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Chapter Two: OGIDÂKI : On The Hill

No one knows the exact date at which humans began to populate the North Bay area. Most estimates range between 9,000 and 6,000 years ago (Totten Sims Hubicki, 1999: 5; Brizinski and Holzkamm, 1980: 4). In those days it would have been possible to take a boat through the Great Lakes to the Ottawa River without ever once having to portage (Bullock interview, 22 July 2002; Bullock, 199?: “The North Bay Outlet...”). Jack Pine Hill would have been, at first, part of the sandy bottom of this enormous waterway.

In this difficult environment, the people developed many strategies for survival and adaptation. They would have been highly mobile, traveling in small groups during the winter and gathering together in the summer (Cooper: 1). Even after the glacial lake retreated and the Anishinabek could begin to speak of being “ ogidâki ” or “on the hill” (Baraga, 1966) rather than on the beach, the people continued to follow this nomadic or semi-nomadic lifestyle. (Kooistra, A History of the North Bay Ski Hill page 4)