Whenever there is a conflict it’s important to try to understand the both points of view. This video was made for that purpose.
I understand, now the concept of the beach connection between Kettle and Stony Point. To many outsiders they are just “the Indians” so they can’t see a community divided.
At the beginning of WW 2 the First Nations allowed the military to use Stony Point as a military training camp with the agreement they would return it after the war was over. All the residents of Stony Point were moved onto Kettle Point. Some were left displaced as they were refugees from reserves that had shrunk or disappeared from Southern Ontario and had no family ties on Kettle Point; no families to move in with.
Now you take any group of human beings, anywhere on this planet, push them all into a smaller place and there’s going to be trouble; family feuds and such. By the 1990’s the grandchildren of the displaced Stony Point families were busting the get their ancestral land back and make a home.
The land has been returned. The army barracks are now makeshift homes. There is a barricade around the entire place. You must enter by a gated, manned entrance and will only be let in if you are a band member. Many Kettle Point residents don’t go there….. it’s ‘Stony’. The family feuds are still strong; Chief Tom Bressette isn’t allowed in. It’s anarchy. I read this morning that the Peoples at Stony were not told about the barriers coming down. So are Tom Bressette’s motives pure? Or is this a power play? That remains to be seen.
A great healing needs to take place within the community. Many see the opening of the beach, to drive between the two reserves, as doing that; connecting the communities. Now, taking the Lakeshore Parkway that is lined with cottages doesn’t give that connective feel. I understand that.
But there is still the issue of wanting to have a beach that vehicles can’t drive on. The land owners of this stretch of land could just as easily close the beach to everyone but they don’t. They let the public enjoy it but no cars.
On Sunday there is going to be a protest but now I’m not sure if I’m going. The landowners are going to come with their deeds that say they own to “the water’s edge”. I think that’s enough. I’m not sure confrontation is the way to go here.
But I wish they would promote a “Walk the Beach” campaign and encourage the residents of Kettle and Stony Point to take the walk between the two reserves and experience it the way their ancestors did.
One day I was walking on the beach and three eagles flew out from Kettle Point, over my head, went to Stony Point then disappeared into the woods there. That is a healing experience.
I wish this for all of us.