Kettle Point chief Tom Bressette says there needs to be respect on both sides if they want this Ipperwash beach situation to work.
In a release from the Kettle Stony Point band office today, the message going forward is, ” Due to recent vandalism to one of its beach gatehouses, and the erection of makeshift barriers to the beach area off West Ipperwash Road, the Chippewas of Kettle & Stony Point First Nation will be reassessing its options in resolving issues surrounding the Centre Ipperwash section of the beach.”
In December 2014, the First Nation removed the barriers blocking full access to its historical trail linking the sister communities of Kettle and Stony Point land bases. The Chippewas of Kettle & Stony Point First Nation leadership was not consulted when the barriers were erected in 1973, and have raised the issue of their continued presence over the years since that time.
In addition to the First Nation’s continued concerns and objections to the barriers, there is a further legal requirement through the Ontario Ministry’s “Crown Reservation” that requires public access to the beachfront along the shores of Lake Huron. Finally, overlying all of that, is the matter of Aboriginal Title.
The focus of the Working Group meeting scheduled for next week will be the deciding factor in the approach the First Nation will take in moving forward. “We have been accommodating to date and focusing on relationship building and mutual respect.” states Chief Tom Bressette. “If the respect is not present on both sides, there is not a relationship that can be built on.”
The Chippewas of Kettle and Stony Point First Nation is located along the shores of Lake Huron, 35 km northeast of Sarnia, Ontario. It has two land bases, one of which was the focus of a half century long land dispute that would have repercussions across the country.