SoCS: cam

Your Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is “cam.” Find a word that contains “cam” or use it as is.

The next road over from me is called Army Camp Road. I really hope they change the name soon. It runs alongside the Stony Point First Nations Reserve and has a dark history. Its a reminder of how badly our governments treated First Nation people.

In 1942 their land was confiscated by the Canadian Government to use as a military training camp. The people were moved onto a reserve near-by; Kettle Point. The two reserves are separated by a strip of land two rural roads apart. That’s where I live.

What houses they could move were picked up and taken to Kettle Point. Sometimes they didn’t know where they should go so they dumped them anywhere they could. The brick houses were knocked down; farms destroyed, burial grounds desecrated. And all on the promise that when the war was over they would get their land back.

Some of the men had enlisted and did not know their homes were being demolished while they were fighting overseas. And because they joined the army, they lost their Status. They came home to nothing and nowhere to go.

They didn’t give the land back. They kept the army camp for Air Cadets and opened Ipperwash Provincial Park on their beautiful beach. My dad taught Air Cadets at this Army Camp and we would go to the beach there quite often. I never knew the history. the Kettle Point Reserve was something hidden and off limits. There was terrible poverty and alcoholism was rampant. We destroyed these people then turned our noses up at them.

Back in the 70’s a delegation of people from Kettle Point would take a monthly trip to Queen’s Park with all the letters and papers promising their land back. Nothing happened. (I do not have the dates in my head and to go look will break up my SoC.) Finally in the 80’s they took it back. It was a summer that many Indigenous people had come from all over North America to protest another land claim in Cayuga. The time was ripe and they had their own army to do it.

But that made them criminals and the stand-off began. It ended when Dudley George was seen carrying a stick they thought was a rifle and shot him. They did not help him. A few of his friends and family took him in their car, up Army Camp road to the hospital which is not close by. He died on the way and became a martyr for their cause.

There was a book written and made into a movie; One Dead Indian. Army Camp road is mentioned. Its lined with cottages on one side; fenced and wooded on the other side. Now is a time for Reconciliation. I hope they change the name of Army Camp Road to something Ojibway.

I still have the photos of the official “Walk Home” in 2015 in my media library. These photos were all taken on Army Camp Road.