Chronology of the Temagami Struggle

KEYWORDS: Temagami | Bear island Reserve | Land Claim | Teme-Augama Anishnabai | Gary Potts | Temagami First Nation | Robinson-Huron Treaty


/* Written 1:26 PM Sep 19, 1996 by nfnena in igc:nfn.tempforest */
/* ---------- "Temagami Chronology" ---------- */
From: Native Forest Network-ENA

A Chronology of the Temagami Struggle

The Supreme Court of Canada claims that the Teme-Augama Anishnabai have no land
claim as they are covered under the Robinson-Huron Treaty of 1850. Keep this in
mind as you read the following:

1850 The signing of the Robinson-Huron Treaty (R-HT). It deals with much of
the area surrounding Temagami, but it is not signed by any representative of the
Teme-Augama Anishnabai (T-AA).

1877 Chief Tonene of the T-AA asks to be taken into treaty to gain protection
from settlers. Request denied.

1883 The federal gov't acknowledges the omission of the Teme-Augama from the R-

1901 Ontario establishes the Temagami Forest Reserve.

1920 Selective logging begins in the reserve.

1964 The Temagami Forest Reserve is abolished.

1970 The federal gov't creates the Bear Island Indian Reserve (in theory this
was to be done as a requirement of the R-HT in 1850!).

1973 Chief Gary Potts files land cautions in 110 townships within n'Daki Menan
(Temagami) and asserts Teme-Augama Anishnabai ownership. The cautions stop
mining but not logging.

1978 Ontario sues the T-AA in the Supreme Court of Ontario. Prior to this date
Ontario had always used the excuse that the T-AA were not covered by the R-HT to
oppose giving up valuable timberland in the form of a reserve. They now argue
that the T-AA have given up their sovereignty rights in the R-HT.

1983 Ontario creates the Lady Evelyn Smoothwater Provincial Park on Teme-
Augama land while the suit is still before the courts.

1984 The court finds against the T-AA claiming that their land rights were
signed away by a chief to the west of them in 1850. The Teme-Augama appeal.

1986 Ontario plans to begin construction of the Red Squirrel logging road but
is stopped by court action and lobbying, temporarily.

June 1988 Road construction finally begins only to be blocked by the Teme-
Augama Anishnabai.

Dec 1988 The blockades come down and no further construction is to occur (by
court order).

Feb 1989 Ontario Court of Appeal upholds the decision against the T-AA. They
appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada.

March 1989 The T-AA stage a one day blockade.

Spring 1989 Environmentalists carry on the blockades and more than 350 are
arrested around Ontario in opposition to logging. Even soon to be Premier, Bob
Rae, gets accidentally arrested.

April 1990 Development in Temagami is stopped and the gov't signs a stewardship
agreement with the Teme-Augama Anishnabai.

1991 The Supreme Court of Canada rejects the T-AA appeal.

1992 Treaty negotiations begin.

1995 The Comprehensive Planning Council (CPC), a local planning body boycotted
by the T-AA, recommends opening up more than 77% of Temagami to mining and

July 1995 Soon after his election Premier Mike Harris promises his industry
buddies that Temagami will soon be open for business. Treaty process is
unilaterally ceased.

November 1995 A provincial judge lifts the land cautions and opens the region
to mining for the first time in more than two decades.

June 1996 The Ministry of Natural Resources accepts the CPC's

August 27, 1996 An explosion takes out a logging bridge near River Valley. The
press claims the a traditionalist native group (Ma-kominising Anishnabeg) has
taken responsibility. This is not as yet confirmed.

September 4, 1996 Earthroots begins its blockade of the Rabbit Lake Road which
is being extended to access old growth forest at Owain Lake. There are 22
arrests in the first two days.

September 10, 1996 Tree spiking is "discovered" by Temagami area opponents to
the Earthroots campaign. No environmental group has taken credit for the action
and the whole thing smacks of a set-up. The press howls.

September 13, 1996 A member of the Ma-kominising Anishnabeg begins a blockade
on the Rabbit Lake logging road.

September 17, 1996 Drooling gold hungry capitalists go wild as mine staking
opens up again in Temagami (for the first time since 1973). MNR deregulation
has reduced permit requirements for "exploration" by 80%. The destruction
begins. 11 more arrests on the Earthroots blockade.

September 18, 1996 2 more arrests on blockades.

October 15, 1996 The campaign in the south of Ontario opens at the Ministry of
Natural Resources head office in Peterborough. Be there.

You can reach us (the Kingston Temagami Action Group) @ (613) 541-1823 or by e-
mail at or at We are working
with other groups like ours in southern Ontario to build a campaign of CD
to take place in the south.

Disclaimer users agree to the following as a condition for use:  
In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving Forest Conservation informational materials for research and educational purposes. This document is a PHOTOCOPY for non-commercial and personal use only. Recipients should seek permission to reprint the article from the source listed above. All efforts are made to provide accurate, timely pieces; though ultimate responsibility for verifying all information rests with the reader. Reading on line, downloading or other use of this information signifies acceptance of these conditions, and the
Full Disclaimer.

Viewing and/or downloading of this information on these terms only.  

See the Forest Conservation Portal at 
Networked by, Inc.,