Wabakimi Provincial Park is situated on the traditional
lands of several First Nation and Aboriginal communities.
The park waterways have been travelled for centuries by the Ojibway and
most portages in the region have evolved from this historic use. Ancient campsites,
artifacts and pictograph (rock painting) sites found throughout the park tell some of the
Evidence suggests that people have called Wabakimi home for about 7000
years, ranging throughout the area in small family groups, stopping where fish and game
were plentiful, or the berries ripe. To survive, these people needed an in-depth
understanding and appreciation for their environment.
trade routes and meeting places became established. Groups of several families would
gather on the shores of large lakes to share fishing and hunting chores, gather berries
and other foods in preparation for the winter, and hold social and religious celebrations.
In late summer and early fall, the groups would split into smaller family units and would
again disperse to hunt and trap for the winter. Transportation in summer was by birch bark
canoe, in winter by dog sled and snowshoe. Clothing was quite elaborate, likely made of
caribou, moose or beaver skins and decorated with porcupine quills and dyes. Shelter was
provided by wigwams constructed of birch bark or hides.
It was a challenging life, with bitterly cold winters and buggy summers. But it had
northern lights, warm summers, peace and quiet, and it was home. Visitors to Wabakimi may
discover old trails, historical artifacts, and habitation and pictograph
There are also other sites
which were used for ceremonial purposes and sites which are sacred to the First Nations
people of the area. Please ensure that you show respect for these values and sites. Please
do not touch the pictographs, as the acids in your fingertips will destroy them. Please
note that it is illegal to disturb or remove archaeological artifacts.
The establishment of Wabakimi Provincial Park will not affect Aboriginal and treaty
rights. Aboriginal people will continue to enjoy traditional activities such as hunting,
fishing, trapping, and wild rice harvesting in the park, and will have a significant role
in the development of the Park Management Plan.
Several communities hold festivals and pow wows to which the public are welcome. All of
them offer opportunities to experience their culture, to learn from them, and to enjoy
their hospitality and services.