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Oshawa celebrates First Nations heritage

First Nations Heritage

Regional and Oshawa City Councillor Nester Pidwerbecki and chair of the Oshawa Heritage committee Diane Stephen, admire the recently unveiled plaque at the Waterfront Trail off Colonel Sam Drive honouring the Scugog Carrying Place.

By Joel Wittnebel/The Oshawa Express

Members of city council and the Oshawa Heritage committee were on hand to unveil a plaque at the Waterfront Trail to recognize the significance of the First Nations heritage in the area.

The plaque, at the entrance to the Waterfront Trail off of Colonel Sam Drive, honours the Scugog Carrying Place.

The path was previously one of four major routes that connected the interior of the province to Lake Ontario.

The Scugog Carrying Place mostly followed what is now Simcoe Street North and was the connecting link between the valley of the Trent Waterway, which includes lakes Scugog and Simcoe, with the Kawartha Lakes and Lake Ontario.

Dave Mowat, a council member in the Vaudeville First Nation, was on hand for the plaque unveiling and stressed the importance of recognizing the area’s aboriginal heritage.

“These ancient roads, highways and byways eventually become our modern roads, highways and byways,” Mowat said.

The Scugog Carrying Place was also used by early European settlers who used the route to move from interior lands to towns and industrial centres, building the foundations of Durham Region.

“Scugog Carrying Place is a very important historical record in Oshawa, Durham Region and the province,” states Mayor John Henry in a press release. “The First Nations Route was chosen for settlement because of the rich resources provided by its proximity to water and land. Just as our ancestors before us, we continue to improve our lives by utilizing the resources available to us with careful, planned development and respect for the environment and our future generations.”