Saugeen Shores, Ontario Canada
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Charge Laid under Ontario Heritage Act

May 10, 2023

 Ne’bwaakah giizwed ziibi (BdHi-2)

On the 29th day of November 2022 the Saugeen Shores Police Service were notified of an incident that occurred at 6 South Rankin Street in the Town of Saugeen Shores. at the location of a protected archaeological site

The site, Ne’bwaakah giizwed ziibi (BdHi-2), listed as the River Mouth Speaks site in the Ontario Archaeological Sites Database. 

Ne’bwaakah giizwed ziibi (BdHi-2) is ancestral to the Chippewas of Saugeen First Nation, and is among the most significant archaeological sites that have been documented in the Territory of the Saugeen Ojibway Nation (SON).

The site is of great cultural and heritage importance to the Chippewas of Saugeen First Nation, and provided evidence of continuous human occupation of at least 2500 years. Historical records in the Bruce County Museum confirm the existence of human burials on the 6 South Rankin Street property, and in 2010, after efforts to ensure protection of this site during some municipal infrastructure work, Chippewas of Saugeen First Nation was involved in a limited excavation (of a small trench immediately adjacent to 6 South Rankin Street) that resulted in the excavation of over 100,000 artifacts.

Subsequent archaeological fieldwork at the site and on the property of 6 South Rankin Street have continued to generate a variety of cultural material, including later Euro-Canadian. Among the thousands of artifacts that derived from excavations of this area, were also found bird and dog burials, and cultural material that clearly signals the important spiritual and ritual significance of the protected archaeological site to First Nations.

This site is protected under the provisions of the Ontario Heritage Act.

An investigation which included consultation with the Ministry of Citizenship and Multiculturalism and the Chippewas of Saugeen First Nation has now been completed.

As a result of the investigation the owner of the property and a numbered Ontario Inc Company have been jointly charged with one count of failing to comply with section 48(1)(2)  of the Ontario Heritage Act and one count of  failing to comply with section 8(1) of the Ontario Building Code.

This matter will be dealt with in the Ontario Provincial Court in Walkerton Ontario.

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