: Dr. Peter Storck, ROM Archaeologist and Author of Journey to the Ice Age

Topic: Searching For the Beginning: The Human story in Ice Age Ontario

North and South America were the last continents colonized by modern humans after their dispersal from their African homeland 150,000 to 200,000 years ago. Exactly when the Americas were first colonized from northeast Asia is not known, although an archaeological site on Manitoulin Island was once thought to provide evidence for human occupation before the last glaciation, perhaps 30,000 years ago. Recent re­excavations show that the site was occupied much later – roughly 9,500 years ago – by Late Paleo­Indian hunter­gatherers from the northern Plains during the deglaciation of northwestern Ontario, a time of rapid climate change and dramatic lake level fluctuations. Two thousand years earlier, during an earlier stage in deglaciation, their ancestors – Early Paleo­Indians from the mid­continent region – occupied southern Ontario. Their arrival was part of a continent ­wide movement, making Early Paleo­Indians one of the most successful colonizing peoples in prehistory.

BREAK – refreshments provided by Friends of Bruce District Parks


Lenore Keeshig

Time: 10:00 – 10:50 a.m.


Speaker: Lenore Keeshig

Lenore Keeshig (of the Wolf Clan) is a traditional storyteller from the Chippewas of Nawash Unceded First Nation on the Saugeen (Bruce) Peninsula. Currently, she coordinates the Interpretative Program for the Bruce Peninsula National Park and Fathom Five National Marine Park. As a traditional storyteller, Lenore has always had personal interest in the geologic references documented in traditional Anishnaabe stories and myths and legends from around the world.

Photo William Fox Speaker at 2016 Forum SOK

William Fox

Time: 10:50 – 11:40 a.m.

Topic: Indigenous Life in a Dynamic Environment: The Post-Algonquin Huron Basin

Speaker: William A. Fox

Following the demise of proglacial Lake Algonquin in the Huron Basin, water levels fluctuated widely, reaching record lows and bouncing up and down several times thereafter, before stabilizing at essentially modern levels roughly 2,000 years ago.

At the same time, forest cover was morphing as new tree species colonized the basin and adjacent uplands. This in turn provided Indigenous peoples with opportunities and challenges in terms of subsistence and technology. Paleoenvironmental and archaeological evidence from throughout the Huron basin is considered in an attempt to construct a culture historical overview spanning the period from c.8,000 BCE to c.1500 C.E.


Photo of Gary Warrick, Wilfred Laurier University

Gary Warrick

Time: 1:00 – 1:50 p.m.


Speaker: Dr. Gary Warrick

Indigenous Studies and History
Brantford Campus, Wilfrid Laurier University

This presentation will summarize the archaeological and historical information on the First Nations occupation of the Bruce Peninsula from 1500 – 1800 A.D. Archaeologists view the Bruce Peninsula as part of the larger territory of Anishinaabe peoples, called the “Ottawa” or “Odawa” in the early 17th century. The Odawa were first encountered at the mouth of the French River by Samuel de Champlain in 1615 and were subsequently visited by French traders and missionaries. They were close trading partners and allies with the Tionontate (Petun) and Huron-Wendat, and archaeology has demonstrated that most Odawa used Huron-Wendat pottery and some even lived in longhouse settlements.

After the 1649-1651 warfare with the Haudenosaunee (Five Nations Iroquois), the Odawa and other Anishinaabeg temporarily left the Bruce Peninsula and some Odawa joined the Huron-Wendat and other Anishinnabe peoples to form the Wyandot. By 1690, Anishinaabeg, ancestral Saugeen Ojibway, had returned to the Bruce Peninsula, living in hunting and fishing settlements and participating in the fur trade. The relative archaeological invisibility of 18th century hunting and gathering peoples in southern Ontario makes it difficult to find material evidence to fill out the meager historical record of First Nations life on the Bruce Peninsula in historic times. There is no evidence of European settlers on the Bruce Peninsula until the mid-19th century.

Lloyd Walton Photo

Lloyd Walton

Time: 1:50 – 2:40 p.m.

Topic: Into the Stones:  The Long Search for Understanding of Ancient Rock Art

Speaker: Lloyd Walton, Artist and Cinematographer

I’ll begin with a comment from J. V.Wright , Curator of Ontario Archaeology, Archaeological survey of Canada.

“Mr Walton has provided the public with a rare, graphic glimpse of the cosmological beliefs of native Algonquian-speakers in the province and elsewhere. To be able to obtain direct cooperation and participation of Native elders in the production of a film on the subject is a truly exceptional accomplishment. The “Teaching Rocks” undoubtedly contributes to a better understanding of the Native people in Ontario in particular and the country in general.”

