34a Henry S.t,
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Ontario Tourism Region : Northeastern Ontario
- Pop. 1,147. On Smith Bay off Georgian Bay on the extreme E end of Manitoulin I. The Ojibwa Indian reserve is believed to be North America's only unceded First Nations Peoples reserve and is therefore -- in theory at least -- not part of Canada.
- . After the War of 1812, the government of Upper Canada wanted to make the land on the southern shore of Georgian Bay available to settlers. The government also realized that tribes living near whites had been ravaged by disease and alcohol.
- It was proposed that the First Nations Peoples be segregated on Manitoulin I., and this was accomplished by a treaty in 1836.
- There were 268 First Nations Peoples residents.
- The government sponsored the founding of an 'establishment,' and by 1842 there were 700 settlers, including a commissioner, surgeon, minister, teacher, several mechanics, carpenters, and blacksmiths.
- The government supported the 'establishment' for 20 years before concluding that the attempt to segregate the First Nations Peoples was a failure.
- The government then tried to void the 1836 treaty and to persuade the First Nations Peoples to cede their land so it could be sold to settlers. The money was to be held in trust for the First Nations Peoples, who were to be paid the interest annually.
- Treaty signatures were obtained from the groups living west of Heywood Sound and Manitoulin Gulf, but the treaty was rejected by the Wikwemikong First Nations Peoples.
- Missionaries protested the new treaty, claiming signatures had been obtained by unethical methods.
- The government finally agreed to set aside a special reserve for the Wikwemikong residents, a 300-square-mi. (777 sq. km) area, which is technically not a part of Canada.
- One of Manitoulin Island's most colourful events is the Wikwemikong Pow Wow held on Civic Holiday Weekend each year. Wikwemikong is Ojibwa for 'bay of the beaver.'
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