Archaeological dig for Indigenous villages should have happened before massive music festival: Oro-Medonte residents

The site of the three-day WayHome Music & Arts Festival in Barrie, ON, has caused resentment for some

Kenneth Jackson
APTN National News
It’s a hot summer day in Oro-Medonte near Barrie, Ontario.
Some may say it’s just the right weather for the annual three-day WayHome Music & Arts Festival featuring big groups like The Killers, Arcade Fire and A Tribe Called Red.
Festival-goers began arriving and setting up their tents Friday. As they did, they were welcomed by locals holding placards.
The protesters oppose the festival — they say it’s too loud, not properly zoned and something else.
There’s supposed be an archaeological dig for ancient Indigenous villages, and possibly burials.
Documents suggest there is potential for them to be there, and WayHome is expected to do tests this fall to be sure.
But that’s not soon enough for local residents.
APTN put questions to Wayhome‎ on the allegations, but they believe much is being made out of nothing.
‎”No archaeological sites or artifacts have been identified on the properties,” said Ryan Howes, a spokesperson for WayHome.
“We have been following due process in regard to First Nations interests and will continue to engage with them as we work though our rezoning.”

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Investigative Reporter

Kenneth Jackson is an investigative reporter in Ottawa, Ont. with more than two decades in the business. He got his start in community newspapers before joining the Ottawa Sun in 2007 where he worked the police beat.

In 2011, Jackson joined APTN to break the Bruce Carson scandal that sparked three federal investigations into the former senior advisor to then Prime Minister Stephen Harper. Carson was later charged with fraud sparking a court battle all the way to the Supreme Court of Canada. The conviction was upheld and was based entirely on APTN’s investigation.

Jackson has focused, almost exclusively, on the child welfare system in Ontario over the last five years. The work has earned multiple awards, including the 2020 Michener Award.

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