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Thursday, June 11, 2015


There are many, many gatherings of the First Nations across the USA and Canada, but around here the big Powwow is the one on Walpole Island.It takes place early in the year, and this year it was held on May 16 and 17.

Walpole, or Bkejwanong, has never been set up as a reserve or legislated into being nor set by treaty. It is considered an "unceded" territory, which consists of 6 islands in the St. Clair River delta.

If you search on Walpole Island, one of the very first photos presented is

which is on a blog Native American Bode'wadmi  Pokagon Times
in an article about Walpole and Chief Joseph Gilbert, shown below, right:

A look at Walpole from space in Google Earth shows that this is not a photo of Walpole Island. The island in the photo does resemble something in Georgian Bay, perhaps, but Walpole is large and not rocky, being built up by sediment deposited by the river as it enters Lake St. Clair:

The USA, Harsens Island, is on the left, and the large yellow place marker near the top marks the Chenal Écarté, known locally as the Sny Carty, a moderate river or creek which separates Walpole from Ontario.
The green line from top to left bottom is the international boundary, USA and Canada, while the green line top to bottom right is the boundary between Bkejwanong and mainland Ontario.

If we go to Wallaceburg, Ontario for lunch, we go from Algonac to Walpole on the ferry:

which docks on the northern part of the island.

There is a Canada Customs to the left and just out of the range of the following photo. A couple of years ago we landed, the customs agent was sitting in a wooden chair slightly pushed back with his feet up on a barrel. Straight ahead of us, there was a yellow dog slowly walking in the noonday heat.

I immediately thought of Atticus Finch and the sheriff, Hec, and the dogs of the summer's dog days.


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