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McLean Cache (Fairy [Frere] Lake)

During the late summer of 2017 a private landowner contacted OCARE and informed the organisation that they believed they had found ‘arrowheads’ while removing a stump from their property. Mr. Primrose, of OCARE,  travelled to the location and upon arrival identified and explained to the landowner that they had uncovered a Turkey Tail Red Ochre cache, likely dating from approximately 4000 years ago. Mr. Primrose volunteered his resources and personnel to excavate the cache. The excavation of the cache involved licenced archaeologists and volunteers. The total crew was composed of 10-12 excavators. Throughout the excavation approximately 40-50 people came to visit, along with representatives from Temagami First Nation and Temiskaming First Nation.


The following Sunday Chief MacKenzie from Temiskaming First Nation performed a traditional ceremony at the site, which was followed by a presentation on the initial findings by OCARE. Approximately 80 people were in attendance for the ceremony.


In 2018 a formal presentation was provided to the Hudson Lakes Cottager’s Association which was attended by approximately 100 individuals. In 2019, the collection was visited by 2 colleagues of OCARE, Dr. Bill Fox (Trent University) and Dr. Patrick Julig (Laurentian University). Samples of the red ochre were provided to Dr. Fox, and samples of the quartzite were provided to Dr. Julig for sourcing analysis. The formal analysis of the artifacts is underway and the results are expected to be published in a peer reviewed journal. Public viewings of the artifact collection will be arranged in New Liskeard, and the final disposition of the artifacts will result in an artifact collection transfer to Temiskaming First Nation.

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