Yesterday I went to walk along Ipperwash Beach in protest of the recent developments. I live in a strip on land between two First Nations reserves. The beach on that land has been closed to vehicles since the 70’s but a couple of days ago the natives asserted their rights by removing the barriers that kept cars and trucks off the beach. They say that this is their traditional travelling route and they weren’t included in the decision to put the barriers up.
I expected to see other people on the beach but there was no one. It was cold but sunny. The wind off the lake cuts right through your clothing so I had fleece with nylon over and was quite comfortable. It was desolate and beautiful. Until a truck drove by.
I walked up and down the beach and saw only one other person walking. There were about 4 or 5 trucks. One truck stopped and joked around with me at first but then it got tense; they called the guy who made the barrier a “scared, little man and a racist” Then he hit the gas and sped away, angrily.
I wouldn’t be surprised if it was him who wanted assert himself by the barrier;
I walked all the way to Kettle Point then turned back, returning to the barrier to see if anyone was there. They waves were high and noisy so I didn’t hear a car coming up very fast behind me until it was almost beside me. It scared the hell out of me; it was going way too fast.
I sat on the picnic table for a while, then went up to my friends cottage.
People were coming and going; someone said there was a sign up that said, “No Indians allowed” on West Ipperwash Road.
That’s how ugly this is getting. Disappointment is too weak of a word to describe how I feel. It’s a big, fat hurting disappointment. There were three of us women, all who have ties in the community and deep respect for native tradition; who felt the same way; We want to be fighting with the natives in preserving our earth, not against them.
Now, in the natives eyes, we are the racist whites. That’s what I saw in the eyes of the guy in the truck; he didn’t know me at all but saw me as one of ‘them’ just because I’m white.
Today I’m going to counter all this negativity by putting up my Christmas Tree; it’s a pagan tradition. I’m done talking about this….. for now.