Linguistic Groups in Ontario


Began Research and found Ontario was originally inhabited by 4 Indigenous Groups:

  • Cree – mainly located in Northern Ontario
  • Anishinaabe – throughout much Ontario
  • Huron-Wendat to the East
  • Seneca – from New York State into Southwestern Ontario through Niagara

The Moccasin Identifier began with intent of creating Digital Dot or Marker of significant sites

2012 Chiefs of Ontario All Ontario Chiefs Conference supported the idea of creating a marker

Early in the project friends & teachers in the Toronto Area suggested a marker – initially a feather.

Carolyn contemplated for 3 days “what will identify us and connect us to the land?” Our footwear: Moccasins.

Research Done


Anishanaabe, Woodland


Date: 1700 1799
Culture: Amerind, Woodland
Tribe: Anishnaabe
Research, Artist and Design by Philip Cote

Pair of eastern woodland moccasins with gathered center front seam, decorated with red and white quills and tin cones on each shoe. Decorated cuffs are separate pieces, and have been attached with sinew thread. Quill decoration also on center back seam. White quill lines along front and back edge of collars have red pigment, note the mishupishu design along collar having stylized reference of symbolic cross-hatching and double peek referring to the ears of the underwater panther.

Anishnaabe live throughout Ontario today.

Seneca, Iroquois


Date: 1850 1900
Culture: Amerind, Woodland
Tribe: Haudenosaunee
Research, Artist and Design by Philip Cote

Native tanned deer skin with applied beaded decoration on black velvet. Two piece construction with textile apron inserted between forepart sides of bottom unit. Back T-seam. Lined with white and pink textile. Added black velvet collar. Native tanned deer skin, silk, thread, velvet, beads and paper.

Seneca live throughout the United States and Ontario today.

Huron, Woodland


Date: 1830
Culture: Amerind, Woodland
Tribe: Huron
Research, Artist and Design by Philip Cote

Black smoked native tanned deerskin embroidered moccasins. Two piece construction with deerskin apron inserted into up turned crimped fore part of the bottom unit. Back seam. Straights. Thread sewn. Attached deer skin collar with red silk binding and ties. Apron and collar embroidered in moose hair and quill dyed red, blue, green, yellow, pink, and orange with floral designs within a blue and white geometric and curvilinear border.

Huron-Wendat live in Eastern Ontario and Quebec today.



Date: 1830
Culture: Anishinaabe
Tribe: Cree
Research, Artist and Design by Philip Cote

“Cree moccasins comes from the Red River area from about 1820. Two-piece moccasins have an apron inserted at the top of the foot. Quill work was woven separately on a loom and then applied to each apron and suspended from the collars. Geometric patterns form triangles, stars, chevrons, and thunderbirds.
Three bands of bird quill piping decorate the joint between the apron and bottom pieces. Skin Treatment
Smoked moose hide”

Cree live in Northern Ontario today.