Fisheries Assessment Program Launches New Research Initiative

The Chippewas of Nawash Fisheries Assessment Program is pleased to announce a partnership with Parks Canada and the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry in conducting important research. Later this year, a Together with Giigoonyag Committee will be formed. The committee, composed entirely of SON community members, will provide direction and inform the research process. Here are some of the upcoming projects and their planned years of operation:

Radio Telemetry (2020-2025)
– To track and understand movements of whitefish and lake trout.

Addressing Fish Stocking (2020-2025)
– To address the issues surrounding fish stocking and determine the SON’s goals and objectives.

Whitefish Habitat and Shoal Assessment (2020-2025)
– To gauge the status of whitefish habitat and spawning shoals.

Indicator Monitoring and Index Netting (2020-2025)
– To develop indicators to assess and monitor fish species of interest.

Indigenous Ecological Knowledge Interviews (2021)
– To investigate the SON’s collective knowledge of whitefish and lake trout.

Whitefish Larval Assessment (2021-2025)
– To assess and monitor whitefish larvae.

For more information, please contact Ryan Lauzon or Alexander Duncan of the Chippewas of Nawash Fisheries Assessment Program.

Fisheries Assessment Biologist
Ryan Lauzon
Tel: 519-375-1012
Email: nawash.fisheries@gmail.com

Fisheries Research Coordinator
Alexander Duncan
Tel: 226-668-5221
Email: aduncan.nawash@hotmail.com

Grey County Reaches Settlement Agreement with Saugeen Ojibway Nation

The Chief and Council are excited to announce that an agreement has been reached with Grey County, in settlement of their portion of the Saugeen Ojibway Nation’s ongoing land claim. Part of the settlement agreement will see the transfer of approximately 275 acres of forest in Georgian Bluffs, abutting Mountain Lake, from the County to the SON.

Grey County is only one of six municipalities named in our claim. If our claim is successful, the municipalities could be subject to an expensive court-ordered settlement, on top of legal costs. With this negotiated settlement, Grey County has settled their portion of our land claim. The settlement is only with Grey County. The Saugeen Ojibway Nation land claim will continue against the remaining parties.

Our land claim has only asked for the return of Crown lands not taken up by third parties, including unsold municipal lands like road allowances and shoreline allowances. We are not asking for land that is occupied, or has been sold to a third-party. It is incorrect to compare the size of the settlement to the total size of Grey County, as the vast majority of land in Grey County is already privately owned and not subject to our claim.

In fact, the settlement will transfer more than twice the amount of land that is actually being claimed by SON from Grey County.

The terms of the settlement agreement required confidentiality about the discussions and the settlement until Grey County and SON released a joint statement, as Grey County was concerned that any pre-release of information would impact negotiations and delay or derail the conclusion of this settlement.

The negotiations that led to this historic settlement were lengthy and detailed. The SON Joint Council was well advised by both legal and financial counsel, and is very pleased with the result. This settlement supports the strength of our ongoing land claim and is an important part of the movement by the Crown and its agents towards reconciliation with the Saugeen Ojibway Nation.

You can read the full press release here.

Chippewas of Nawash Purchases Commercial Property on Highway 6

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.