Six Nations Writers
Meet George Beaver

Chief Tecumseh's descendants now at Kettle Point
by George Beaver

George has written many columns of historical value and the following excerpt is from a column that appeared in the Our Town section of the October 11, 2000 edition of The Expositor.

I recently visited another of the numerous Anishinabek communities here in Ontario.  English-speaking people call it Kettle Point, but in the Anishinabek (Ojibway) language, it is Wiiwkwedong (by the bay).

As the name suggests, it is on the shoreline of Lake Huron, northeast of Sarnia.  The English called it Kettle Point because of the round boulders or "kettles" which erode from the underlying shale beds along the shore.  These concretions of calcite crystals have grown over the centuries and are not found anywhere else in Canada.

To me, they look like large striped curling stones without handles.  They are used as decorations outside the Chippewas of Kettle and Stoney Point school and band administration buildings.

The name Chippewa is interchangeable with Ojibway or Ojibwa.  Chippewa is used more on the U.S. side of the border.  Ojibway is preferred by Canadian writers.

The Odawa (Ottawa), Potawatomi and Chippewa (Ojibway) belonged to the Three Fires Confederacy and lived on both sides of the U.S. and Canadian border.

During the fur wars of the 1600s, the ancestors of the Chippewas of Kettle and Stoney Point lived farther north.  Later, after 1650, they returned and reoccupied southern Ontario from Windsor to eastern Ontario.

Bkejwanong (Walpole Island), Aamjiwnaang (Sarnia) and Wiiwkwedong were classified as a single band for a long time.  Today, they are separate First Nations but share some of the same ancestors.

One of these ancestors is the famous Shawnee chief, Tecumseh, who died defending southern Ontario from the invading Americans in the War of 1812.

Two of Tecumseh's nephews, Chief Oshawnoo and his brother Shignobick, came to this area in the early 1800s after Oshawnoo married the daughter of Chief Pewash, a Chippewa.

Both nephews were present at the Battle of the Longwoods, between Chatham and London, where Tecumseh was killed.

Today their descendants carry the surname Shawnoo or Shawkence, according to Victor Gulewitsch who wrote The Chippewas of Kettle and Stoney Point: a Brief History.

© George Beaver, 2000

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