1,000-year-old national historic site vandalized in southeastern Ontario

Bon Écho Provincial Park, an area known for its natural environment and home to the Mazinaw pictographs, is now the victim of vandals.

The national historic site, where more than 200 Indigenous pictographs or symbols have adorned the sides of the rocks for hundreds of years, is now covered in graffiti.

Park officials were informed over Labor Day weekend that images 300 to 1,000 years old and visible only from the water had been defaced.

Ontario Parks confirmed to PKBNEWS that the park’s unknown visitors appear to have done more than admire the historic site, carving names into some parts of the rock and leaving graffiti on others.

“Vandalism to the sacred Indigenous site of Mazinaw Rock in Bon Echo Provincial Park is a terrible, disrespectful and destructive act,” Ontario Parks confirmed in an email.

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The Mazinaw Pictographs became a historic site in 1982 and are considered sacred by some indigenous peoples. Ontario Parks says the pictographs were made by the ancestors of the Anishinaabe, which includes the Algonquins.

Parks Canada states on its website that Mazinaw, named after an Algonquin word meaning “image” or “writing”, is the largest rock art site in the southern Canadian Shield and the only major pictograph site in southern Canada. Ontario.

Bon Echo Provincial Park in Ontario.

Fawwaz Muhammad-Yusuf / World News

At the foot of a cliff, Mazinaw is the canvas of more than 260 painted images or pictograms.

Parks Canada writes that the site attests to the importance of this place and the storytelling techniques of the indigenous people who created the pictographs.

It hasn’t been confirmed if all of the vandalism is related, but park officials say this is the first time this has happened and it’s “extremely disappointing.”

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Ontario Parks confirms it is investigating the vandalism, but it is unclear whether it will be able to fully restore the site to its previous state.

Ontario Parks is asking anyone with information regarding these types of incidents to submit an anonymous report to Bon Echo Provincial Park at 613-336-2228.

With files from Fawwaz Muhammad-Yusuf of PKBNEWS

&copy 2023 PKBNEWS, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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