The Georgina Island Storytelling Project

Our stories celebrate our heritage and identity as Chippewa people. They preserve and teach our Indigenous ways of knowing and knowledge for the future generations of Georgina Island. In the tradition of oral history over generations, our youth - in their turn - will carry on this legacy to protect and share our proud history and who we are as the Chippewas of Georgina Island.

Please be advised that the Nanabush Trail System is closed to all visitors at this time.

You’re invited to join a Microsoft Teams meeting

Title: Septic Inspection Program Info Session – General Session
Time: Sunday, July 25, 2021, 10:30:00 AM Eastern Daylight Time

Join on your computer or mobile app
Click here to join the meeting

“The ferry is down with mechanical issues. We are working to get it running again and will update the community as soon as we know more. In the meantime the water taxi will be running.

Miigwetch,

Chief and Council”

A MESSAGE FROM GEORGINA ISLAND CHIEF AND COUNCIL

As more and more unmarked graves continue to be found at residential school properties across Canada, our collective grief as Indigenous Nations and People grows. We want to recognize all the children who were forced into a system of genocide by the Canadian government, and which were run by churches in every province and territory. Our hearts go out to all the children who lost their lives, their culture, their identity, their communities and their families. We also feel for everyone who continues to live in the dark shadow of these institutions and for everyone who this news has had a traumatic impact on. Please know that we are all here to support one another through this time.

For our allies who want to show their support for Indigenous People and their communities, please read the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada report. This report details the horrific injustices and treatment that the Indigenous population has been subjected to in this country. But it also provides 94 calls to action that all Canadians can engage in at a federal, provincial, municipal and individual level. Please put pressure on the government to acknowledge, teach about and act on not just the TRC calls to action, but also the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls 231 calls for justice.

There are also numerous other Indigenous written resources available so people can educate themselves on Canada’s relationship with its Indigenous population at all reading and comprehension levels.

We ask that people respect that our communities are grieving, our hearts are heavy. The news that has recently come out is not new to us, but it brings to the surface, once again, all that deep grief and trauma. Please walk gently at this time, we are focused on our own healing and cannot be the leaders in others education regarding these matters.

We as a community will be using this Canada Day to celebrate ourselves and our culture. We ask our membership to learn a new word or phrase in our language, make a beautiful work of art, go fishing or hunting, practice or learn a ceremony, or spend the day with your family and children. This is how we honor those little spirits who have brought truth and light to all Canadians.

www.trc.ca

www.mmiwg-ffada.ca

Band Members and Families!
All Events held at Georgina Island Community Centre

Update June 10, 2021

COVID Restrictions Remain in Effect – Ferry Boat Restricted to Leaseholders and Family only 

The Aazhaawe ferry will continue to limit leaseholders to two vehicles per address. The Chippewas of Georgina Island First Nation will continue to monitor COVID 19 restrictions and review the policy as restrictions change.  Day trippers are not permitted until further notice. Real Estate Agents and perspective buyers are not permitted at this time.

Effective the week of June 14th established camper’s trailers at Neezh Meegwunun Family Campground will be permitted access with one vehicle. No new campers.

Please continue to follow COVID 19 protocols and limit travel as much as possible. Your continued cooperation and patience are appreciated. Limiting travel protects our community and reduces ferry boat traffic.  

As a reminder, ferry boat passes must be purchased at the Gas Shack prior to loading. Crew cannot accept credit on the ferry. Staff will continue to inspect vehicles and walk-on passengers prior to loading them onto the ferry. 

Chief and Council will continue to monitor the situation together with our Emergency Task Force. Thank you for your cooperation and for continuing to make choices that protect our community.  

Please monitor our website for future updates on this situation.  

Sincerely, 

Chippewas of Georgina Island First Nation

SHINING WATER PADDLEBIIBAAYAWAWAG NIIBIING NAANDWETOWAAD BMAADZIWINTHEY PADDLE TO HEAL LIFE (WE PADDLE TO HEAL LIFE)

  “Yesterday we left Big Bay Point after conducting a water ceremony, making our offerings and putting gifts, prayers out to nibi/water. At each place we stopped we continued that. Seeing creators gifts and a trail of feathers all along the way. We arrived in Orillia and than to Atherly were we stayed for our rest. Tomorrow we will be back out on the water. The night before we left Big Bay Point we planned our route of travel. Knowing the water has a greater force and will determine what will take place out there. We accept what will be and naturally to follow that flow. Each individually encountering our own challenges and experiences we all and will have our own stories, lessons and teachings to gain and share from this. We honour and respect our traditional ways and I can’t stress enough how important this journey is and what we are doing. The care for the water is so important and maintaining that purity. We thank everyone for the prayers of safety, health and our well being. But please we want prayers of healing for the water, we want to amplify that vibration for the water. Tomorrow while we are out on the water, go out to the water. Sing to the water, pray for the water put your semaa/tobacco out for the water. With so many threats the water faces the support in that work is so important. Don’t pray for us, pray with us …. Nibi/water will take care of us if we all do this work together on land or on the water. We have a team of support planning and watching for our safety and we are prepared to stop at anytime if we feel our safety could be compromised in anyway. Watch for us as we make our way home.” Pchi Kwe

MOST RECENT Aazhaawe Schedule attached below to coincide with the 9pm shut down that starts tonight (April 26, 2021) and will be carried out until stated otherwise! Hard copies available at the Band Office

****Transportation Update****In addition to reverting back to the 1pm trip Chief, Council and the Transportation Department have decided that starting APRIL 26th the last boat trip will be 9PM until stated otherwise. This decision was made based on the stay at home order from the Province.

