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Ska-Nah-Doht Village and Museum
Ska-Nah-Doht Village and Museum is an interactive museum that engages the public in the preservation and presentation of local First Nation history, through experiences both on-site and in the community.
Ska-Nah-Doht Village and Museum is a community leader in collecting and preserving local history, while faithfully interpreting the Haudenosaunee – People of the Longhouse.
In 1973, the Ska-Nah-Doht Village, located within Longwoods Road Conservation Area was constructed. It features a village reflective of the Native settlements found along the river close to 1,000 years ago. This village, created with the information gathered by archaeologists and First Nation peoples, offers tours, workshops and an opportunity to see how First Nations people once lived. It is also a popular attraction for local residents and tourists alike. Amazingly in the 1980’s, archaeologists excavated 2 actual First Nations settlements at Longwoods, dating back to the same time period depicted through Ska-Nah-Doht. Artifacts from these ‘digs’ are housed and displayed at the Museum located in the Resource Centre which also has a souvenir gift shop and washrooms.
In 2008, a new logo was created for Ska-Nah-Doht by Ian Bullock, a Multi-Media Design student who was hired through a Young Canada Works in Heritage Grant. Ian was inspired by the legends and beadwork designs of the Haudenosaunee or “People of the Longhouse”. It is this First Nations culture that Ska-Nah-Doht represents in its recreated village and educational programs.
What Does the New Logo Mean?
The white pine draws from the iconic “Tree of Peace” which traditionally represents the coming together of all the Haudenosaunee nations to inspire each other through reasoning and spiritual means. At Ska-Nah-Doht we also encourage a coming together in an open exchange of ideas and knowledge with open hearts and open minds.
The two corn husk dolls symbolize the balance and harmony of nature. As an agricultural society, corn denotes an important nourishment of life for the longhouse. A popular Haudenosaunee legend features corn as one of the Three Sisters along with squash and beans. Corn was valued as food, medicine and a versatile material to make everyday items such as mats, baskets and dolls. The overall stylization is based on the celestial bead work designs of the Haudenosaunee people.
A second version of the logo without the tree and a second set of corn husk dolls will also be used. Look for it in the museum and around the village at Longwoods for directional signage.
New Name for New Era
Along with the new logo, the decision was made to drop the word “Iroquoian” from the official name of the village. Ska-Nah-Doht is from the Oneida word Ska na: tote’ it means “a village stands again”. Keeping Ska-Nah-Doht is the most important and recognized part of the name.
What is there to do and see at Ska-Nah-Doht?
Ska-Nah-Doht, a recreated longhouse village of 1,000 years ago, is located in the beautiful surroundings of Longwoods Road Conservation Area, and is owned and operated by the Lower Thames Valley Conservation Authority. Although not built on an actual site, the village is based on data collected by archaeologists and from the traditions passed on by First Nations people.Explore the village with its 18 outdoor exhibits. Find your way through the palisade maze. Then enter a longhouse and imagine cooking supper in a clay pot over a roaring fire. Pretend to grind corn into flour in a wooden mortar and pestles. The village is wheelchair accessible, weather permitting.
The Museum, located in the Longwoods Resource Centre, offers hands-on exhibits of First Nations culture and displays of artifacts from the museum’s archaeological collection. The excavation of two archaeological sites on the property comprises the majority of artifacts in the museum’s collection. The Kelly site (AfHi-20) and the Yaworski site (AfHi-21) were excavated in the early 1980’s. The evidence confirms the sites to be from the Glen Meyer period (800 to 1200 AD), a perfect compliment to the Ska-Nah-Doht Village. More information about these sites can be found by contacting the Ontario Archaeological Society (OAS).
Throughout the year education programs and native studies tours and workshops can be booked for school classes and non-school groups, or tour the facility at your own pace. Motor Coach Bus Tours are welcomed! Brochures are available in English, French, German, Dutch, Italian, and Spanish. At our Turtle Trail Souvenir Gift Shop you may find the perfect souvenir to remember your visit. Ska-Nah-Doht is also a popular venue as a Film Production Site.
Annual Events bring the past to life at Ska-Nah-Doht.
Come see why Longwoods Road Conservation Area and Ska-Nah-Doht Village and Museum was an Attractions Canada Award Winner!
How You Can Help!
If what you see and hear about Ska-Nah-Doht is something that interests you, there is a way you can help. Every year the Lower Thames Valley Conservation Authority is committed to raising thousands of dollars for renovations and repairs to this recreated longhouse village. You Can Help!! Each $10.00 donation buys 1 pole for the palisade. Tax receipts are available for donations over $20.00 (Registered Charitable Number: 107646580RR0001).Download the Ska-Nah-Doht Village & Museum Resource Guide