The Ministry of Natural Resources agrees to start to consult First Nations on the future of Springwater Park – Camp Nibi.

After a 9 month peaceful and lawful occupation, the stage is set for respectful discussions.

Examiner Elizabeth Kim Sylvie

Three First Nations women — from left, Sylvie Simard, Elizabeth Brass Elson and Kimberly Rose Edwards — have been the core group of people at the centre of the Native occupation of Springwater Provincial Park since Ontario Parks declared the park north of Barrie non-operational on April 1. Beausoleil First Nation and the Ministry of Natural Resources have agreed to discuss the park’s future together. IAN MCINROY/BARRIE EXAMINER/QMI AGENCY

Ian McInroy reports for the Barrie Examiner in First Nations and MNR to enter into talks about Springwater Park’s future:

Beausoleil First Nation and the MNR have agreed to enter into discussions to ensure the interest of Camp Nibi — as a group of First Nations women who have occupied the park have renamed it — and its traditional, cultural and spiritual education activities continues. Since April there have been ceremonies, teachings, potluck suppers and a connection with the land and the surrounding community.

“The traditional territories of Beausoleil First Nation will be protected and our teachings and ceremony will continue. Camp Nibi and Three Fires Midewiwin Lodge will have a voice in the planning and development of the park lands for the continued use of all in the future,” said Elizabeth Brass Elson, one of the original protesters.

From the Ministry of Natural Resources:

Jolanta Kowalski, of the MNR, said there is still much to do in regards to the park’s future.

“The ministry is pleased to be working with Beausoleil First Nation to discuss a future partnership for the operation of Springwater Provincial Park,” she said. “The ministry has committed to working with the First Nations. However at this time, an agreement has not been signed and details of the partnership have not been determined.

“We appreciate the interests expressed by the First Nation individuals who had occupied the park and respect their commitment to First Nation traditions and culture. The public can continue to enter the park and enjoy the use of the park for activities like hiking or snowshoeing.”

Kowalski re-iterated that the park is not closed and that the province and the MNR, which took over the area in 1958, is not considering selling it.

Ontario Parks has existing partnerships with other organizations and municipalities to operate other provincial parks, she added.

“Kowalski re-iterated that the park is not closed and that the province and the MNR…is not considering selling it.”

A very large thank you is in order from the community to the core three ladies and their supporters.

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4 Responses to The Ministry of Natural Resources agrees to start to consult First Nations on the future of Springwater Park – Camp Nibi.

  1. Simcoe Resident says:

    I hope the MNR and the Beausoleil nation can come to an agreement.

    https://www.facebook.com/groups/149259021823176/?fref=ts

    This is a link to “If you grew up in Barrie……….you remember”.

    They are discussing this story. Representatives of FoSP, as expected, are not happy with this new development.

    I think there is some bigotry going on.

    Like

  2. iantaylor68 says:

    I have been monitoring the Facebook page post myself and I don’t really see any negative comments towards the occupiers of Springwater Park. If there are any than they certainly are not associated with the FOSPP. I have said in the past that the park is big enough to have a native education and friendship center as part of the new Springwater Park. I think this is good news in moving forward to getting this park open again.
    Thank You.

    Like

  3. […] just down the road, ‘Springwater Provincial Park–renamed Camp Nibi by a group of First Nations women who have occupied it for nine months [when it closed]–is to […]

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