Located at 993 Highway 54, on the Six Nations of the Grand River Territory, sits a reconstructed 17th-century Iroquois longhouse, in stark contrast to the open-air greenhouse which is adjacent to it. These unique structures belong to Kayanase – an environmental restoration and tourism initiative managed by Grand River Employment & Training (GREAT.)
The concept of Kayanase is ecological renewal in conjunction with a culturally representative space that accurately portrays the original Haudenosaunee (People of the Longhouse) way of life. The name “Kayanase” means fresh tracks or new tracks in the Mohawk language, and it fits the initiative perfectly. In the process of beautifying Mother Earth, the organization uses approaches grounded in science in conjunction with Traditional Ecological Knowledge (TEK) to grow a stronger cultural understanding together with a connection to the environment in which we live. As Ecotourism Coordinator, Kerdo Deer works to welcome visitors to both the 55K-square-foot greenhouse facility in combination with the longhouse structure, teaching and providing outreach in the process.
The variety of tour focuses range from ecological sustainability to ecotourism, and from cultural enrichment to the fostering of Indigenous history, knowledge, and impact, including the care of our landscape and environment. First and foremost, Kayanase works to convey their expertise and experience in heritage as it relates to our surroundings (flora and fauna,) as well as represent the culture and history of the Haudenosaunee appropriately and accurately through social, cultural, and educational programming. Visitors to the facility benefit from the knowledge of staff regarding native plant species and environmental restoration and, coupled with a tour of the longhouse, experience the rich culture of the community in a living-history perspective.
School and adult groups, traditional workshops, and ecotourism activities are a highlight of this popular Six Nations site. Tours to Kayanase are always welcomed and can easily be arranged through the facility itself (at the link provided here,) or through Six Nations Tourism, in conjunction with various other Indigenous experience packages. For more information on visiting the greenhouse or the longhouse site, call Kayanase direct at (519) 770-0013 or email . For tour packages that incorporate similar Six Nations experiences, contact the tourism office at (519) 758-5444 or email [email protected].
Written by Spring Sault