Childhood Memories Of Ipperwash Beach

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Ipperwash Beach has been my home away from home for as long as I can remember. Some of my earliest memories include getting thrown off the inner tube into waves so big they could swallow me whole, campfires that my grandfather would build rain or shine, just so we could get that perfect bedtime treat and a sun burning so bright I thought the sweet summer would never end. As far as I was concerned, Ipperwash Beach was a magical place that couldn’t do any wrong. From a young age, I can remember the whispers and lingering stares I received when I would mention to a camp counsellor or adult family friend that it was almost time to go to the beach. They would speak in hushed tones so I wouldn’t hear but no matter what they had to say, nothing …show more content…
I never paid any attention to the past until I was forced to look at it through a microscopic lens in my tenth grade history class, and what I found was terrifying. During the Second World War, the Canadian military decided to build a training camp on land that was occupied by the Stoney Point First Nations tribe in Ipperwash Provincial Park. In 1900 the Canadian government previously wished to survey the land. The tribe resisted as the fear that the land would be misused and open the door of sales of their land and resources. (Holmes, 2004) It wasn’t until 1937 that the Indigenous people communicated with the government, expressing their concerns that the burial ground would be disturbed and that they had reservations only out of the need to protect the land. (Holmes, 2004) The tribe was offered a large sum for the land but they did not budge because of the sacred and spiritual properties that they believed the land held. (Roos, 1998) Ipperwash Provincial Park was more than just land that outlined Lake Huron. It was a burial ground that provided comfort and safety to the Indigenous people of the Lambton Shores community. Eventually, the Canadian government expropriated the land under the War Measures Act and compensated the Stony Point First Nations for their cooperation. (Salomons, 2009) The people of the Stoney Point tribe were promised their land would be returned to them but even long after the war ended and the world moved forward, the land now known as “Camp Ipperwash” was occupied by the government. This is where the situation becomes violent and where I, as a resident of Ipperwash Beach, find myself unsettled and in disbelief. On September 4th 1995, approximately thirty members of the band, accompanied by children, stormed the land

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