THE TRADING TREE
The history of ClearWater Farm, and the area surrounding it, has a historical significance that is specially honoured through our close working relationship with the Chippewas of Georgina Island First Nation.
This relationship is symbolized by a 200+ year-old maple tree overlooking the lake where settlers and local First Nations gathered to trade.
The “Trading Tree” at ClearWater Farm received Heritage Status in 2017.
The Trading Tree has a rich history with the area that continues today. From the days when Indigenous and early settler families met at the tree to trade goods and share stories, to more recent times when Indigenous and non-indigenous children built a series of rain gardens to honour the tree’s history.
THE TRADING TREE CHILDREN’S BOOK
In 2019, the Prince’s Trust Canada, a national charity established by HRH The Prince of Wales released “The Trading Tree/E Meshkwadooniged Mitig” children’s book. The book was produced in partnership with ClearWater Farm, a project of the Ontario Water Centre.
The book was written by Nancy Cooper, a band member of the Chippewas of Rama First Nation, illustrated by Heather Charles, a member of the Chippewas of Georgina Island First Nation and translated by Myrtle Jamieson (Waaseyaankwot Kwe). Photographs for the book were taken by local photographer and designer Milena Vujanovic.
The book tells the story of an old sugar maple tree that has stood on the shores overlooking Lake Simcoe for over 200 years.
Annabel Slaight, Founding Chair of the Ontario Water Centre: “We’re so happy to have partnered with Prince’s Trust Canada to publish this incredible book. The Trading Tree captures an important part of our region’s history, showcases local talent and supports Indigenous language revitalization efforts.”
VISITING THE TRADING TREE
You can visit the Trading Tree during the Saturdays at ClearWater Farm event days. Pick up a map of the Farm from the farm stand when you arrive then follow the directions to visit the tree.