The following map shows in pink the islands which are being claimed by Wikwemikong. The islands in yellow are the "proposed alternate" islands which includes Philip Edward Island.
On closer examination, one will notice that many of the yellow highlighted sections on the map are on the mainland and are not on islands. One section is 40 km away on Hwy 400. Hwy 400 is not an island.
Even more disturbing is one of the yellow sections, also on the mainland. It comprises a large piece of the Collins Inlet Channel shoreline opposite PEI and it will close off Mill Lake. A narrow section of approximately 30 metres wide could easily be blocked, similar to the blockage on the Beaverstone River.
Is there a hidden agenda for giving away mainland property in addition to islands which were not part of the original claim and were not inhabited by the Wikwemikong?
The Point Grondine Settlement Agreement of 1995 (the first Wikwemikong Land Claim) already gave the Wiki’s a much expanded Point Grondine reserve and was supposedly a final agreement, or is it? Is the 1995 Agreement to be reopened, if so, there is new evidence to indicate that the Point Grondine Reserve should be smaller than it currently is and the public would welcome the opportunity to present it.
Management of the alternate islands was governed by the general policies contained in the Ontario's Living Legacy Land Use Strategy (1999) which the “alternate claim” ignores. The intent by Ministry of Natural Resources was to eventually regulate this area as a provincial park.
In 2006, Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources issued Policy Report P189 to create “Killarney Coast and Islands Provincial Park” This new provincial park area was to include the Georgian Bay Shoreline and Offshore Islands, McGregor Island, Philip Edward Island, Badgely Point and Fraser Point natural heritage areas. This proposed waterway provincial park classification is to allow a broader range of recreational uses (e.g. hunting, fishing, commercial tourism) than the wilderness park classification of Killarney.
Documents for Download
A number of documents have been obtained from various sources and can be downloaded here.
The Wikwemikong Lawsuit filed in Ontario Court forms the basis of the claim for the islands. The Wikwemikong Statement of Claim can be downloaded here.
The lawsuit named both the Federal and Provincial governments and both levels of governments responded with defenses that deny the land claim. These are long documents and a summary of some key points from Ontario’s response is as follows:
34. Some predecessors of some members of the plaintiff migrated to Manitoulin Island in the 1830s and occupied a small part of it. No predecessor of any member of the plaintiff occupied Manitoulin or any part of it between 1680 and the 1830s or, in the alternative, no predecessor of any member of the plaintiff occupied Manitoulin or any part of it at any time whatever prior to the 1830s.
36. The islands other than Manitoulin described in any of Schedules A, B and E to the amended statement of claim were uninhabited and unoccupied at all times prior to a date subsequent to 1862. No predecessor of any member of the plaintiff occupied any of those islands other than Manitoulin or any part of them at any time.
37. Neither the plaintiff nor any member of the plaintiff occupies or has occupied any of the islands other than Manitoulin described in any of Schedules A, B and E to the amended statement of claim, or any part of those islands.
38. Title to a fishery is vested in the holder of title to the bed of the waters in which the fishery is situated. Aboriginal title does not extend to the beds of the Great Lakes or any part of them. No aboriginal people has held title to the bed of Lake Huron or any part of it.
39. Further, the waters in which the fisheries in question are situated have been a highway for use of all persons since time immemorial. They have never been subject to aboriginal title.
41 . Accordingly, the plaintiff has no aboriginal title in any of the islands described in any of Schedules A, B and E to the amended statement of claim or any parts of those islands, and no aboriginal title in any fisheries attached to or connected with those islands or any of them.
46. Accordingly, the plaintiff had no aboriginal rights in any of the islands described in any of Schedules A, B and E to the amended statement of claim, or in any fisheries attached to or connected with those islands or any of them and, in particular, no aboriginal rights to fish for trade, barter or other commercial purposes.
49. The Indian parties to Treaty No. 45 were recently arrived immigrants to Manitoulin Island. Treaty No. 45 did not recognize any aboriginal title or rights.
63. Accordingly, the plaintiff ……..It has no treaty or aboriginal rights in any islands or parts of islands other than the part of Manitoulin that comprises the Wikwemikong Reserve.
68. By the Robinson Huron Treaty of 1850 those bands surrendered all of their right, title and interest in the islands described in any of Schedules A, Band E to the amended statement of claim, or some of them, except islands or parts of islands that were reservations pursuant to the Robinson Huron Treaty. Some members of the tribe or band of Indians for whose use Manitoulin, Barrie and Cockburn Islands were reserved by Treaty No. 45 were parties to the Robinson Huron Treaty. The Point Grondine Band, which subsequently amalgamated with and became part of the plaintiff, was a party to the Robinson Huron Treaty. The plaintiff is therefore estopped from asserting that any right of the plaintiff in the islands described in any of Schedules A, B or E to the amended statement of claim or any of them, or any part of any such island other than that portion of Manitoulin comprising the Wikwemikong Reserve, is not surrendered and extinguished.
The Royal Proclamation of 1763
72. The Royal Proclamation of 1763 had and has no effect on or relationship to the position of the plaintiff with respect to any of the islands in any of Schedules A, B or E to the amended statement of claim. The provisions of the Royal Proclamation in relation to lands of the Indians concern the lands occupied and used by particular nations or bands or bodies of Indians at the date of the Royal Proclamation. No predecessors of the plaintiff occupied or used the islands in question in 1763. They migrated to Manitoulin Island more than 70 years after 1763.
The effects of the plaintiff's delay
91. The events, acts and alleged omissions in respect of which the plaintiff chiefly seeks relief and which are foundational to and determinative of any and all other breaches alleged by the plaintiff occurred in 1862.
92. Notice of the action was given in 1997 and the action was commenced in December, 1997. Throughout the period between the events, acts and alleged omissions on which the plaintiff now bases its claim and the date of commencement of the action the plaintiff had full knowledge of those events, acts and alleged omissions and of the claim that it now asserts. The delay of more than a century and a third in bringing the action gives rise to a reasonable inference of acquiescence by the plaintiff. The action is therefore barred by the equitable doctrine of laches.
93. Further, the prodigious delay of the plaintiff in bringing the action gives rise to circumstances that make prosecution of the action unreasonable. The action is therefore barred by the equitable doctrine of laches on that ground as well.
94. The delay has been of such a length and extent that a reasonable expectation has arisen that the Crown will not be held to account for the obligations that the plaintiff alleges existed and were breached. Further, the delay has ensured that the witnesses of the facts are dead, much evidence is lost completely, and all evidence that would explain the surviving evidence so that the court can properly understand it and make findings of fact is lost, with the result that the claim is now necessarily based on stale and inadequate evidence. And further, the plaintiff has, instead of bringing suit in a timely fashion, slept on its alleged rights with the result that the public interest requires that the action be barred. The Statements from your own government clearly show that there is no basis for the claim and that it must be dismissed as has been done by the Federal government.
The response and Statement of Defense from the Federal Government can be downloaded here
The response and Statement of Defense from Ontario Government can be downloaded here
Point Grondine surrendered its Reserve in July 1956
Ontario Policy Report P189 recommended these islands become new Killarney Coast and Islands Provincial ParkSix Native Bands claim same islands as Wikwemikong in their Statement of Claim
An initial review of documents by various island residents reveal disturbing facts and question the validity of the claim.
The Appendix referenced in the initial review is available here.
Justice Newbould opposes Sauble Beach land claim by Saugeen First Nation
The review of the claim prepared by Doug Derry is available here
Environmental Assessment Study Report
dated June 2017