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Prehistoric arrowheads being given to Bois Forte Band of Ojibwe


A collection of 135 arrowheads discovered during recent camp renovations, some possibly hundreds of years old, is being given to the Bois Forte Band of Ojibwe Heritage Museum, St. Louis County says.

The arrowheads range in size from less than an inch, to about 4 1/2 inches long. They were found at Camp Esquagama near Biwabik, stored away for an unknown number of years, and have very little information attached.

"Bois Forte has been a tremendous partner in creating cultural displays, which are currently located at Camp Esquagama, " said St. Louis County Commissioner Keith Nelson in a statement. "So we're very happy to contribute to the museum in this way."

The release says Nelson, who also chairs the Camp Esquagama Executive Committee, came up with the idea to donate the arrowheads. The County Board then approved it.

Forum News Service spoke with the museum's curator, Bill Latady. He tells the publication the arrowheads are clearly from northern Minnesota, and likely were made before Ojibwe or European people settled the area. That, according to Forum, means the arrowheads could be hundreds – possibly even more than 1,000 – years old.

The Indian Affairs Council says the Pre-Contact period started at least as early as 800 A.D. – a minimum of 1,200 years ago – and lasted until about 1600 A.D., when the first recorded contact with Europeans was made (the French in 1622). The Pre-Contact period is somewhat of a mystery, the council says, due to little archaeological evidence and a reliance on oral history through that time.

The arrowhead collection will be formally presented to the Bois Forte Heritage Museum during a County Board meeting on Tuesday, April 22.

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