Discover the Centre of Turtle Island in the Whiteshell Provincial Park
Located less than a 2-hour drive east of downtown Winnipeg you’ll find Whiteshell Provincial Park located on the Manitoba/Ontario border and geographically in the centre of Turtle Island (North America). The park is called Whiteshell after the sacred white cowrie shell used by Anishinaabe people in many ceremonies to this day.
Whiteshell Provincial Park is a beautifully preserved park space spanning more than 2,500 sq km and known for its numerous lakes, rivers, forests, and rugged, rocky terrain. Throughout the park you will find many movable rocks and boulders left behind after the most recent ice age, and Indigenous peoples made use of these boulders to create petroforms: placements of stones in the form of circles, turtles, serpents, water creatures, women formations and many others as a tool to educate, tell stories, and record history. We continue to learn from these ancient knowledges today.
For tens of thousands of years, a number of Indigenous nations lived in, crossed through and travelled throughout the areas we now call Manitoba and Canada. Today Whiteshell Provincial Park is well-known as cottage country for thousands of visitors, campers and hikers, but Indigenous peoples from many nations have been living in this region for tens of thousands of years. While the petroform site has been named the Bannock Point Petroforms, many still acknowledge the site as its original name in Anishinaabemowin (the Ojibwe language) as Manidoo-Abi, translated to English as “Where the Spirit Sits.”