Wiikwemkoong has met with federal officials on Michael’s Bay townsite interests

WIIKWEMKOONG—The Wiikwemkoong Unceded Territory band council met with representatives of Public Services and Procurement Canada to discuss the disposition of the Michael’s Bay property seized a number of years ago on behalf of the Belgian government as the proceeds of crime. The talks have not produced a resolution amenable to the Wiikwemkoong band.

Old maps of the town site indicate the presence of an “Odawa cemetery.” Hence the interest of the band.

Wiikwemkoong Ogimaa Duke Peltier noted that the federal government seems intent on selling the property, although the band would prefer management of the property be turned over to the band for development. “It could make a good economic opportunity,” said Chief Peltier, before adding that there would still have to be a good business case developed for the property if the band were to consider becoming actively involved.

The Michael’s Bay town site has long been of interest to many residents of Manitoulin communities across the Island, as many can trace their family roots back to the ghost town that was once a bustling timber processing centre. Efforts to create a park, or a theme park, based on the town’s historical role in the development of Northern Ontario and the North Shore and early settlement have been ongoing for literally generations—but all dreams have so far come to naught.

Meanwhile, disposition of the property by the federal government has not as yet been finalized.