The SPCC says the First Nations are key to saving Springwater Provincial Park

Our aboriginal friends deserve all of the credit for the Georgian Mall flash mob round dance.

black bear

This black bear could be one of several animals relocated in the near future as the province decides the long-term direction of Springwater Provincial Park, north of Barrie. MARK WANZEL PHOTO

A great article about the Springwater Park Citizens’ Coalition’s, SPCC position by Ian McInroy of the Barrie Examiner : Group trying to save Springwater Park hosting event at Georgian Mall Word  pdf but the headline does not reflect who should get the applause.

The First Nations, FN of Simcoe county and beyond deserve 100% of the support and credit.

End of story.

That being said, a very useful explanation why First Nations are so important in keeping the park open:

Les Stewart, of the SPCC, said support by the First Nations groups are vital to his group’s efforts to keep the park viable and that Wednesday’s event is intended to raise awareness about problems with Bill C-45 and the 14 pieces of federal legislation that would effectively re-write the treaty relationships with First Nations and degrade their role in important decision making.

“Only the Crown and First Nations have the right to alter that living relationship; it cannot be done unilaterally by any one federal government alone,” Stewart said Monday.

“The Springwater Park and surrounding forest lands are part of the disputed Williams Treaty, 1923. The MNR plans to make the park non-operational is a land-use change that the First Nations may choose to challenge.”

Simcoe County has been the home of FN communities for up to 10,000 years:  they’ve been born, lived and been buried here.

“There are 1,000 identified First Nation settlement areas in Simcoe County and from 150 to 175 ossuaries or “bone pits” that have been discovered,” he said. “Of the 150 or so, only about 10 (6.8%) have been treated respectfully and in a professional archeological manner. Most bone pits (a small one would have 300 skeletons) simply get dug up and forever lost.

“We believe an important 5,000 to 10,000 year old First Nations trail (Minesing Trail) runs between Anne Street at Carson Road and then along Anne Street north of Snow Valley Road and then straight through the park onto Minesing. Those lands have never been studied and the areas before and after are archeologically rich.”

The SPCC believes the First Nations sustainability model delivers the non-reckless precautionary principle of primum non nocere (first, do no harm).

“First Nations have lived in a sustainable way for thousands of years in Ontario,” Stewart said. “They consider themselves as protectors of all the land and water and had been extremely effective in helping defeat Site 41 (north of Elmvale) after 20-plus years of local activism couldn’t, and (stopped) the Mega Quarry in Melanchthon Township near Shelburne.

“Land use policy in Simcoe County is a controversial item and one that we will live with (for good or ill) for the next 50 years. Short-sighted, mega-growth can destroy communities and the environment in irreparable ways.”

Some have called the forests to the north of the city, “The Lungs of Barrie“.


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