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Pictograph vandalism in Ontario
Wednesday 20 September 2023

An article by Natasha O'Neill on ctvnews.ca - 'Disrespectful and destructive' vandalism on Canadian National Historic Site - reports on the vandalism of one of Canada's historic landmarks over the Labour Day weekend by people carving their names into it. It happened at the Mazinaw Rock in Ontario's Bon Echo Provincial Park west of Ottawa.

Pictograph vandalism
Mazinaw Rock in Bon Echo Provincial Park between Upper Mazinaw Lake. Image: Ontario Parks.

Ontario Parks stated that 'Mazinaw Rock, designated by Parks Canada as a historic site in 1982, is a sacred place for Indigenous people. And for millennia, people have been drawn to the rugged beauty of the cliffs. There are more than 260 Indigenous pictographs at Mazinaw Rock and this site is very important for knowledge, ceremony and spiritualism and cultural identity.'

Mazinaw is Algonquin for the word 'picture' or 'writing.' The landmark is the largest rock art site in the southern Canadian Shield and the only major pictograph site in southern Ontario.

Depending on the location, type of graffiti and other environmental factors, some non-invasive removals can be used to restore Mazinaw Rock, Ontario Parks said. This can include biodegradable paint remover, catchment absorbents and professional graffiti and restoration services. To combat vandalism, the spokesperson said staff at Bon Echo will continue to provide in-depth education and awareness of the site and its protection.

Ontario Parks is asking anyone with information regarding these types of incidents to submit an anonymous tip to Bon Echo Provincial Park at 613 336-2228.

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