Located on Manitou lake in Temagami area, north-eastern Ontario, Blue Demon Lodge is a privately owned business, about 40 km north of River Valley via Hwy 805 , occupies mainland property, sold by TAA (Temagami Anishnabai Association) in a controversal deal, since this land was under Treaty negotiations with the Crown (Federal Government of Canada) and government of province of Ontario and is a part of Traditional Family Lands of Temagami band which never gave consent to such a deal.
Historically, Manitou lake had a bad reputation due to a rock on its shore which looks like a face of evil Manidoo, a bad spirit. Old canoe travelling route, a part of so called Nastwagan (The Nastawgan are the summer and winter trails established by the Temagami Anishnabai over 6000 years ago.), did not have any camp sites on this lake. Currently, there is a large camping site with a road access (highway 805), mysterious Manitou Healing lodge and a few cottages owned by retired non-Native people along its shores. Locals of the area (River Valley, Sturgeon Falls, Field ) speak of Highway 805 as a place 'where crazy people live'. This highway is a remnant of logging activities in the beginning of XX century in the unceded Lands of Temagami Band, which effectively removed about 90% of old growth white and red pines in Temagami area.
Operators of Blue Demon Lodge run a business of bear hunt in unceded hunting territories of Makominising Anishnabeg (People of Bear island, currently known as Temagami First Nation), with many anglers as clients from the United States.
Bear hunt in one of Temagami's lodges: disrespectful slaughter, compare it to Traditional ceremony for a slain bear.
As a side business Lodge has become a remote outpost for the Temagami Wilderness Center (TWC), then used to be known as an Academy, a special needs residential boarding school, i.e. boot camp for trouble teenagers from USA and Canada, including white, ethnic and Native kids. Naturally, aside from the income based on tapping into resources of Native unceded land, Lodge simply makes additional money off these kids who regard their stay there as a sentence served in a harsh remote canadian wilderness. Some are being administered medication of Ritalin, designed to alter behaviour and consiousness, a drug which is linked to serious health complications.
Operator of Blue Demon Lodge, Mrs. Leeze LeRoque, a former teacher, provides educational program for teenagers who are being sent there for several months in some cases. This 'program' has nothing to offer on Native history in general and Temagami issues are not being discussed at all.
Seems like Madam LaRoque needs to learn more about respect in regards to Leo Paul, an Ojibwa Elder of Temagami First Nation who lives in a small cabin, located within Blue Demon Lodge's so-called 'property'. On few occasions Leo was reminded that his cabin is located on a private property and thus Leo has very few rights about where to set his nets, which visitors to receive and even trying to decide which visitors could stay in Leo's cabin! Leo was born in Temagami and after working as a guide and firewatcher in the land of his ancestors, he lives in his traditional family land and has an inherited right as all Original Peoples do, to be whenever he decides and to continue to live off the land in traditonal ways, which includes passing on the knowledge of the land to whoever wishes to learn. Teenagers who are being 'educated' at Blue Demon Lodge are not being encouraged to visit Leo and listen to his stories and learn from him.
Native tales and legends were critical for survival of both men and their culture and reflect wisdom of ages. As Leo says about Manitou lake: "A spirit lives here. A bad one,". Who would dare to live in a such place in old times, least to put kids there, who need attention and who are being challenged with 'bad influences' of modern 'civilized' way of live, i.e. bad spirits of the past times? Besides traditional knowledge about this location, a modern science discovered that Manitou lake is right at the center of Temagami Magnetic Anomaly, one of the largest in North America.
In essence, Blue Demon Lodge is an example of a colonization outpost in the unceded land , being backed up by colonial system of canadian government and playing its part in the correction of those, who in early age try to question the System and dare to rebel.
from CANADIAN CHARTER OF RIGHTS AND FREEDOMS:
2. Everyone has the following fundamental freedoms:
(a) freedom of conscience and religion;
(b) freedom of thought, belief, opinion and expression, including freedom of the press and other media of communication;
(c) freedom of peaceful assembly; and
(d) freedom of association.