"Nobody ever leaves that island and doesn't feel well about having been there for the day." - Greg Garratt, Georgian Bay Métis Council
As our journey around Beausoleil Island comes to an end, it’s time to look to the future of the island. Listen to voices from throughout the series as they share their hopes for the future of Beausoleil Island and the magic that it holds.
About our Guests:
"My name is Greg Garratt. Born and raised in the Penetanguishene and Georgian Bay area as well. I come from a long line of family going back to Drummond island descendants of Dusome-Clermont and Beausoliel lines of the late 1700's. I joined the Navy as a Marine engineer from 1981-1989 then moved back home and married Heather (nee Gidley), a local girl. Heather is also a Drummond island descendant from the Laramee- Clouthier and Labatte lines.
We both discovered and applied for our Metis cards at the same time. Since 1999 we have been getting increasingly involved in our Metis community. We sit together on the current Georgian Bay Metis Council and have had great opportunity and privilege to serve our community.
I am currently the President of the council, home to the largest Metis population in Ontario of over 4000 citizens. Our region represents approximately 25% or more of the Ontario population.
I also hold the role of Region 7 Captain of the Hunt. The position oversees harvesting in the region and education and engagement of the registered harvesters of the MNO. This stands at approximately 50% of all the harvesters in Ontario in the 6 regions where historical harvesting rights have to date been proven and recognized by the government and supreme court.
The community unity has never been stronger and that is a direct result of the community we live in and the culture of Metis looking after their own".
Jamie Hunter has been interested in the archaeology and history of the region known as Huronia/ Georgian Bay for nearly 60 years. He obtained a BSc in archaeology from Trent University and a Masters of Museum Studies and Archaeology from the University of Toronto.He has participated on over 100 archaeological projects in the area and was Curator of Research at Sainte Marie among the Hurons for 4 years and Director/Curator of Huronia Museum and the Huron/Wendat Village for 30 years. After retirement in 2013 Jamie has continued to write,research and publish on Huronia's past in its many forms from underwater shipwrecks to land projects on a variety of topics.He is presently working on two major projects which if they come to fruition should add significantly to the history of Huronia in terms of collections and curation of this areas fascinating human history.
Jamie is holding the first Indigineous artifact that he found in 1964 as a camper at Camp Kitchikewana. It is a triangular chert arrowhead that he picked up at the site and helped lead him to a career in archaeology and historical preservation.
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"
Brian Shelley is the Vice President of the YMCA of Simcoe Muskoka. As a former Kitchikewana camper, counsellor, and camp director, Brian is dedicated to creating opportunities for all children to connect with nature and participate in summer camp.
- Learn more here: Beausoleil First Nation.
- For more information on the Georgian Bay Métis Council, please visit the Georgian Bay Métis Council
- For more information, please visit YMCA Camp Kitchikewana.
- Visit Georgian Bay Islands National Park.
- A stunning sunset on Beausoleil Island. From: Discover Muskoka.
- The view from Lighthouse Point in the northwest of Beausoleil Island. Courtesy Lis Edwards.
- The Parks Canada Daytripper boat takes visitors to and from Beausoleil Island daily. From: Ontario Hiking.
- Beausoleil Island is visible in the distance on the way to the mainland. Courtesy Lis Edwards.