So I’ve often wondered, why me? How did I find myself in a job that paid me to indulge my search for wonder, beauty, magic and truth ? Why was I given the nod to pass through gates of extraordinary natural, cultural, and hidden realms? So many experiences I have had, to some, might seem unbelievable, but I had photographic proof that it all happened. Were certain things off limits, or taboo to talk about? How could I write it down? I weighed those thoughts for years.

Through a remarkable co incidence, while walking down the middle of a dirt road in Killarney Ontario, I struck up a conversation with a young Ojibwe whose father I had travelled with many years before. I then went on to tell him of the dilemma I was facing of trying to tell my story, but not sure of what could be told or should not be told.

His reply lifted me.

“If you are an artist, you will find a way to tell it.”

My talk will focus on the trials it took to find someone who could read the ancient writings on the rocks, when the academic summary at the time when my search began was;

“At some point in the distant past, the carvers ceased coming to the site and their bright white images faded to a dull grey as knowledge of the site faded from mankind’s consciousness.”

BREAK – refreshments provided by Friends of Bruce District Parks

2:50-3:30 p.m.
A film by Lloyd Walton

Afternoon Activity Options: 3:45 – 5:00/5:30 p.m.

A. Historical Walk/Talk in Tobermory with HOLLY DUNHAM
B. Bruce Trail Conservancy: Burnt Point Loop – Explore the Shore
C. St. Edmunds Township Museum – Pioneer Life on the Arc

Evening Event – Tobermory Community Centre Time: 5:30-8:30 p.m.

5:30 – 6:30 Social Hour (cash bar)

6:30 – 8:30 Dinner catered by The Green Door, Wiarton

SOK Award of Excellence

John Riley Photo

John Riley

The Once and Future Great Lake Country

Keynote speaker: Dr. John Riley

Author and Science Advisor Emeritus to the Nature Conservancy of Canada

Great Lakes country is nothing like what it was 400 years ago, when its superabundant fish and wild life, and its forests and prairies, astonished its first European visitors. European contact brought an extraordinary period of disease, warring and genocide, and of landscape wilding after Native land care was ended. What was it like 400 years ago? What did we do to this place? What will it be like a century from now?

Today, Great Lakes country supports 45 million and an annual economy of $1 trillion. It is a landscape open to the continent and now the world. It was here that North American manufacturing and consumerism were invented, and where the migration of people and the manufacture of ownership are still dominant industries. All this was fueled by the liquidation of Nature’s capital. A century ago, more than 80 percent of us lived in the country; today, more than 80 percent are in cities, most in new global city-states, its largest TorBuffChester.

However, there is now more forest cover, cleaner water, recovering biota, and a better quality of life than a century ago. It is nothing like it was but there are new ambitions afoot, restoring the region’s ecology even while intensifying our footprint. A new recombinant ecology is asserting itself and, in this good fortune, Great Lakes country may well be extraordinary among regions of the world.

Great Lakes country is an endowment of immense geopolitical importance, and its natural capital will continue to be a magnet for human endeavour. The massive changes that transformed Great Lakes country are invisible to any single generation – What it was like in 1800 was totally different than 1600, and totally different again by 1900. It will be changed again by 2100 and, if we can learn our way forward, better.


Morning Field Trip

Time: 7:30-8:30 a.m.


Singing Sands

** SOLD OUT **

Participants will meet early at the Community Centre parking lot and carpool. This excursion will be a ‘go’ in all but heavy rain/electrical activity, so be sure to dress appropriately (rain gear/waterproof boots). Participants can bring binoculars, spotting scope and camera to enhance the experience.

Leader is ROD STEINACHER, Past President Bruce Peninsula Bird Observatory, Local Naturalist and Educator.  Another SOK tradition, and a great time for birds on the Peninsula!.

Morning Session 1

Time: 8:00 – 10:00 a.m.

Location: Tobermory Community Centre



As with last year, a local market featuring Bruce Peninsula Specialty Vendors (samples and sales); Live Music from The Tragically Hip Replacements! – Tobermory Community Centre.





Morning Session 2

Time: 10:15 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.


Sources of Knowledge Forum with the North Bruce Truth and Reconciliation Group will discuss the implications of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada report for the residents of the Bruce Peninsula. Special Speaker: Chief Vernon Roote, Saugeen First Nation

The final session of the Forum will be a general discussion of future topics.

Ongoing Forum Events

Ongoing during the Forum there will be an art exhibit – DIFFERENT WAYS OF SEEING – featuring inspired work of artists from the Bruce Peninsula.

As well, there will be a Poster Session and Exhibits – from Science Fair Projects to NGO Exhibits.

Event Sponsors

Bear Wheel and Brake
Blue Heron Company
Judy and Bill Caulfeild-Browne
Friends of Bruce District Parks
Jane and John Greenhouse
Harold Sutherland Construction
Municipality of Northern Bruce Peninsula
Shirley and Gordon Nelson
Parks Canada
Reader’s Haven Book Store

Forum Program Itinerary PDF Format


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