Indigenous person in full dress standing with Brant St. Pier in background

Steep yourself in time-honoured traditions of an indigenous culture that’s older than recorded time.

The Burlington area has a rich indigenous history which is celebrated through events and local attractions.

Indigenous person in full dress standing with Brant St. Pier in background

Land Acknowledgement

Burlington, as we know it today, is rich in history and modern traditions of many First Nations and the Métis. From the Anishinaabeg to the Haudenosaunee, and the Métis – our lands spanning from Lake Ontario to the Niagara Escarpment are steeped in Indigenous history. The territory is mutually covered by the Dish with One Spoon Wampum Belt Covenant, an agreement between the Iroquois Confederacy, the Ojibway and other allied Nations to peaceably share and care for the resources around the Great Lakes.  We would like to acknowledge that the land on which we gather is part of the Treaty Lands and Territory of the Mississaugas of the Credit.”

History & Culture

Join in the spectacle of dramatic drums and colourful swirling dress at Joseph Brant Day, celebrating Burlington’s first son: Mohawk leader, Thayendanegea. Time travel to an Iroquoian village at Crawford Lake Conservation Area to learn about and try your hand at customs and crafts.  Additionally, while walking the indigenous trail at the Royal Botanical Gardens, learn about native plants and their uses.

Historically postcard featuring painting of Captain Joseph Brant.


Joseph Brant – Thayendanegea

Joseph Brant was a Mohawk warrior, Christian missionary, British military officer, Freemason and Burlington’s first citizen. In 1798 George III granted “unto Captain Joseph Brant and his heirs and assigns forever” 3450 acres “at the Head of Lake Ontario”. It was here in 1800, that Joseph Brant built his home overlooking Lake Ontario and Burlington Bay.  You can visit the Burlington Historical Society archives at the Central Lisaasawdbrary to see copies of a hand-drawn map from 1797 which indicates the land given to Joseph Brant and other interesting maps and surveys of Brant’s block.

Joseph Brant Museum

Built between 1937-1938 as a replica of the original home of Captain Joseph Brant, the Joseph Brant Museum is Burlington’s community museum.  Through guided tours, exhibits, interactive displays, a hands-on discovery gallery, visible storage, educational programming, and special events, Joseph Brant Museum tells the important story of the historical founding, settlement and development of the Burlington area.  The museum also contains a significant collection of costumes and costume accessories. The Joseph Brant exhibit features artifacts personally belonging to Joseph Brant during his earlier years before settling in Burlington, as well as a portrait display that discusses the man behind the image. Refer to the museum’s site for more information.

Crawford Lake Conservation Area and Iroquoian Village

Listen to the spirits sing in rustic longhouses where authentic tools, tanned hides and the curl of smoke will provide you with a glimpse of life in a 15th-century Iroquoian Village, located on one of Ontario’s most accurately dated prehistoric archaeological sites.  Interpreters are on site to answer questions.  If you would like a more guided experience, call 905.854.0234 for tour times.

Indigenous Trail Royal Botanical Gardens

Starting in the Arboretum near the Nature Interpretive Centre, this Indigenous trail explores plants used by the Anishinaabe peoples, and their connections to culture, language, ecology and history.  Download Trail Map