Caldwell Indians Purchase Towle Harbor Marina
Recent reports have it that the Caldwell Indians have purchased a large tract of land in Mersea Township in the area around Towles Harbour. Information is nearly impossible to find for any official statement on the purchase.
There is a large tract of undeveloped land and some smaller farm lots in that immediate area. It would appear that a large enough area of land could quite possibly be purchased to establish a new reserve. If pockets are deep enough those pieces of land could conceivably be purchased. The Caldwell (Chippewa) has pretty deep pockets right now with about $105 million to spend within a given period of time.
I have taken a ride around that whole block of land and believe there may be no better opportunity for them. My observations bring me to my own conclusion. Towle Marina has closed up shop and will not rent out to boaters. The area has been stripped of absolutely everything from ropes, hoses, boat boxes and boats. Wade’s Marine repair is gone. Absolutely nothing is remaining on the property.
Another observation was clear to me. The property of Krause Fisheries is completely deserted. There is not a single indication of an operating fishery. There are no cars, boats, and people, fishing equipment or any sign of life at Krause Fishery.
Did they sell out to the Caldwell Indians? Time will offer the answer in the near future. I think we are going to see the Caldwell Indians in complete control of that harbour and associated property. I do know that boaters are already searching for a place to dock their boats this year and this might come as a surprise – the price for dockage nearby has risen this year!
What is all of this going to mean to us small boaters? We will have less accessibility to the water and higher prices to get in the water!!
Details of the Settlement
by Tehaliwaskenhas – Bob Kennedy Copyright August 23, 2010
It has taken more than 200 years for the Caldwells in south-western Ontario to get justice from Canada. On the weekend Caldwell First Nation members overwhelmingly approved the specific claim settlement agreement. The ratification vote attracted 152 of the 196 Caldwell members who qualified as eligible voters. Four voted against the deal. The settlement includes $105 million in financial compensation to resolve the claim. It also provides for the establishment of an urban reserve in Leamington, with the Caldwells given thirty years to purchase the land for reserve creation. This specific claim dates back to events that took place over 200 years ago and relates to reserve land and other benefits promised in a 1790 Treaty as well as to land that was promised during the War of 1812. Chief Louise Hillier of the Caldwell First Nation was quoted earlier this year, “We have been waiting a long time for the promises made to us to be honoured”. Historically, the Caldwell First Nation (also known as the Chippewas of Point Pelee) lived as a distinct First Nation in the Point Pelee area. In May 1790, the Ottawa, Chippewa, Pottawatomi and Huron surrendered a large tract of land in south-western Ontario, including Point Pelee. This surrender was done in exchange for goods and certain lands were set aside as reserve lands out of the treaty area for their use. However, the Caldwell First Nation did not sign or benefit from the treaty. The Caldwell First Nation served as allies of the British during the War of 1812. In consideration of this service, the First Nation was promised reserve land at Point Pelee. Some members of the Caldwell First Nation continued to occupy Point Pelee, with the support of the Government, until the late 1850s. Records also indicate that since at least 1839, the Caldwell First Nation complained about encroachments on its lands. Members of the First Nation were gradually forced to leave Point Pelee due to the encroachment by settlers, with the last members leaving in the 1860s. The Caldwell First Nation has pressed its claim for land since the 1830s without success. At various times in the 19th century and the early part of the 20th century, the Government of Canada took some preliminary steps to provide a reserve for the Caldwell First Nation. None of these attempts was ever completed and the First Nation remains without a land base and other benefits under the 1790 Treaty. The Specific Claims process has been a long arduous one for the Caldwells. Their specific claim was first accepted for negotiation by the Government of Canada in 1996 following thorough historical research and review. The Government of Canada and the Caldwell First Nation reached an Agreement-in-Principle on October 30, 1998. A ratification vote on a proposed settlement was held on August 9, 2003, but the results of this vote were nullified by the Minister of Indian Affairs based on an independent investigation which found that there were technical irregularities with the voting process that could have affected the outcome of the vote. The Government of Canada and the First Nation resurrected their negotiations in 2006. Canada made its final offer and it was ratified by the community.
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