Sunday, July 1, 2012

Quebec: Site Traditionnel Huron

On most Sundays, Ashley is a junior tour guide at the Lenape Village at the Churchville Nature Center. Her knowledge of their pre-Colonial lives is vast. I specifically sought a Native American site for Ashley to visit. in order that we could compare the Lenape Culture with the Hurons.

My search yielded the Site Traditionnel Huron, located on the Huron-Wendat Reservation just outside of Quebec City.

The tour began with a native dance. It included several buildings including a long house, explanation of smoking food, a sweat lodge and a tepee with ritual masks inside of it. 

We had a private tour. The guide was able to help us work through how the Lenape and Huron cultures were the same and how they were different. They were both matriarchal, and they both had clans. The languages were different. Lenapes were more nomadic, hence the structures built by the Huron were more permanent. 

The tour was fine. It ended with an incredible gift shop filled with crafts made by First Nation people from all over Canada. It lacked the charm of Churchville Nature Center. I felt rushed through the tour, even though they said we could go back to any site afterwards, I still felt in the way.

Unless you have a strong love of Native American culture, I would not spend the 30 minutes driving to Wendat to visit this site. We had thought we would spend all day. However, the restaurant with lots of Native American food did not open until noon, and we were done with our tour by 11 AM. If you do decide to go, aim for later in the day in order to also feast on their delicacies. 

Local friends, if you have a free Sunday afternoon between April and October, check out one of Miss Patti's tours at Churchville Nature Center. With any luck (or coordinating in advance) Ashley will be there helping Patti. The tour is only $5 and lasts at least 90 minutes. It is very interactive.

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