History and Culture

Artifacts dating back thousands of years.

In the heart of Buffalo Point community is the unmistakable tipi shape of the Cultural Centre with the traditional thunderbirds gracing the entrance.

You are invited to explore the independent spirit of the Buffalo Point First Nation Ojibway people through the architecture, art, archival and interpretive displays.

Our Story

Rich in history, Buffalo Point has always been a gathering place for the Anishinabe people dating back to the 1700’s when Chief Red Cloud and the Sioux frequented the area until the 1800’s when the Ojibwa started to move in.

Many battles ensued over control of Lake of the Sandhills, which was the original name of Lake of the Woods.

In 1857 Gladman, Hind and Dawson explored this route with the assistance of the Ojibwa. Eventually it was Simon Dawson who found the route at the Northwest Angle, known today as the Dawson Trail.

Chief Ayashwash signed treaty number three for Buffalo Point at the Northwest Angle in 1873. In 1900 Little Thunder, the son of Ayashwash, became Chief followed by Old Jim Thunder until 1941. “Shorty” Warren Thunder was appointed next until 1969 when he retired and appointed his nephew Jim Thunder. Chief Jim Thunder drove the development of a Master Plan for the resort in the early 1970’s, building the foundation of the destination resort including roads, the marina and cottages.

In 1997 John Thunder was selected as the sixth hereditary Chief in the history of Buffalo Point First Nation. Taking the reins from his father, John led the completion of the Lake of the Sandhills Golf Course and implement developments including the Native Cultural Centre and the Resort Centre featuring the Fire & Water Bistro and Island Green Lounge.

Time period – ca. 2000 to 1000 years ago – Middle Pre-European Contact
Type – Patterned incised with punctate design on rim and upper neck
Use – Hand-made clay pots were used to store berries and wild rice. They were also used for cooking food. Hot stones were gently dropped into liquid in the pot cooking the broth and meat.
This conical style of pottery was made by coiling local clay mixed  with coarse sand or ground shell. While the pot was still soft different designs were placed on the outside. The pot was then fired in a very hot fire hearth until it was baked.
The shards of early Native pottery in front of the replicated pot  were found near Buffalo Point in 2003 during an archaeological excavation. Both sets of pot shards were found at the same site  indicating the presence of more than one woman.
INITIAL WOODLAND CERAMICS (LAUREL TRADITION)
Time period – ca. 2000 to 1000 years ago  – Middle Pre-European Contact
Type – Circular stamp with punctuate design on rim and upper neck
Use –  Hand-made clay pots were used to store berries and wild rice. They were also used for cooking food. Hot stones were gently dropped  into the liquid in the pot cooking the broth and meat.
This conical style of pottery was made by coiling local clay mixed with coarse sand or ground shell. While the pot was still soft different designs were placed on the outside. The pot was then fired in a very  hot fire hearth until it was baked.
The shards of early Native pottery in front of the replicated pot were  found near Buffalo Point in 2003 during an archaeological excavation.  Both sets of pot shards were found at the same site indicating the presence of more than one woman.
Immerse yourself in the independent spirit of the First Nation Ojibway people at the tipi-shaped Cultural
Centre in Buffalo Point.
Chock-full of architecture, art, archival, and interpretive displays, this shrine to aboriginal life holds the history of the area as far back as the 1700’s, when Chief Red Cloud and the Sioux inhabited the land before the Ojibwa arrived in the 1800’s. This was the start of many clashes for control of the area, known then as Lake of the Sandhills, now Lake of the Woods.
Observe the weapons, clothing, and art from the era that saw the early days of the Dawson trail, founded by Simon Dawson as part of the Gladman-Hind expedition with the assistance of the local Ojibwa.
Across Buffalo Bay, at the Northwest Angle, you’ll find the site where Chief Ayashawash signed Treaty Number Three for Buffalo Point in 1873. Rich in narrative, this site is an educational masterpiece, that will leave stay with you for years to come.