Oakville-Burlington History - Native Indians & Early Explorers

The earliest recorded Indian habitation of the area is 6,000 to 7,000 BC, based on an excavation on Manitoulin Island where quartzite tools and weapons were found. More recently, early Woodland Indians inhabited the area around 225 BC.

By the time the first explorers arrived, the Algonquin, Chippewa and Ojibway tribes had settled into the area along the French River between Lake Huron and the Ottawa River. Studies of native customs and language indicate that the Algonquins had lived with the Crees and then migrated eastwards until they met the Iroquois. The natives in this area at the time of European visitation were the Mississaugas (part of the Iroquois nation) who settled along the north shore of Lake Ontario.

The first European to visit the area was the French explorer and fur trader Oavelier de la Salle and Louis Joliet, who arrived at Burlngton Bay in 1669 via the Grand River from Lake Erie on their return from Lake Superior

At that time the natives called this place "Ganastoqueh", also "Des-aas-a-deh-o" in another Iroquois dialect, which is interpreted to mean "Where the sand forms a Bar".

Following the Fall of Quebec City, the area was visited by British Major Robert-Rogers (who commanded the Rogers' Rangers in the French war of 1759-60) to take possession of the French military posts. One of those accompanying him was Captain Coote, of the 6th Regiment stationed at Fort Niagara, who was drawn to the abundance of wild game and waterfowl at the swamps off Burlington Bay, the area was named by the other officers as "Coote's Paradise". More history of Oakville-Burlington
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