The Valley of the Lost Attawandarons… A Unique Learning Adventure 1 Hour West of Toronto.

September 11, 2006 (PRLEAP.COM) Education News
The Grand River Valley is the ancestral home of the Iroquoian Attawandarons. In the valley itself, there is an awe that holds the lost presence. No one can drift down the river unaware that someone has been here before.

The great Attawandarons are a tribe existing only on bits and pieces of paper. Their magnificent valley on the Grand River now stands silent. The last full blooded Attawandaron was recorded in a census living displaced near the Lake Michigan in the 1780’s. In the valley it is said “where there is sumac, there is a dead Indian”. The reason being that sumac thrives on light soils…and for the Attawandarons such soil was an easy place to bury their dead.

This is a valley steeped in aboriginal native history. If one looks hard… there are flint artifacts… village grind stones… and native burial grounds. There is no one here to morn the dead… in fact no one knows the dead are there.

For those who wish to know more about the valley, there are guided learning adventures available. Grand River Rafting offers many learning adventures… exclusive guided canoeing and kayaking on the Grand River for one to six people or leisure rafting that allows people to experiences everything together. Whatever the choice… every trip includes a personal guide.

These guides take you down the river safely; do learning adventures that teach native history, edible plants and wildlife. Their trips combine hiking, paddling and hands-on teaching. The impact of these experiential learning adventures leaves no one disappointed.

Many have never swam in a river… or tasted fresh water springs… or rubbed plant medicine to the skin. As old stories are told… lost words re-form on a child’s tongue. People smile as they play in the water… youthfulness engages all… it is a different place on the river… something the native people always had. It makes us ask… what has happen… what have we lost… where have we been? It is strange how what was common… is now new.

People marvel at the “croaking” noise of the blue herons… they freeze when coyotes howl… and jump when a beaver tail smacks. They marvel at soaring vultures and red-tail hawks… and delights at the fishing antics of osprey. They get excited when a deer flags its tail or a turkey appears… even a lone goose or a clam-washing coon holds the eye. Things that an Indian would simply take in… now rivet people’s attention. Everything is strangely new.

The floating classroom learning adventures is catching people’s attention. Anyone can rent a canoe/kayak and paddle with a guide to the end. But a learning adventure is different… there is no rushing through. Instead there is an acute awareness of totally enjoying an alien experience that seems to comfort all.