Impede the Reed

Chapter 7: A Walk Along the Shoreline

September 28, 2021

"What an awesome opportunity to learn how to track and safely capture a Massasauga Rattlesnake... and know that you're part of the protection of a threatended species." - Brian Shelley, YMCA of Simcoe/Muskoka

Eastern Massasauga Rattlesnake Milkweed
 Explore the shorelines of Beausoleil Island and learn about what Georgian Bay Islands National Park is doing to conserve native species, like turtles and the iconic Eastern Massasauga Rattlesnake, while keeping invasive species out of natural habitats.



About our Guests:

Shawn Corbiere








Shawn Corbiere is Ojibwe from M’Chigeeng First Nation on Manitoulin Island, Ontario. Shawn is the Indigenous Outreach Officer for Georgian Bay Islands National Park, where he sits on the Cultural Advisory Circle and facilitates connections between Parks Canada and local Indigenous communities and organizations.


Trish Monague

Elder Trish Monague

"Waywaynaboozhoo Giizhgondokwe ndizhnicaz Waubshishe dodem niindawaymognidok

 I just introduced myself in my traditional language, Ojibway. I am a member from Beausoleil First Nation and have resided here most of my life except for the time I was taken away. I am a product of the 60s Scoop.

 I am also in the 2nd Degree in my Midewiwin Learning. Midewiwin translates to  People with Kind Heart.

My father is Joseph Sylvester, who co-founded the first holistic health provider in Toronto based on Indigenous health and healing called Anishnawbe Health of Toronto. His vision was to provide healing to the Indigenous population in Toronto. My Mother Emily King designed the pin for the National Diabetes Association. I humbly walk in the footprints of my parents and I carry their teachings apart of my bundle.

I have been alcohol and substance-free for 30+ years and have picked up my Bundle and held ahsemma (tobacco) in my hand when I was 15 yrs and have walked the Red Road for 40 years. Everything that I am is been gifted to me ..I do not know any original teaching…I ask spirit to guide me in all ways and then I listen. My job is to share what I’ve taught and to humbly keep the door open for others that are coming behind me. Miigwech"





1. What’s at stake? Invasive phragmites growth is the greatest ecological threat facing Georgian Bay Islands National Parks at this time. Species at Risk, like this eastern musk turtle (Sternotherus odoratus), need to be protected from the harmful effects of this plant and from human disturbance during management activities. From Parks Canada, Georgian Bay Islands National Park

2. (Left) The Eastern Massasauga Rattlesnake, the only venemous snake in Ontario, are a threatened species that reside on Beausoleil Island. From Center for Biological Diversity; (Right) Common Milkweed can be found at the Cruiser Dock Wildlife Restoration Area on Beausoleil Island. From Bernard Sandler, 2021.

3. (Left) A fox spotted outside a cabin at Christian Beach on the southwest side of Beausoleil Island. Courtesy Lis Edwards. (Right) An inland marsh in the north end of Beausoleil Islan. Courtesy Lis Edwards. 

Select Bibliography:

Ewald, Erika in conversation with Lis Edwards, Ojibwe Medicine Wheel Teachings, 2020.

Georgian Bay Islands National Park. “Impede the Reed Project.” Last modified February 19, 2021.

Wildlife Preservation Canada. “Massasauga rattlesnake (Sistrurus catenatus).” Accessed September 20, 2021.

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