Origin of the name Pukaskwa

Pukaskwa National Park

There are many spellings of the word "Pukaskwa" and many legends about the meaning of the word. Some contend that the word is descriptive terminology concerned with cleaning fish. Others suggest it could mean "eaters of fish," "something evil," or "safe harbour."

Sources at the Ojibway and Cree Cultural Centre in Timmins indicate that the correct Roman orthography for "Pukaskwa" should be "Pukasu." The word "Pukasu" describes what people do when they cook the marrow inside the bones of animals. Remnants of a carcass are thrown into an open fire and left until any remaining meat has all burned away leaving the marrow cooked.

We may never know the true origin of the name, but today it has become synonymous with the wild shores of Lake Superior known as Pukaskwa National Park.

Date modified :