Steep yourself in time-honoured traditions of an indigenous culture that’s older than recorded time. The Burlington area has a rich history which is celebrated through events and at local attractions.  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 a reconstructed Iroquoian village at Crawford Lake Conservation Area to learn about and try your hand at  customs and crafts.  While walking the indigenous trail at the Royal Botanical Gardens, learn about native plants and their uses.

Land Acknowledgement by the City of Burlington

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.”

Historic Postcards available at Visitor Centre

Joseph Brant – Thayendanegea

Joseph Brant was a Mohawk warrior, Christian missionary, a 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 Library 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 costume 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. The Royal Canadian Mint issued a commemorative silver dollar in 2007 honouring him. Refer to Museums site for more information. Crawford Lake Village

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 on site to answer questions.  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


  • National Indigenous People’s Day –  June
    Crawford Lake Conservation Area 10 am – 4 pm
    Stroll along the Moccasin Walk trail, create a craft, taste some Hemlock Tea, play a traditional game, explore the reconstructed Iroquoian village or listen to storytelling in the longhouse. No matter which activity you choose Crawford Lake is the perfect place to celebrate Ontario’s rich indigenous heritage! Call for details 905.854.0234.
  • Joseph Brant Day – Civic Holiday Monday August LaSalle Park 10 am – 5 pm
    Joseph Brant Day is an annual heritage festival put on by the Museums of Burlington and held on the Civic Holiday weekend (first Monday in August) at LaSalle Park in Burlington. This event pays tribute to Joseph Brant, Thayendanegea, one of Burlington’s earliest settlers and a national figure and it is a fun-filled family event. A terrific line up of entertainment is staged each year, captivating thousands of visitors. Call 905.634.3556 for additional details.
  • Summer at Crawford Lake –  June  – August
    Crawford Lake Conservation Area 10 am – 4 pm
    Explore the reconstructed Iroquoian Village. Enjoy self guided games and stories, free craft making or win a prize in the free discovery hunt. Visit the silent waters of Crawford Lake by walking the boardwalk trail. Visitors can participate in all these activities and a fascinating Longhouse Lore presentation daily from Canada Day to Labour Day. Call for details 905.854.0234.
  • Fall at Crawford Lake – September – October
    Crawford Lake Conservation Area 10 am – 4 pm weekends and holidays
    Enjoy the spectacular fall colours of the Niagara Escarpment at Crawford Lake. Visit the fascinating reconstructed Iroquoian Village to learn more about the autumn harvest for Ontario’s first farmers. Enjoy crafts, discovery hunts and videos and visit the beautiful and unique gift shop. Weekdays facilities may be limited, call 905.854.0234 for tour times.
  • Winter at Crawford Lake – January – February
    Crawford Lake Conservation Area 10 am – 4 pm weekends and holidays
    Share in the discovery at Crawford Lake this winter and explore the beautiful snowy landscape on a pair of snowshoes courtesy of Crawford’s rental program. Call for details on guided tours of the reconstructed Iroquoian Village and Longhouses. Weekdays facilities are limited, call for details 905.854.0234.
  • Sweetwater Season – End of Feb  – Early April,
    Crawford Lake Conservation Area 10 am – 4 pm weekends and holidays
    Visit the reconstructed Iroquoian Village and learn how maple syrup was discovered and used as you take in an interactive (and edible!) Sweet Water demonstration. Maple themed crafts and discovery hunts for kids. Weekdays facilities are limited, call for details 905.854.0234.