The Chippewas of Georgina Island
A People of Stories
The Chippewas of Georgina Island is a record of the history of an Indigenous community and the stories and photographs of the lives of community members over the years. A work of community storytelling and historical reckoning, the Chippewas of Georgina Island represent their ancestral ties to the land and water of Lake Simcoe, Georgina Island, and Snake Island. They account for the changes to their daily lives and their general well-being as a result of developments such as the building of the Trent-Severn Canal system. Stories of tragedy and triumph illustrate the community’s centuries’ old challenges, including territorial claims, military engagements, changes to geography and marine life, educational and medical developments, and tourism, all of which have influenced residents’ lives.
In collaboration with linguist and Indigenous studies scholar John L. Steckley, community members have created a work of Indigenous storytelling and history, contextualized by local, provincial, and federal history, including discussions of government treaties and laws, changes in surrounding land and water use over the years, and shifting economic pressures and practices both off and on Georgina Island, as experienced by the members of the Chippewa Nation.