Our name, Wiidookdaadiwin means: “Working Together and Helping One Another” in the Anishinaabemowin (Ojibway) language and was gifted to us by the Elders of the Chippewa Tri-Council in consultation with Bill Jamieson. Our name has been the guiding principle of the entire journey and as such has been adopted as the name of the working group, Friends of Wiidookdaadiwin. Together, we are working for the greater good, for all of us.
Historically, Simcoe County contained numerous aboriginal villages and significant trade and travel routes. The Widookdadiwin site will recognize and celebrate these many significant features of our County. From the Lookout, one will be able to view rare habitats and areas that are historically meaningful. The site hosts views of natural ecological and geological wonders, including hundreds of plant and bird species. There are countless recreational activities nearby including hiking trails, canoeing and water sports. While we are excited about the project, we still have a way to go.
When the Lookout is fully complete it will be much more than a view – it will be a hub of cultural significance, it will foster an interest in our heritage, and it will demonstrate how beauty can be preserved, even from an old landfill site. Upon completion, visitors and students will find:
• A 900-square-foot, circa 1800, log building welcome centre, which will also act as a communication centre for the site.
• A limestone block amphitheatre which will be used for viewing, concerts, weddings and educational displays.
• An Historical Icon Sculpture created by Marlene Hilton Moore of Simcoe County. The icon sculpture will recognize the First Nations, explorers, settlers and military that traversed the lakes, rivers, islands and portages in the area between Georgian Bay and Lake Ontario. The bronze statue depicts an explorer and a member from First Nations, complete with Eastern Ojibway birchbark canoe.
• Information story boards will be located throughout explaining the natural heritage, the County Forest and recreation trails and Fort Willow.
• In addition, the site will include trails, walkways and gardens where aboriginal plantings will be identified in English, French and Ojibway. There will be a public area which will be used for viewing concerts picnics and education sessions.