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Huronia Museum and Huron Ouendat Village
Midland, Ontario, Canada
Tourism, Travel Guide

Travel guide for Ontario


The "Huronia Museum and Huron Ouendat Village" is located in Midland in the so called "Little Park".
This municipal park is an attraction on its own. We went swimming there in the "Little Lake" before we visited the Indian village and the museum.

Operating Hours:
Open 7 Days a week, 9:00-5:00 May 1st to October 31st
Starting November 1st, open Monday to Friday 9:00-5:00
Huronia Museum Summer Jam Day Camp July & August 2009
Please visit the official web site for more information.

The Huron Ouendat Village was founded by W. Wilfried Jury together with the archaeologist William J. Wittemberg.
Wilfried Juri and his wife Elsie were also leaders in the reconstruction of "Sainte-Marie among the Hurons" the former French Jesuit mission and of "Discovery Harbour".
The "Huron Ouendat Village" was completed in 1956. the Hurons called themselves Ouendat (often also written as Wendat). When I heard this I was wondering because according to my knowledge the natives of North America did not use any lettering. A native friend confirmed that. Everything was passed on by mouth.
It was certainly a challenging task to recreate a village of a time long gone.
The Hurons lived in fortified villages and did farming in the surrounding fields. They planted mainly corn, beans, some kind of pumpkin and sunflowers.
Corn was one of the main sources for food. It was dried and ground. As you can see in the village this was done with very primitive tools.
The village was protected by a wooden palisade. This palisade was not only used against wild animals, intruders but also against strong wind and snow storms.
The entrance to the village was narrow and full of corners. This was considered to be an additional protection.

Well protected?

The village shows how the Hurons lived before the arrival of the first European settlers.
Soon a friendship between these native people and the Jesuits was established.
Some of the natives converted to Christianity.
The Hurons also believed in only one god which they called creator. This god had never visited earth and will never do that.
The displayed masks were supposed to create a connection between the humans, the nature and afterlife. I hope that these information which I collected are correct.
There are different masks which must be "blessed" in order to use them during various ceremonies. These "blessed" masks can not be sold and I was told that it is not possible to take a picture of them. I did not want to be impolite and did not try that. I assumed that the shown masks were not "blessed". Normally it is also not allowed to take pictures of "blessed" masks. Maybe that explains that there are no pictures of them!

Not blessed masks

The picture on the right shows the outside of a typical Longhouse while the lower one the interior.
It contains only one room and a complete family clan lived in it.
It was used for cooking, the storage of food, furs and other belongings. Also meetings and ceremonies took place here.
The shown Longhouse was also used to dry tobacco which was hanging down from the ceiling.
The tobacco plant is considered to be holy and even today tobacco is still used in ceremonies.
We experienced that when we visited a "Drum Night" in the native center in Fort Erie. Try to participate in such an event with lots of traditional dancing and food.
Please us the link to our website to learn what we experienced. Elizabeth and Gaye her friend even joined the dancing.
Don't think our native people cannot have fun!
Longhouse, Huron Ouendat Village in Midland, Ontario
The entrance to the Longhouse

The inside of a Longhouse

The furs of hunted down animals were not dried in the Longhouse. This was done outside as shown in the left picture.
Meat was smoked and dried to preserve it.
The same was done with fish another main source for the daily meals.
When we visited this place no guided tours were offered. But we received some good printed information. I addition we asked questions.
We are interested to learn more about the culture of the aboriginal people. We were even invited to visit a "Sweat Lodge", which seems to be some kind of a sauna. Water is poured over hot stones. Together with prayers and ceremonies it serves to cleanse the body and the soul. So far we did not follow any of the invitations.
If you are interested in the food of our native people purchase a cookbook. It is certainly a new and healthy alternative to pizza and hamburgers.
I tried to get an original dinner in a restaurant operated by aboriginal's, but they did not have anything like that on their menu. They offered Chinese dishes and the standard Canadian food. They should be ashamed!

Nobody climbed on the watch tower

Considering the time in which such a village was built it looked pretty cozy to me. I think I would prefer to live here instead of serving in an army in Europe or be a low paid sailor.
Walking for and back made me tired and I joined other who rested around a fire place on stumps. I learned that the Hurons used fire not only for cooking but also for clearing and to protect wood used for palisade against rotting.
At this time tools made out of metal were unknown to them. But they made pottery.
Everything what nature provided was treated with respect. Even the bones of animals were buried on a special place if they were not used for tools or decorations. They believed that everything has a spirit. Just talk to an educated native to learn more.

Huron Ouendat Village in Midland, Ontario
The fire place
Naturally Hurons played also games for entertainment.
The guide of a group of travelers is explaining a game for which stones were used.
Most of the ladies even tried it! It sounded to me like a variant of bowling. The group had fun trying it.
Check out the wigwams. Stroll around - there is so much to discover.
See how the medicine man lived. The medicine man did not only healing, he also could forecast the weather and as many believed change it.
He also helped to find lost items - I am trying to improve my skills with that right continuously to help Elizabeth better with misplaced glasses, her wallet, her purse, a book - anything a woman uses!


The "Huron Ouendat Village" is combined with the "Huronia Museum". Please visit that too.
I was expecting that it shows mainly artifacts and things related to the Hurons and their culture.
It was a big surprise to find details about the famous "Avro Arrow" fighter aircraft which was developed in Canada and is still believed that it was superior to what the USA had to offer. The program was officially stopped because of cost overruns but that is questioned by many Canadians.
Please do not rush through this museum. If you take some time you may discover some treasures which you may not see so easily somewhere else.


Crafts and art work of the native people from North America


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