sauble beach owner

First Nation awarded ownership of iconic Ontario beach after long court battle

After years of legal battles, the Saugeen First Nation has been awarded rightful ownership of a very popular beach in Ontario.

Sauble Beach, which is set on Lake Huron and is the second longest freshwater beach in the world, is now owned by the Saugeen First Nation.

Ontario Superior Court Justice Susan Vella ruled on Monday that a portion of the beach, extending between Fifth and Sixth Streets North has always been part of the Saugeen First Nation's land and has always belonged to them.

It was a momentous journey decades in the making since the members of the Nation fought the province and the Town of South Bruce Peninsula for their land rights.

According to a note from the First Nation, the court also found the federal government had violated their rights under Treaty 72 by "failing to protect and preserve the entirety of our reserve after signing the Treaty in 1854."

"This win truly belongs to all of us - without our people's unwavering commitment to this fight over nearly 170 years, and without our people's fundamental beliefs that this was always their land, this victory would not have been possible," said Saugeen Chief Conrad Ritchie.

As for South Bruce, a notice on the region's website said council would review the decision "in detail" before making any formal comments or decisions.

"This is a complex issue that requires time to formalize a position. Council understands how important this issue is to the Town and thanks all residents in advance for your patience," said Mayor Garry Michi.

The Nation said they will continue their traditional stewardship over the land and water and will share more news soon. 

Lead photo by

Sauble Beach

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