Special to Kincardine Independent
BRUCE COUNTY – The county and the Saugeen Ojibway Nation (SON) have reached an out-of-court agreement, settling Bruce County’s involvement in SON’s long-standing legal action in relation to parts of the Saugeen (Bruce) Peninsula.
This agreement is a positive step towards fostering further co-operation and reconciliation between Bruce County and SON, and settles a claim that SON launched 25 years ago, which went to trial in 2019.
After several years of discussions, Bruce County and SON have reached a settlement that includes the transfer of approximately 306 acres of county forest within the Lindsay Tract and Amabel Tract. The full terms of the settlement are confidential, and the parties are working together to satisfy the conditions contained therein.
SON continues to pursue its legal claim against the federal, provincial, and other municipal governments. Grey County and the Town of Saugeen Shores have also successfully reached agreements with SON.
“Through collaboration with SON friends and partners, we have reached a resolution that brings closure to this long-standing claim,” said Bruce County Warden Janice Jackson. “This agreement is a positive step forward that encourages continued learning, conversation, and relationship-building within our communities.”
“Finalizing the settlement agreement with Bruce County, including the return of (approximately) 300 acres of county forest, is an important part of the path toward reconciliation. We look forward to moving forward with our neighbours in the spirit of co-operation,” said Chief Lester Anoquot, Chippewas of Saugeen First Nation.
“While there remains much work to be done, this settlement with Bruce County is a positive step toward reconciliation and building better, stronger relationships in our Territory,” said Chief Veronica Smith, Chippewas of Nawash Unceded First Nation.
Bruce County Council must formalize the land transfer by passing a bylaw at the next Bruce County council meeting scheduled for Jan. 13, 2022. SON and Bruce County are committed to further growing and strengthening their long-lasting relationship – one built on mutual respect and collaborative benefit, in the spirit of truth and ongoing reconciliation.