Give-Away of Georgian Bay Islands

Thousands of Crown islands to be switched for one island in Native Land Claim

Loss of Georgian Bay

The Ontario government is misleading the public into believing that it must give islands in Georgian Bay, islands that tens of thousands of Ontarians have used for generations, to Wikwemikong Indian Band, descendants of about 20 American Indians who emigrated to Canada around 1830.   Ministry of Indigenous Affairs confirmed recently that it uses land claims to promote economic, cultural and community development for natives by giving away our Ontario land. Land claims are no longer just about treaties but have become a way to give more to Natives without accountability to the public.  The fact that non-natives, not the Wikwemikong, have used these islands for many generations is being ignored by the government. This land claim conspiracy must be exposed and stopped.

How is it possible that a claim for land to build fishing huts on 41 islands can expand to thousands of kilometers of Georgian Bay shoreline and tens of thousands of islands encompassing much of Georgian Bay? It would appear that natives, even descendants of American natives only have to ask.  Wikwemikong has also requested mainland, which has nothing to do with 41 islands, and Ontario’s MIA has said yes; so, land on highway 400 and other mainland properties will also be given to Wikwemikong, merely because they asked for it.   This is the second land claim by Wikwemikong, the first one being settled in 1995 with Wikwemikong receiving $13,900,000 of Canadian taxpayers’ money and a tripling of their Point Grondine ceded reserve.

Ontario has withheld vital information pertaining to this current "give-a-way" but many of these documents have been obtained from other sources and are available for download under the "Documents" tab. For example, the 1896 Toma map of the 41 islands referenced in the claim does not include Philip Edward or George Island.

Even more disturbing is the discovery of an earlier map from National Archives. This 1876 map shows the indigenous fishing area of Wikwemikong to be smaller than the later Toma map.   The map shows fishing between Fitzwilliam Island and Manitoulin but not around Fitzwilliam Island. It does not show Philip Edward Island or any of the surrounding islands near Killarney Park, and it does not show George Island in Killarney. The government is relying on an altered map to mislead the public.

The proposed settlement map shows the land and islands in purple which Ontario proposes to give for the claim. The two dark brown areas are the two existing Indian Reserves, Wikwemikong and Point Grondine. The areas in gray are provincial parks. The area between the two provincial parks - Philip Edward Island, was to become a new Provincial Park until the current Ontario government cancelled it and decided to give the proposed Provincial park islands to Wikwemikong.

Another 23,000 islands on the northern and eastern shores of Georgian Bay from just east of Sault Ste. Marie and south to O’Donnell Point (near Parry Sound) will be claimed in the Wiki’s next claim after the islands in the Killarney to French River have been secured.  This land claim business and other issues are explained in more detail in “The Problem” tab.


Who Is Affected?

All Ontarians are affected.

When the take over is complete, these islands will no longer be Crown Land but will belong to another self-professed "nation” and the public will be denied access to them. Hundreds of properties will become surrounded by this so called “Nation” with access to their islands subject to the whims of Wikwemikong.  

The thousands of canoers, kayakers, campers & boaters who currently use these islands in northern Georgian Bay near Killarney and the Killarney Provincial Park will be trespassing on Native land creating possible confrontations and it is very likely that lives will be in jeopardy during rough seas on Georgian Bay.  

Property values have already declined substantially with several owners reporting that they are unable to sell their islands. MPAC has lowered the property assessment on many island properties in the affected Killarney area.   

Philip Edward Island and its archipelago are located in northern Georgian Bay in the Municipality of Killarney and are accessible via Killarney Provincial Park's Georgian Bay access point. A trip around Philip Edward Island is one of the most scenic and unique trips for canoers, kayakers, boaters and campers. Philip Edward Island is located across open water at the north end of Georgian Bay east of Killarney and not near the Wikwemikong Native Reserve. 


What Can I Do?

Voice your outrage at the loss of access to our islands and thousands of kilometers of shoreline in Georgian Bay. Send a message to Premier Ford to scrap this deal and restore the public park.  Go to www.savetheseislands.ca for an online message.

A short video on Facebook provides a quick summary of the issues. Please let your friends, fellow boaters and kayakers know about the video  on Facebook  

You can also email:

Minister of Indigenous Affairs, Greg Rickford at greg.rickford@pc.ola.org    

Premier Doug Ford at doug.ford@pc.ola.org 

Your Provincial Member of Parliament,  

Michael Taylor,  Senior Negotiator for Ontario Ministry of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation  michael.taylor2@ontario.ca 

And copy us at saveislands@gmail.com.

Request that MIA not give-away our islands, remove the “alternate claim” from discussions with Wikwemikong lsland claim and only deal with the original claim for the “41 fishing islands” OR let the lawsuit go to court for let a judge decide based on all the evidence.

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