Six Nations of the Grand River
The Six Nations of the Grand River is a unique community in southwestern Ontario. The Territory is home to the Indigenous Haudenosaunee people, “The People of the Longhouse”, made up of members of the six Iroquois Nations.
The Six Nations of the Grand River is the largest First Nations reserve in Canada and is the only one in North America in which representatives of all six Iroquois Nations live together. These nations are the Mohawk, Onondaga, Oneida, Seneca, Tuscarora and Cayuga.
To learn more about all there is to see and do here, scroll down or visit the Six Nations Tourism website.
Where is Six Nations of the Grand River?
The Six Nations of the Grand River borders the town of Brantford, and is located along the banks of the Grand River, about a 40 minute drive southwest of Hamilton. The drive from Niagara Falls is just over an hour west, and approximately the same amount of time coming from Toronto via ON-403 East.
Things to Do in Six Nations of the Grand River
The Six Nations of the Grand River offers visitors the opportunity to experience several historic sites, and arts and cultural centres.
The Chiefswood National Historic Site (NHS) in Ohsweken is the birthplace and childhood home of renowned Mohawk-English poetess and author, E. Pauline Johnson. The site features two entrances, symbolizing the shared cultures of the Johnson family. The south entrance faces the Grand River to welcome Six Nations community members, while the north entrance welcomes visitors from near and far.
Chiefswood NHS offers a wide range of activities. Take a tour of the grounds, viewing images and artifacts from E. Pauline Johnson’s life. You can also participate in a number of events and programs on the grounds, like the Annual Easter Egg hunt, the Early Societies Scavenger Hunt, or even stay the night in the glamping cabins on the grounds of adjacent Chiefswood Park.
Chiefswood Park and the Six Nations Nature Trail provide visitors with stunning natural scenery and outdoor adventures. Explore one of the largest Carolinian forests in Canada along the Nature Trail or enjoy water sports like kayaking and canoeing on the Grand River. Snowshoeing, hiking and cycling are all a part of the experience in these beautiful parks.
Visit the oldest surviving church in Ontario. Her Majesty’s Royal Chapel of the Mohawks was built in 1785 and features eight stained glass windows telling the unique history of the Six Nations and the chapel itself. The church is also the first Protestant church in Upper Canada.
Stop in at shops where local artisans sell their handicrafts and artwork, including pottery, leatherwork, jewellery and more.
The Kayanase Greenhouse and Longhouse welcomes visitors to explore the region through interactive tours. The Longhouse Project seeks to raise and support cultural awareness of the community while giving visitors an exceptional look into the history and culture of the Six Nations peoples.
The greenhouse was built in 2010 with nearly 17,000 square metres of space within the walls and a mission to help restore native plants by propagating seeds, planting, monitoring, and eventually restoring the healthy biodiversity of the region.
Six Nations of the Grand River Communities
There are several communities within Six Nations, most of which are residential and private, however visitors are welcome to experience Indigenous culture in Ohsweken and in neighbouring Brantford.
This community serves as the hub of tourism in Six Nations with attractions including Chiefswood National Historic Site, the recreated 17th century Longhouse at Kayanase Greenhouse, Ohsweken Speedway, Iroqrafts, the largest and oldest arts and craft store, Indigenous-themed accommodations, and Burger Barn's award-winning southern comfort food with an Indigenous twist.
Named after the famous Mohawk leader, Joseph Brant, the city of Brantford borders Six Nations and is home to the Mohawk Chapel and Woodland Cultural Centre.
Things to Know About Visiting Six Nations of the Grand River
There is so much to see and do in Six Nations of the Grand River. Start your visit with some local favourites:
Where to go for live music
Where to go for a hike and in the winter for snowshoeing
Chiefswood Park, is situated on eight hectares located off Highway 54, and consists of two sections; top and riverside. Enjoy the pavilion, docking facilities as well as canoe and kayak rentals for those who wishing to paddle the beautiful Grand River, a designated Ontario Heritage River.