If you come from abroad you should not miss to learn something about the native people of North America. Please travel along the Grand River and visit Ohsweken which is the largest village located in the reserve called "Six Nations".
Go to the information center which is located directly on the road which guided you along the river and get some actual information.
The information center
The reserve was given by Frederick Haldimand to Joseph Brant and his Iroquois people as a thank you for fighting on the side of the British during the American revolution. Today there are living Mohawk, Oneida, Ogondaga, Cayuga, Seneca, Tuscarora and certainly also some not natives.
I hope that you do not expect to find big camps with tents, campfires, displayed furs and Indians in traditional costumes.
Ohsweken is only slightly different to other Canadian townships. The first eye catching difference will be that you see lots of advertising for cigarettes and tobacco and lower prices for fuel. This is a result from lower taxes which the natives enjoy.
Ohsweken is also the administrative center of the reserve. For that reason you will see many state-of-the-art buildings which accommodate those.
One of the administrations
Everything looks clean and there was no litter on the streets. Pickup-Trucks and SUVs were mostly used.
Naturally, the natives love also to celebrate events. We will come back to watch a traditional Pow Wow. Unfortunately, we missed this years's celebration in which hundreds of dancers from all over the country participated. It took place end of July when Elizabeth, my wife, had a surgery and I did not want to go without her.
Please use the Internet to check for actual events in Ohsweken.
When we come I hope to find accommodation in the "Bear's Inn". But I have my doubts, because during my last visit nobody was available to give me some answers.
The "Bear's Inn"
A small shopping center
Ohsweken is certainly one of the best places in our area to purchase articles made by the native people.
We came the first time to Ohsweken to do this at "IROQRAFTS". If you want to take some original native art or handcrafted articles home visit this place and compare it with other places. Moccasins are always an appreciated gift. They are not heavy and easy to pack and very comfortable. So far everybody was happy to get a pair.
"IROQRAFTS", a place which you should visit
Browse through the store. Certainly you will see something which you like.
You will find music instruments, pipes, masks, tomahawks, clothing, jewelry, all kind of native art, paintings music CD's and much, much more.
We always bought moccasins as a gift for friends or relatives.
They have also a catalogue for sale which gives you many interesting information about native culture and customs. This will help you to understand certain ceremonies.
Years ago, we tried to export some of these beautiful craft and art items to Germany. Unfortunately, we selected the wrong partner over there and the business never was a success. Obviously he kept all merchandise for himself and we never received any payments.
Here some pictures of what you can find in the store. Naturally, there are more stores which offer native crafts. If you have enough time compare prices, but as far as we know "IROQRAFTS" has the best selection.
Boots for ladies
Spend some time in Ohsweken. Most natives live in modern homes and drive - as already said - mostly pickup trucks or SUVs. However, this does not mean that they have forgotten about her traditions even when they converted to Christianity.
Have lunch or dinner in an "Indian" restaurant - but look for native dishes!
Elizabeth, my wife, used the chance to have her picture taken as a "fat" native woman. In real life she is less than half of this size!
Many visitor buy cheap cigarettes here. We do not smoke! I read that the quality should not be as good as that of the highly taxed cigarettes. I think both of them stink and I am happy about the restrictions which ban smoking in many public places.
We really wish to visit a Powwow in Ohsweken. I enjoyed one in Fort Erie. But because of the heavy rain it was moved into a hall. Still it was a great event. Visit our web site and watch the video.
Elizabeth as an "Indian" woman
Crafts and art work of the native people from North America
Watch the video: "A Pow Wow in Fort Erie"
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