On the eastern edge of Manitoulin Island, this is the only unceded Indian Reserve in North America. It was home to the Odawa Indians when Champlain first landed here in 1615. Jesuit missionaries lived among the natives in the 17th century and built a chapel in the late 1600s near the village. The first modern missionary to visit cam in 1838. In 1862, the government of Upper Canada was looking to free up more land for white settlers, and made agreements with natives on the western part of the Island. Those on the eastern part never ceded their land, refusing to sign the Manitoulin Treaty of 1862. The name Wikwemikong means “bay of the beaver” in Odawa.
It is accessed by road from Manitowaning. The reserve includes several small villages in addition to the main town, Each spring and summer, its pow-wows attract dancers from all over North America. The town has a new Wikwemikong Bay Marina, built on scenic Smith Bay with 60 slips. The marina also features a museum and native craft shop. There is a swimming beach close to the marina.
M’inidoo Golf Course
The reserve has built an 18 hole golf course, with 9 holes having challenging water hazards. Free shuttle service is offered for those arriving at the town’s marina.
Holy Cross Mission
2525 Wikwemikong Way, Wikwemikong, ON P0P 2J0
This plaque commemorates the first mission in 1648 by Jesuits. The original church was built in 1852 but destroyed by fire in 1954. Beside the church are stone ruins that remain from the residence, built in 1888 that burned down with the church.