Upcoming venison dinner supports Native American Monument Project

John Kennedy wants a monument honouring indigenous people on the Port Huron side of the St. Clair River

On the Port Huron side of the St. Clair River, just north of the Blue Water Bridge, John Kennedy can picture a carved stone monument honouring all indigenous people who have called the area home.

“There is nothing on this side that says anything about it. There was one little plaque that says where the reservation used to start, but that’s no longer here either,” said Kennedy.

The Canadian side of the St. Clair River is home to the ‘Soul Memorial’ which was erected in 2003 recognizing the significance of the area. The American side, however, gives no such recognition. 

Kennedy wants to change that. 

“I decided it’s about time somebody did something about it so I’m attempting to put up a monument,” he said. 

Kennedy’s plan has been approved by Port Huron and now, he has almost completed his mission. 

“I’m almost there. I just need a few more dollars, a few more thousands,” he said.

A venison dinner is being held at the Aamjiwnaang Community Centre this Friday, May 19th, starting at 11 a.m. to support Kennedy’s vision. 

Hot fry bread and venison stew will be served for $8 a plate until the servings sell out. 

“A few different friends had some extra venison and they donated it to me just for this purpose,” said Kennedy. 

For Kennedy, the monument is about acknowledging the history, the present, and the future of the area.

“It’s going to be a rock and I’m putting three carvings on it honouring the past, present and future – the circle of life,” he said. 

“There was never just one tribe that stayed here, that’s what I find out as I dig deeper into it. There was so many different tribes that came through this area. I want to put a plaque up that mentions all the different tribes that came through here. No one ever stayed very long,” Kennedy said.

Point Edward is home to archaeological sites containing cultural artifacts such as stone tools, fishing equipment, and pottery that is at least 1000 years old. Researchers guess the area where Lake Huron drains into the St. Clair River was a meeting place for many pre-colonization indigenous groups.  

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