Shawanaga Island to become Indigenous Protected Conservation Area

Shawanaga Island appears in the Ontario Crown Land Use Policy Atlas in dark green, which reflects its status as a recommended conservation reserve, which an IPCA would fulfill. The Shawanaga First Nation reserve (17 and 17B) appears in mauve on the nearby mainland.

Shawanaga Island, on Georgian Bay’s small craft route north of Parry Sound, is set to become an Indigenous Protected Conservation Area (IPCA), a park-like federal designation that is better known in British Columbia but has been discussed lately as an option for Crown lands in Ontario. Progress on the Shawanaga Island IPCA, which would be managed by nearby Shawanaga First Nation, is discussed in this TVO item.

IPCAs fall somewhere between a fully protected national or provincial park and Crown land designations that allow certain forms of commercial activity, including ecotourism and resource extraction. The TVO item notes that Shawanaga First Nation is considering ecotourism, including camping, for the island. The IPCA concept is supported by the Conservation Through Reconciliation Partnership.

The IPCA initiative is not part of the compensation due to First Nations that were signatory to the Williams Treaty. The seven FNs that are entitled to compensation from the federal and provincial governments under the 2018 agreement, in money or land, are the Chippewas of Beausoleil, Georgina Island and Rama, and the Mississaugas of Alderville, Curve Lake, Hiawatha, and Scugog Island.

Cruisers already know the island for several anchorages along Shawanaga Inlet, in particular Hopewell Bay and Cairn Bay.

Shawanaga Island, as it appears in the Navionics app on the small craft route.

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