• Voices from the Gathering PlaceSault Ste. Marie: 1622 - 1870

Die Stromschnellen von St Marie (The Rapids Of St Mary), Frank Buchser, 1868

By kind permission of the Kunsthaus Art Gallery, Zurich, Switzerland

This website was created by teacher Peter White for the Algoma District School Board


For hundreds of years the abundance of whitefish at the Sault rapids was legendary.


 In the picture above you can see the fishing method developed by the Anishnaabe. In their birch bark canoe, one man would steer the canoe while the man at the front dipped his net into the water. They would do all of this while the treacherous rapids swirled around their fragile canoes.


Alexander Henry, who lived at the Sault for a while in1762 claimed that one could catch 500 whitefish in two hours in this way.


While some Anishnaabe lived at the Sault year round, most of those who came in the summer left as winter arrived.


If there were so many whitefish at the Sault rapids, why wouldn't all of the First Nations people stay year round? What would be in the way of their fishing?