LATE PREHISTORIC CULTURES IN THE LAKE SUPERIOR REGION
From: The Archaeology of North Central Ontario : Prehistoric Cultures North of Superior 1979, Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Sport (name of ministry 2012)
Two indigenous cultures, both of which appear to have developed from a Laurel cultural base and carried on similar ways of like, were present in the Terminal Woodland Period. In the vicinity of Lake Superior are sites of the Blackduck Culture. The Blackduck Culture is characterized by globular pottery vessels, textured with a cord-wrapped paddle. To the north is the Selkirk Culture, distinguished archaeologically by its fabric-impressed globular vessels.
The Selkirk culture is believed to be that of the pre-historic Cree. There is, however, considerable controversy over the ethnic identity of the Blackduck culture: some researchers believe Blackduck is pre-historic Assiniboine, due to the strong similarities in material culture with the the historic Siouan groups to the south: others have suggested that Algonkian - speaking people, historically identified as the Ojibway, produced the Blackduck culture; still others are of the opinion that, given our present state of knowledge, no direct correlation can be drawn between archaeological cultures and historically identified linguistic groups.
Iroquoian pottery from Southern Ontario and Plains and Michigan - derived ceramics are occasionally found on the late pre-historic sites in the North Central area. Whether these represent objects of trade, or the presence of small groups of non-local people in the area, has yet to be determined.
On sites dating to the latter part of the 17th century, glass beads, scraps of metal, thimbles, and other articles provide evidence of contact with another culture - that of the European fur traders. The influx of European trade goods in the late 1600's signals the beginning of the adoption of, and adaptation to, Western culture by the native peoples of North Central Ontario.
This booklet quoted, was created by the North Central Region Historical Planning and Research Branch
David W. Arthurs was the field Archaeologist in 1979 and William Ross was the Regional Archaeologist.