A wonderful abundance

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Clouds of Forget-Me-Nots in the Wild Apple Farm woods    Photos by Linda

I don’t recall ever seeing so many of those pretty little flowers known as Forget-Me-Nots, especially in the woods here in Hope Ness. But the “wow” factor was particularly intense at nearby Wild Apple Farm where my friend Linda paused to prepare me for the sight as we were about to enter the virtual wonderland of her trail through the wild-apple woods. Continue reading

A happy day in Hope Ness

A cool breeze from Georgian Bay to the east was blowing this morning, so it was still toque-weather for me. But those two little ones, and the bigger ones too, were having the time of their lives in the great Hope Ness outdoors.

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“Grandpa” at the controls of Mr. Massey Too, with Allie, Asia, Jacob, Mirabella, and son-in-law Scott enjoying a trailer ride.

It was a homecoming for my two youngest daughters, Lila Marie and Kathy, who were both born just around the corner and as little children used to visit Wilma and Cliff Butchart at this very Cathedral Drive homestead. Continue reading

A sacred place

This year’s recent Sources of Knowledge (SOK) forum based in Tobermory at the tip of the Bruce Peninsula about an hour north of Hope Ness focussed on First Nation history in this area.

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Hope Bay, looking out to Georgian Bay, from the top of the Niagara Escarpment

I regret having missed it; otherwise, I would have been aware of the special presentation virtually right around the corner from me on the other side of Hope Bay at the Chippewas of Nawash Unceded First Nation Community Centre at Neyaashiinigmiing (Cape Croker).

I’m kicking myself: it may have been a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to hear much more about the significant archeological work done at Nochemowening. Known in recent years as Hunter’s Point, Nochemowening, is an area of land below the Niagara Escarpment on this side of Hope Bay. It is part of Hope Ness. Continue reading

An Aboriginal fisherman leaves food for thought

A few weeks ago a well-used pick-up truck pulled into our driveway on the Bruce Peninsula. A man who looked like he might be in his mid-30s got out and said he and his fisherman partner had some freshly caught Georgian Bay fish for sale and did I want some.

They were from nearby Cape Croker, home of the Chippewas of Nawash First Nation, and they were doing what people from there have been doing for hundreds, perhaps thousands of years, trading and bartering the fish they catch, in this case nowadays, for cash. That traditional and vital use of the fishery around what  used to be called the Saugeen Peninsula, for food and trade, was recognized and re-affirmed by an Ontario court decision in 1993, that ruled First Nation people in this area were entitled to “priority” use of the fishery in local waters.

At the time most large-scale commercial fishers in Lake Huron and Georgian Bay waters in this area were non-Aboriginal. That court decision began a process of change, leading to the predominantly First Nation fishery that exists today. But the initial reaction of many people in the local non-Aboriginal community was angry and confrontational.

For a while downtown Owen Sound was not a friendly or even safe place for First Nation people to be. One night two young men from Cape Croker were attacked with knives by a group of thugs and badly injured. Continue reading