April 12, 2021

Notice to Georgina Island Leaseholders

COVID Restrictions Remain in Effect – Ferry Boat Restricted to Leaseholders and Immediate Family Only

Spring has arrived on Georgina Island, and Chief and Council are pleased to announce that the ferry boat has resumed its regular schedule. The ferry schedule is available on the web site www.georginaisland.com from a link on the transportation page.

While we are happy to welcome leaseholders and their immediate families back to their cottages, we would like to remind everyone to continue to practice public health measures to reduce the spread of the virus. COVID-19 cases, including variant cases, are once again increasing, and Ontario has issued a province-wide stay-at-home order. The Ontario Science Table has found that the variants are now dominant and lead to 62% higher risk of hospitalization, 114% higher risk of ICU and 40% higher risk of death. Everyone is asked to continue to wear masks in indoor settings other than your home (including after vaccination), to avoid indoor contact with those outside your household, to remain on your property when on the island, and to only go out for essential reasons. We would also ask cottagers to limit the frequency trips between their cottage and their permanent residence or other urban locations. 

Similar to last summer, the ferry boat will be restricted to leaseholders and their immediate family. Leaseholders will be required to show proof of their lease and identification. Photos of documents on your phone are acceptable. Staff will continue to inspect vehicles and walk-on passengers prior to loading onto the ferry. There is a maximum of two vehicles per cottage.

Ferry boat passes must be purchased at the Gas Shack prior to loading the ferry. Crew cannot accept cash on the ferry boat.

Chief and Council will continue to monitor the situation together with our Emergency Task Force.  Thank you for your cooperation and for helping to keep our community safe from the virus.

Sincerely,
Chief Donna BigCanoe

By: Mike Anderson

It may seem like a simple, grey cotton sweatshirt. But look closely, and you’ll see it conveys an important message: honour our veterans and try to be worthy of their sacrifice.

Designed and sold by the Chippewas of Georgina Island First Nation (CGIFN), the sweatshirts will help raise funds for the Sutton Legion, which has been closed for a year due to COVID-19.

“I heard they needed money to start back up, and they didn’t do the ice fishing derby this year. And, there’s no golf tournament. So, I knew they lacked funds. And, I was racking my brain how to do a fundraiser with COVID,” said Suzanne Howes, CGIFN’s Project Coordinator, who came up with the unique fundraising idea.

“This is the best way because there’s no contact. You can just sell sweatshirts. So CGIFN and Island View Business Centre got together and donated the funds to make this happen because we appreciate our veterans immensely. “

Ms. Howes designed the sweatshirt herself and used a quote she found online for the back: ‘If you want to thank a soldier, be the kind of Canadian worth fighting for.’

“I wanted to do something to make them more interesting. So I went online and saw this design. I changed it a little bit and put it on the sweatshirt. I just wanted to show the veterans that we really support them,” she said.

Front and Back Design Link to Original Article

The sweatshirts cost $30, with all proceeds going to the Sutton Legion. There are more than 200 available, with sizes from small to XXXL. You can purchase them now at Virginia Beach Marina, Sutton Legion or Elaine’s Black River Coffee in Sutton.

Ms. Howes said that both her grandfather and grandmother served, and her uncle Graydon, who her son is named after, was also a veteran. So, the Legion has always played a role in her family’s past.

“My grandfather, my uncles, all went here. And, you know that mental health is key, and this is a place where they can swap stories, share their memories, their troubles. The veterans need to have a place to come. And they’re always helping the community, with Easter parades and Christmas brunches, and they’re always giving back. So we need to give back to them.”

Councillor Bill McCue also agrees that it’s important to support the Legion.

“Our First Nation had over 90 per cent of the able-bodied men, and some women, join the army during the Second World War,” said Mr. McCue, whose own father served overseas in the army for five years.

“I think every family on the Island has someone that was in the army. And I know that the Legion supported our members throughout this time. So, we need to show that we support them as well.”

First Nations have a long and proud tradition of military service in Canada. During the Second World War, more than 3,000 First Nation members enlisted in the army. Over 200 were killed, and at least 17 decorations for bravery in action were awarded.

One of those casualties was Pt. Thomas Big Canoe, from Georgina Island, who died liberating Holland on March 8, 1945, just two months before the war ended.

But, while Indigenous soldiers were considered equals on the battlefield, many encountered discrimination when they returned home.

Indigenous veterans did not receive the same benefits as non-indigenous veterans, mainly due to the Indian Act.

And it was not until 1995 that Indigenous veterans were allowed to lay Remembrance Day wreaths at the National War Memorial to honour their fallen comrades.

The Royal Canadian Legion (RCL) and its members have tried to redress past wrongs by honouring First Nation veterans and telling their stories.

“They have a Cenotaph on the Island. When you look at it, you realize that an entire generation was impacted by the Second World War. We have a close relationship; we honour First Nation’s veterans on our wall, and we speak to the kids at the Island school. It’s a relationship we cherish, and we’d like to keep going,” said Stephen Wiebe, Sutton Legion Branch 356 President, who’s grateful for the CGIFN’s fundraising efforts.

“They have always been right beside us the whole way, no matter what. There’s always representation on Remembrance Day. They come here, they talk to us, and it’s just been a great relationship between us.”

“The wording on the sweatshirt pretty well explains it,” Mr. McCue said.

“If you enjoy your freedom, you need to support our veterans and the Legion. It’s not just for those who fought in the World Wars, but for those who have chosen a career in the Canadian Armed Forces. And especially those that have paid the ultimate sacrifice. We’ve got to honour the accomplishments and contributions that our soldiers make to our country.”

 

Link to Original Article