City of Orillia
Atherley Narrows | Orillia, ON

Mnjinkaning Fish Weirs

A point of interest on the Orillia Millennium Trail Audio Walking Tour available on the Tripvia Tours App for Android & iPhone.

Listen to the tour audio!

Audio Excerpt

Welcome to the Mnjikahning fish weirs!

In the Ojibway language, mnjikahning means 'place of the fish fence'. This complex system of underwater fences was used by Aboriginal people for harvesting fish. Today, very few wooden fish weirs are still in existence, In fact, Mnjikahning is the only example of this rare technology in Canada.

The fish weirs were constructed here 5,000 years ago. To build them, lines of wooded stakes were driven into the bottom of the narrows. Vegetation was then woven through the stakes, forming the fences that guided the fish into shallower areas. covered in silt, and therefore protected from bacteria, the wooded stakes have remained intact.

Mnjikahning was also a meeting place for Aboriginal nations. It was a cherished place where treaties were made, goods were exchanged, and ceremonies were conducted.

Today, Aboriginal people believe that Mnjikahning is one of the special sites in North America where the Creator's power and spiritual energy can be experienced. Elders tell us that the fish still listen to the creator, who charged them with the duty to come together here. In recognition of this rare and special place, the federal government officially declared Mnjikahning a national historic site in 1982.

As you visit, look for signs that the Creator has blessed Mnjikahning with many gifts. Fish, birds and other creatures can be seen. The Grandfather Rock, with its foour colours (yellow, red. black and white), represents our connection to the ancient world. By respecting the environment, we can make sure this special place remains protected.

Millennium Trail

Walking Tour

This POI is featured on the Orillia Millennium Trail Audio Walking Tour, part of the Tripvia Tours mobile app available for Android & Apple.

Experience the beautiful waterfront trail in a unique and entertaining way!

Tours can be downloaded on WIFI and don't use any mobile date during tour.

Entertaining & Educational

Knowledgeable tour guides point out interesting things as you walk or bike.

Each POI has a fun multiple choice trivia question that adds to the fun.

Tour experience is the same in either direction.

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