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Sheguiandah National Historic Site of Canada

Manitoulin Island, Ontario, P0P, Canada

Formally Recognized: 1954/06/07

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Other Name(s)

Sheguiandah National Historic Site of Canada

Links and documents

Construction Date(s)

Listed on the Canadian Register: 2009/11/20

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

Sheguiandah National Historic Site of Canada is located on the northwestern shore of Manitoulin Island near the present-day community of Sheguiandah, Ontario. The main feature of the site is a quartzite knoll containing artifacts spanning 9000 years of occupation, dating from the Paleoindian Period to the Middle Woodland Period. The site extends to the base of the knoll on all sides, including the modern village of Sheguiandah. Official recognition refers to the quartzite knoll on all sides, with additional protected areas to the north and northeast, including the modern village of Sheguiandah.

Heritage Value

Sheguiandah was designated a national historic site of Canada in 1954 because:
- through more than 9000 years, from the post-glacial Paleoindian (Plano) Period to the Middle Woodland Period, Aboriginal peoples came to quarry the local outcrops of quartzite, leaving an integrated cultural and environmental record.

The remains found in Sheguiandah represent a series of successive cultural occupations of early inhabitants in what is now Ontario, beginning with the Paleoindian Period circa 11,000 B.C.E. during the recession of glacial Lake Algonquin. The site also contains artifacts from the Archaic period (1000-500 B.C.E.) as well as Point Peninsula culture stone tools associated with the Middle Woodland period (0 – 500 C.E.). The main features of the site are the local outcrops of quartzite, from which early Aboriginal peoples could make tools and weapons. Large stone hammers were used to strike off pieces of the bedrock, and from the finer fragments the settlers chipped out great numbers of knives, scrapers, and other tools for use in hunting, fishing, and food-gathering.

Source: Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada, Minutes, October, 2007.

Character-Defining Elements

Key elements that contribute to the heritage character of the site include:
- its location north of present-day Sheguiandah, in Ontario;
- its setting on the north-western shore of Manitoulin Island in Lake Huron;
- the natural features of the site, including the quartzite knoll with its quarries and swamps, and the slope and the base of the knoll which are occupied by the modern village of Sheguiandah.

The integrity of any surviving or as yet unidentified archaeological remains, which may be found within the site in their original placement and extent, including:
- any remains relating to the Paleoindian (Plano) Period, including knives, scapers, and other tools made from locally quarried quartzite;
- any remains associated with the Archaic Period, including artifacts associated with quarrying activities;
- any remains relating to the Middle Woodland Period, including Point Peninsula stone tools, St. Lawrence pseudo scallop shell pottery, projectile points and drills, and other cultural remains;
- the viewscapes from the site across Sheguiandah Bay and Lake Huron.




Recognition Authority

Government of Canada

Recognition Statute

Historic Sites and Monuments Act

Recognition Type

National Historic Site of Canada

Recognition Date


Historical Information

Significant Date(s)


Theme - Category and Type

Function - Category and Type


Historic or Interpretive Site


Natural Resource Extraction Facility or Site

Architect / Designer




Additional Information

Location of Supporting Documentation

National Historic Sites Directorate, Documentation Centre, 5th Floor, Room 89, 25 Eddy Street, Gatineau, Quebec

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier




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