Deal Will Kickstart Greater Chippewas of Nawash Involvement in Local Economy
Neyaashiinigmiing, ON: The Chippewas of Nawash Unceded First Nation has purchased a landmark commercial property on Highway 6, on the south side of Wiarton, at a cost of $1.1 million. The 15.6 acre property at 10120 Highway 6 is in the municipality of Georgian Bluffs, and includes a large renovated house and outbuildings.
Some or all of the main building may be leased to the Saugeen Ojibway Nation Environment Office, the joint environmental oversight body of Chippewas of Nawash Unceded First Nation and Saugeen First Nation. The Highway 6 property satisfies the conclusions of an independent report, commissioned by the SON Joint Council, that recommended that the SON Environment Office, as a joint entity, would be best situated in a facility equidistant to both communities. An extensive property search resulted in an offer being made on the Highway 6 location, which was considered ideal for its location, structures and commercial zoning. The newly purchased property holds great promise for its shared use potential by the two First Nations.
The Nawash Council is confident the property will be a significant asset, particularly for its joint residential/commercial zoning class, which will allow for future commercial use of the site. The property sits at the ‘gateway’ to Wiarton, which is itself a focal point of tourism on the Bruce (Saugeen) Peninsula. In addition to housing the SON Environment Office, Nawash may operate a tourism facility at the location, directing visitors to Neyaashiinigmiing and the beautiful Cape Croker Park. The Council is also considering selling locally made First Nation crafts and foodstuffs through a Band-operated business, or potentially leasing space directly to members to operate their own businesses off-reserve. Nawash Councillor Solomon King observed, “Real estate is always a good investment, so our money is safe in this purchase.”
Chippewas of Nawash Unceded First Nation is based on beautiful Neyaashiinigmiing (Cape Croker) on the Georgian Bay side of the Bruce Peninsula. Chippewas of Nawash is one half of the Saugeen Ojibway Nation, whose traditional territory occupies much of southern Ontario, from the tip of the Bruce Peninsula, south to Goderich, from Lake Huron to Collingwood. The Chippewas of Nawash Unceded First Nation people are known for their hospitality, protection of the environment within their Traditional Territory, and vigorous defense of their long tradition of Indigenous commercial fishing.