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Traditional Territories Of Ancestors Returning To Caldwell First Nation In 2023

Wednesday January 11th, 2023, 7:33pm

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Caldwell First Nation Chief and Council Acknowledges Return to Stewardship and Comanagement of their traditional lands at Ojibway Shores with Parks Canada officials at a ceremony led by Liz Akiwenzie, Knowledge Keeper and Cultural Healer. (Handout photo)

After years of planning, collaboration and investment, several environmental and economic development initiatives geared to restoring prosperity for the Caldwell First Nation will come to fruition in 2023.

The Caldwell First Nation is developing a co-management agreement with Parks Canada to oversee and monitor the new Ojibway National Urban Park. Talks began with Parks Canada officials Wednesday, and models of co-management were discussed. The federal government is also providing support for engagement and active participation of the membership in shaping the lands and ensuring species at risk protections.

“We must safeguard the health of the land and eco-system. It is a way of life for all members of society and all species and has a tremendous impact on the well-being of our community far into the future,” said Chief Duckworth. “We as a council and a nation will keep working together for our lands, wildlife, and the benefit of our people, as well as those who have settled here and will immigrate to the area.”

Design for new urban reserve for the Caldwell First Nation.

Works are also underway on the newest urban reserve in Southwestern Ontario. Caldwell First Nation purchased 34 parcels of land in Leamington and the surrounding area on November 10th, 2020. One parcel (198 acres) received a Ministerial Order designating reserve status to Caldwell. To date, Land Use Planning has been done, and a community concept has been completed, which contemplates 120 residences beginning with 28 residential units on the new reserve that has been funded through CMHC’s Rapid Housing Initiative.

All infrastructure and engineering required to support the homes (Phase 1) and the future community development for the First Nation Administration, recreational, educational, commercial, and residential building is near completion with projected shovel-in-ground beginning in fall of 2023. Caldwell First Nation representatives are working in collaboration with Leamington, Indigenous Services Canada, Ontario First Nations Technical Services and Baird AE, a local Architect and Engineering firm.

Targeting March 2023 Caldwell First Nation will celebrate the opening of a new Gas bar and Variety store, one of the largest operations in southwestern Ontario. They are also progressing in developing their Marina in Leamington with kayaking and boat launches, and constructing a new boardwalk.

Boardwalk design.

 

 

 

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