Living with Temagami First Nation (TFN)
Daki Menan, 'My Land', of Teme-Augama (Deep-Water) People
Currently, TFN is negotiating the land claim to exchange 4000 sq miles of lakes and forests for $20 million (canadian) compensation from the Government and 137 sq. miles of Reserve land.
Temagami First Nation
|In September accepted incredible offer of the Bear island's resident to spend an approaching winter in a house on Bear island Reserve.
|People silenty accepted my arrival. Personally I only knew two of them who lived on the island. Many found out about me living on the island within few weeks.
|I meet interesting people, trying to make friends and learn from them.
|Different people meet me. Many are friendly and help me in different ways. I've even been offered to work on the island as a part of a construction team, general labour.
While driving on Mine road after heavy snowfall my VW goes off road in a snowbank.
This is how I meet Chief of TFN Alex Paul for the first time.
A driver of a pickup truck offers me his help: to try to pull VW out of the snowbank. He says he knows who I am.
Clearcut near Rabbit lake, from ottertooth.com
Together with Woody Becker of the Ma-Komin-Ising Anishinawbeg I attend the information meeting in Temagami , organized by Ministry of Natural Resources (MNR).
Sent comments on TFUMP (Temagami Forest Unit Management Plan) to MNR, opposing clearcut logging and other destructive practices which MNR plan to implement through TFUMP.
MNR sends a formal reply to my comments.
|TFN is represented by a wife of TFN Chief Alex Paul. Alex Paul runs a business of a cedar mill on Mine Road. License which is issued by MNR is needed to operate the mill.
Land claim negotiations are about to reach another milestone.
|I notify the TFN office about my intention to organize slide show on the island during total Lunar eclipse.
|Chief and Council of TFN agree with this.
I study a copy of TFN's Dog by-law.
and refuse to expose the Husky pup I keep to an alien virus (vaccination) and find that to deny him occasional socializing with local dogs is controversal to traditional way .
|TFN persists in enforcing Dog by-law.
|June 13th, 2003
|June 14th, 2003
|Keeping my promises to Reserve Police I take off to Rabit island just before the sunset.
Chief and Council decide that I have to move out of the house immideately but it was possible to arrange for 36 hours that I needed to pack and leave.
This message is delivered by an OPP constable Pete McKee,, who generously offers his assistance and gives me a lift to Mine landing in a Police boat, which was much enjoyable. Second Chief Arnold Paul remains silent while Constabble was reading the letter.
|I write a note where I ask Chief Alex Paul to visit Bear Island Reserve to pick up the rest of my belongings I left behind and clean up the house.
|Chief's reply is to contact John McKenzie, Reserve Police Chief, so I even might be escorted when I arrive to the island. This was an honour which I had to decline.
Here thanks to such an opportunity presented to me by the way of Chief and Council's decision I realize that through this comes the start of my path to liberation I am transformed into a FREE MAN and
I came to understand the TFN's position and Bear Island residents' decision on dogs and
I intend to make peace with the Band so I can visit Bear Island where I have many friends.
I sent a letter to Chief and Council and awaiting for their reply.
|UPDATE: March 2005: There is no reply from TFN yet.Gwen Katt, who is a dog control officer, offers me shelter and food at her house when I had to ski to Bear island twice in a week to pick up Nimush who ran 15 miles to the island to visit his relatives and ended up at Gwen's yard. She keeps couple dozen dogs for a dog team.