Sudbury·Backroads Bill

Pictographs may show evidence of northern Ontario 'fairies'

Northern explorer Backroads Bill takes readers and listeners to some of the special places found on the backroads of northern Ontario.
Pictographs at Fairy Point on Missinaibi Lake in northern Ontario (Supplied)

Bill Steer, a northern Ontario explorer, says there may be evidence of fairies in northern Ontario — the pictographs at Fairy Point on Lake Missinaibi.

Steer says Fairy Point is named after "those mischievous sprites that live within the crevices scatted along the sheer rock face."

"It is those playful, prankish, tiny beings who emerge from their rocky refuge to steal your camping supplies or rock your canoe for no apparent reason." 

Comparing them to the mythical "wee people" of Ireland, Steer says you should keep your eyes peeled for those "diminutive beings linked to the metaphysical" of most Native cultures.

Backroads Bill Steer (Supplied by Bill Steer)

The pictographs, painted in ochre, depict images of canoes, fish, caribou and mythical figures. One of the pictographs is a Mishipizhiw, an underwater creature sometimes regarded as an evil spirit of rapids and troubled waters.

Another shows a human-like figure with arms extended. 

More than 100 pictographs cover a 40-metre swath of rock face. 

The exact age of the images is not known, however the word "Missinaibi" is thought to be an English version of the Cree word for "pictured waters" and was in use when European traders first arrived in the area in 1777.

The location of the pictographs is remote. One can access Fairy Point by boat in the summer months, or by snowmobile in the winter.

But when you do, Steer suggests you take care.

"There are too many legends and beliefs in these little people to ignore the possibility of their existence."

(Google Earth)

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