Six Nations not consulted on Indigenous settlement found in Mississauga

Evidence of an Indigenous village was uncovered during the construction of a residential property in Mississauga but Six Nations of the Grand River has not been consulted on the find.

The City of Mississauga is consulting with the Mississaugas of the Credit as a report from Fisher Archaeological Consulting described the 0.2-hectare lot on the Southeast Corner of 1470 Pinetree Crescent as part of the former Credit Reserve.

The Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation people had a settlement near the Credit River in Mississauga before moving to their present-day location adjacent to the Six Nations of the Grand River reserve just south of Caledonia on Hwy. 6.

The site is currently being considered to be designated as a Heritage Property by the city.

Indigenous lithics (a term referring to the age of stone technology) and sherds were found during initial archaeological investigation in 2021, prompting further stage three and four assessments and remedies to be carried out.

Fifteen test pits were dug, revealing Indigenous Woodland habitation, according to the Fisher report.

Further testing and monitoring during construction will be overseen by the city of Mississauga, a licensed archaeologist, and Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation.

The report recommended protective fencing be installed during construction of the house to avoid the areas where artifacts were found, according to the report.

If any new artifacts are found, construction will cease, the report noted.

The archaeologist will be tasked with determine the significance of any material found.

The report notes there are 19 registered archaeological sites within one kilometre of the subject residential construction, many of them described as pre-and-post-contact Indigenous Woodland sites.

The report noted that other Indigenous groups were present in the area, notably, a Seneca village called Teiaiagon on the Humber River.

However, the report also noted that the particular study is located “within the former Credit Indian Reserve” and that there is no evidence of settler inhabitants in the study area on Pinetree Crescent but that it still has potential for Euro-Canadian archaeological artifacts.

One of the artifacts found was an example of Indigenous ceramics, which calls for a Stage Three archaeological assessment under Ontario rules.

Stage four is the final stage of any archaeological assessment, which demands work be stopped or measures are taken to avoid the area.

One particular artifact was dated between 900 BCE and 1,700 CE.

Stage three testing took place in November and December 2021 and found 65 artifacts.

The report was brought back to the city’s Heritage Advisory Committee yesterday (May 9) for further discussion.

“The site dates to multiple periods of Indigenous occupation and is representative of the continual habitation of these lands by Indigenous Peoples since time immemorial,” a report from the committee reads. “Due to the connection with the Indigenous occupation of this part of Mississauga and city’s commitment to reconciliation through actively opposing the erasure of Indigenous heritage, the site is found to have associative value, as well.”

Portions of the property will be protected from construction as per archaeological guidelines in Ontario.

Neither the city of Mississauga or Six Nations Lands and Resources returned calls for further comment on the find.

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