Officials investigate vandalism of sacred Indigenous site in Canadian park

Sep 8 2023, 10:40 pm

Officials are calling a recent act of vandalism of a sacred and historic Indigenous rock formation in a Canadian park “disrespectful and destructive.”

On September 2, Ontario Parks officials were notified that Mazinaw Rock in Bon Echo Provincial Park had been vandalized.

An Ontario Parks representative told Daily Hive via email that officials believe a stone was used by the perpetrators to “mark names on names on a section of granite rock near Indigenous pictographs” at the base of the rock.

Mazinaw Rock was declared a national historic site in 1982, and it is the largest rock art site on the Southern Canadian Shield, notes Parks Canada.

The rock formation has historic Indigenous cultural significance. The base of the cliff is adorned with over 260 painted pictographs drawn by Indigenous peoples.

“The red ochre images depict human and animal figures, as well as a remarkable number of abstract and geometric symbols,” states Parks Canada.

“The Algonquin people of today remain proud of their ancestral link to this special place.”

The Ontario Parks representative told Daily Hive the vandalism “is a terrible act,” and staff are continuing a “concerted effort to address this issue and protect Mazinaw Rock and Bon Echo Provincial Park with a zero-tolerance approach to offences like this.”

They noted that vandalism does not occur at Bon Echo Provincial Pak often.

Anyone with information regarding this or other incidents that harm the park can submit an anonymous tip to Bon Echo Provincial Park at 613-336-2228.

The vandalism at Bon Echo Park comes after a series of similar incidents at historic landmarks around the world.

In recent months, several incidents of vandalism have occurred at the Colosseum in Rome.

In July, it was reported that local Japanese authorities questioned a Canadian teen for allegedly vandalizing a UNESCO-listed temple in Nara, Japan.

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