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Chippewas of Nawash First Nation

The Saugeen Ojibway lands included the Saugeen Peninsula (a.k.a. Bruce Peninsula) as roughly defined by a line between Southampton and Owen Sound as well as any islands within seven miles of the coast.

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It is widely recognized that the Saugeen Ojibway occupied and utilized a land base of about 2 million acres before the arrival of the British. The area was loosely defined as a point presently known as the Town of Arthur and extending west to Lake Huron and north to Georgian Bay. It is in this context that the Royal Proclamation of 1763 was created to protect lands occupied by First Nations of North America. The Proclamation was intended to halt or at least decelerate the advance of Euro settlement. It established strict rules for the purchase and surrender of native lands with the Crown.

Nevertheless, white encroachment and the promise of a landbase on Manitoulin Island by Sir Francis Bond, Head and Lieutenant Governor of Upper Canada at the time convinced the Saugeen Ojibway to surrender all lands south of Owen Sound. In 1836 the Saugeen Ojibway signed the treaty No. 45 Y2 and proceeded to surrender 1.5 million acres of “the very richest land of Upper Canada.” The intrusion of Euro settlers did not diminish and in 1847 it was necessary for Queen Victoria to issue a Royal Declaration. The Declaration confirmed the land of the Saugeen Ojibway as being the Saugeen Peninsula (a.k.a. Bruce Peninsula) as roughly defined by a line between Southampton and Owen Sound as well as any islands within seven miles of the coast. Cape Croker Indian Reserve like every settlement on the planet is consistently changing and was officially named “Neyaashiinigmiing” on January 21, 1992. It means “point of land surrounded on three side by water.”

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