This communication is in response to the message that was sent to BSB cottagers by the BFN Lands Office, dated August 15, 2022. For those who haven’t seen it, the message stated that, “…the Lands Office has been receiving several reports from our community members that some cottagers have been making an issue of our members using the beach and laneways at Big Sand Bay.” The message included a reminder that the beach and laneways are Beausoleil First Nations’ land.
We know that most cottagers are aware that we are privileged to have the use of the beach and laneways and are saddened to hear that BFN members were told they were not welcome to be on their own land.
Building and maintaining relationships with the BFN community is an identified priority for CICA and so we are sharing some thoughts about how you can respond:
- When you see a BFN community member on any beach or laneway, treat them with courtesy and respect.
- Understand that the road allowance on all the BSB laneways allows for parking on each side and is not an intrusion on cottagers’ leased land.
- If you have any questions about the boundaries of your leased lot or island bylaws, contact the Lands Office.
- Remember that as much as we all love the island and feel an affinity to it, we need to acknowledge that it is Beausoleil First Nation territory, and that engaging with BFN members on the island is an opportunity to learn more about them individually and build positive relationships with the BFN community.
The CICA Board will post a public apology on social media and on our website; update the FAQs on our website to reflect the information above; and send a copy of this message to the Lands Office.
The last few years of pandemic have made it tough to foster relationships between the different island communities. Relationship building will continue to be a focus for CICA next cottage season.