News Release Article from
Government of Canada Commemorates Cummins Pre-Contact Site as Place of National Historic Significance
Thunder Bay archaeological site recognizes thousands of years of Indigenous presence
February 28, 2016 Thunder Bay, Ontario Parks Canada Agency
A Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada plaque to commemorate the national historical importance of the Cummins Pre-Contact Site was unveiled today in Thunder Bay. The Honourable Patty Hajdu, Minister of Status of Women and Member of Parliament for Thunder Bay – Superior North, on behalf of the Honourable Catherine McKenna, Minister of the Environment and Climate Change and Minister responsible for Parks Canada, attended a special ceremony with representatives from the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada, the Fort William First Nation and the City of Thunder Bay.
Located on the north shore of Lake Superior, the Cummins Pre-Contact Site has witnessed thousands of years of Indigenous presence and demonstrates human adaptation to an early post-glacial environment.
The Cummins Pre-Contact Site provides an archaeological representation of human use of the north shore of present-day Lake Superior. As with many other sites along the shores of ancient Lake Minong, the Cummins Pre-Contact Site was chosen by its inhabitants for its situation along caribou migration routes and for the rich source of raw materials, particularly taconite stone, used in the creation of tools. Of the known sites associated with the Lakehead Complex of archaeological findings, Cummins is the most significant and most representative, and it appears to be the primary quarry and workshop/habitation site of the complex.
As we near the 150th anniversary of Confederation in 2017, the Government invites all Canadians to experience and learn more about our environment and our history. Canada’s national parks, national historic sites, and national marine conservation areas enable Canadians to experience their heritage in a special way and will play a big part in the celebration of Canada 150.
- The Cummins Site is an archaeological site located on the outskirts of Thunder Bay, Ontario. Today, the site is some distance from the present shore of Lake Superior, but during the PaleoIndian period, this entire region was covered by ancient Lake Minong, and the Cummins site was along its edge.
- Archaeologists first learned of the site in 1962, when Thunder Bay local Hugh Cummins reported finding stone tools in the area. The next year, K.C.A. Dawson and J.V. Wright of the Archaeological Survey of Canada surveyed the Cummins site and carried out test excavations.
- The Cummins Pre-Contact Site was designated as a national historic site in 1981, recognizing this site as the most significant and representative littoral site of the Lakehead Complex.
- Parks Canada manages a nation-wide network of 168 national historic sites, 46 national parks and four national marine conservation areas.
“As Canadians, we recognize the Indigenous Peoples who lived on the north shore of Lake Superior for thousands of years. As the Cummins Pre-Contact Site demonstrates, this land and its peoples have a long history of which we can all be tremendously proud. “
The Honourable Patty Hajdu
Minister of Status of Women and Member of Parliament for Thunder Bay – Superior North
- 30 -
Office of the Minister of the Environment and Climate Change
Parks Canada Agency
Search for related information by keyword
Hon. Patricia A. Hajdu Parks Canada History and Archaeology
- Date modified: