With the 40th Annual Grand River Champion of Champions Pow Wow rapidly approaching at the end of next month (July 26-28, 2019), you may be thinking about planning a trip to our neighbouring community of Six Nations of the Grand River. You also may be wondering what else there is to see and do in Ohsweken while you are visiting. We have compiled a list of our ‘must-dos’ to help you out. This by no means covers everything, but is a good place to start.
The Pow Wow is held at Chiefswood Park, which is situated on 20 acres alongside the beautiful Grand River. The park includes a large outdoor playground, docking facilities, canoe and kayak rentals, a large forested area, and more. It is located adjacent to Chiefswood National Historic Site, which is the birthplace and childhood home of E. Pauline Johnson, celebrated Mohawk Poetess. The site is open May through October, and scheduling your tour in advance is recommended—especially on the Pow Wow weekend.
Kayanase is just a short 5 minute walk or 1 minute drive down the road from Chiefswood. Here you can discover Kahyonha:kta (by the river), a place to come and learn Haudenosaunee history and culture in the 17th century replica longhouse. Kayanase’s current greenhouse was built in 2010 and is nearly 55,000 square feet, and it features a retractable roof. Kayanase is dedicated to restoring Mother Earth holistically through the collection of native seeds, to seed progressing, seed propagation, planting, monitoring and eventually back to healthful biodiversity.
Now that you’ve broke a mental sweat, give your mind a break and take on some light hiking along the Six Nations Nature Trail, located adjacent to the Six Nations Tourism Building. This scenic 2.5 km trail is located in one of the last remaining Carolinian Forests in Ontario. These forests once dominated Southern Ontario, and this is the largest stand left. Walk on your own or with a friend, or ask about their guided tours so you can learn how to identify different Indigenous plant species within the Carolinian family throughout the trail.
Six Nations of the Grand River has lots of fun outdoor activities and is also the birthplace of lacrosse and known as the ‘lacrosse capital of the world.’ The popular sport was originally played with a wooden ball and was played at the 1904 and 1908 Summer Olympic Games. Both ILA Sports and Golf Depot, located in Oshweken, sell lots of equipment that can aid you in all of your athletic endeavours. Golf Depot is stocked with everything you need to make you feel you’re best when you’re out on the links. Clubs, bags, shoes, hats, gloves and balls—in some of the sport’s most popular brands—are all waiting to accompany you on your next round. ILA Sports, while predominantly featuring lacrosse equipment and gear, also offers merchandise from top suppliers for hockey and baseball.
If you only have a little time set aside to shop, make sure you stop at Iroqrafts. Here you can explore First Nations crafts and supplies that are unique to the Six Nations of the Grand River area with exquisite products including: beautiful moccasins, stone sculptures, bone/horn jewelry, cornhusk dolls, headdresses, Mohawk Pottery, books, craft supplies, and much more.
Once you’ve danced your heart out at the Pow Wow, hiked and explored all of Chiefswood and the neighbouring trails, and done your shopping, you will likely be in need for a much needed rest. Why not indulge in some self care at Grand River Spa? Discover the art of relaxation and pampering within the sanctuary of their 23-acre intimate spa retreat. Their state-of-the-art spa facilities offer personalized treatments and pampering services ranging from hot stone massage, facials and body wraps, to manicures, pedicures and a variety of other spa delights for both women and men.
Feed your growling tummy at Burger Barn. The menu features traditional favourites served with a farm fresh twist. Complete with all the fixins, their southern style comfort food—at reasonable prices—is sure to satisfy any appetite.
To get your adrenaline going watch fast cars speeding around the track in a whirl of excitement at Ohsweken Speedway. Friday Night Excitement is an event you do not want to miss if you have the chance.
Spend your evening being entertained at Gathering Place by the Grand. This stunning and elegant event and entertainment venue is inspired by the Grand River and offers several exciting programs throughout the year. To keep the party going, be sure to visit Six Nations Bingo—the largest bingo hall in the region for over 20 years now. With matinee, twilight, evening, late night, Monster Bingo and Super Sunday sessions, there’s something for every player at Six Nations Bingo.
For more information about things to see and do in Six Nations of the Grand River, please visit the Six Nations Tourism website.