Our Mission Statement:To Provide the infrastructure and expertise for environmental matters that affect the interests of the Saugeen Ojibway Nations and, in doing so, assist the Chiefs and Councils of the Saugeen Ojibway Nations to assert First Nation jurisdiction over the environment of the traditional territories.

A Welcome Message

Welcome to the website of the Saugeen Ojibway Nation Environment Office! On behalf of the Chiefs and Councils of our two communities – the Saugeen First Nation and the Chippewas of Nawash Unceded First Nation – we would like to extend our greetings to you.

The Saugeen Ojibway Nation have been living in our home on and near the Saugeen (Bruce) Peninsula, and the waters of the Great Lakes surrounding it, for as long as our history remembers.  Through our treaties with the Crown, we agreed to share part of our land with people who have come from all around the world.

As Anishnabek peoples, we are subject to Anishnabe law and we are ever mindful of our duty under our law to be Stewards of our land.  The people of the Saugeen Ojibway Nation established the Environment Office to make it easier for us to fulfill this duty.

For our community members, you will find this website is a useful resource to keep informed about the work that the SON Environment Office is doing, and stay in touch with the staff at the office.

For others, this website provides a wealth of information on ways that the Saugeen Ojibway Nation are acting to protect our land.  We encourage you to take advantage of the resources offered here to inform yourself of our policies, especially if you are planning on undertaking any kind of development project here that may impact on our lands, waters, resources and culture.

We look forward to working with you in a respectful and mutually beneficial relationship.

Chief Greg Nadjiwon

Chief Lester Anoquot

For Proponents

The Saugeen Ojibway Nation welcomes you to our traditional territory, where we have lived since the beginning of our history and which we plan to keep as a safe and healthy place for our children and grandchildren to live.

The traditional territory of the Saugeen Ojibway Nation includes the Saugeen (Bruce) Peninsula, and lands to the south and east, and the waters surrounding it.  You will find a rough description of these lands on the SON Territory Map.

Our people have a long relationship with our land, including the harvesting of resources, which remains important to our people.  Fishing is of special importance to our people, both historically and today. In 1994, the Canadian Courts recognized that SON has an Aboriginal and treaty right (which is constitutionally protected) to our fishery in the SON territory.  Certain parts of our land are also particularly important to us as ceremonial and sacred sites.  It is also one of our most important laws that the places where our ancestors are buried should not be disturbed.

It is a rule of Canadian constitutional law, and also a principle of good neighbourliness, that when an action may affect our Aboriginal and treaty rights, then our people should be consulted.  On this website you will find useful documents about how we expect this consultation to take place, including:

•    the SON’s Principles of Consultation for Proponents, and
•    the SON Consultation Process Flowchart.

It is a good idea, as well as a legal requirement, to begin the consultation process as early as possible.  In many cases, the SON Environment Office will determine that a project will not impact our Aboriginal and treaty rights and decide that it is not necessary for any further consultation and accommodations to occur.

In some cases, especially where the impacts on our Aboriginal and treaty rights will be significant, we will expect that changes to a proposal should take place to minimize the impacts on our rights.

In certain cases, where we determine that a project could effect on what has been left behind on the land by our ancestors, we will ask that an archaeological assessment be done.  Because of the differences between our traditional territory and the rest of Ontario, the SON has published our own Archaeology Standards and Guidelines. Our Guidelines are meant to complement those put out by the Ministry of Culture, Tourism, and Sport.

We hope you find the resources on this website useful. We look forward to working with you in a respectful relationship, toward fulfilling our duty as stewards of these special lands and waters that have been our home historically and in the future.