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Image: Changing of the Seasons ceremony banner

 Obabika Lake access & maps


Alex Mathias

Spirit Rock


MAY 31, 2006 

Changing of the Seasons fall gathering on Sept 16

The sixth annual Nishnabai ceremony to celebrate the changing of the seasons will be held September 15 to 17 on Obabika Lake.

The Changing of the Seasons ceremony has been growing in popularity since launched six years ago by Nishnabai elder Alex Mathias. Mathias is the last


Temagami First Nation member still living on his family's traditional territory.

The unique, non-commercial, remote event is held on a campground on Obabika in the spiritual shadow of Spirit Rock. It is open to aboriginals and non-aboriginals of all ages.

There will be traditional ceremonies, Ojibway stories, dancing, drumming, a traditional feast and hiking in the old-growth forest. The ceremonies emphasize the traditional importance of the forest.

Previous participants recalled the inclusiveness of the ceremonies and the closeness that developed among participants.

Participants camp for the weekend at campsites at the north end of Obabika Lake with most arriving in canoes by early Saturday morning. 

  CEREMONY INFO:  Invitation                            

    CAR POOL INFO:  Contact Earthroots: or

                                                          416-599-0152 x13

  GATHERING PHOTOS:   2002   2004   2005  


MAY 31, 2006 

100 degrees and cold!

Tim Bankerd recorded 100 F (38 C) at his home on Anima Nipissing Lake yesterday.

Environment Canada reported a high of 89 F (31.9 C ), a record for May 30.

Thinking he'd cool off in the lake, Bankerd took the plunge. "I did some kind of crazy stroke to get back on land! Anima Nip is still very cold!"

MAY 30, 2006 

Smog warning

Environment Canada issued the season's first smog advisory, which will be in effect until further notice.

Hot, sunny conditions and local pollution, compounded by pollution carried on southwesterly winds from the United States, created this potent smog level.

Smog advisories are rare this early in the season. Temperatures have been just above 20 C (68 F) since Monday, May 15, but began rising on Wednesday, May 24. Yesterday the high was 30 (86 F) and the same is forecast for today.

Forecasters are predicting a hot, dry summer.

MAY 24, 2006 

Marina owner convicted for dumping in lake again

The owner of Temagami Marine gets fourth conviction for dumping in Lake Temagami.

Bill Kitts received a $5,000 fine and was sentenced to two years probation for leaving "several large piles of material containing sand, gravel, broken concrete, and pieces of wood the result of work being done on the Temagami Marine property," reported the Northern News.

Kitts, a long-time municipal councillor, was convicted under Ontario's Lakes and Rivers Improvement Act after an investigation by provincial Ministry of Natural Resources conservation officers and federal Department of Fisheries and Oceans fishery officers following a complaint.

The previous three convictions in 1992, 1995 and 2003 fell under Ontario's Public Lands Act.

Temagami Marine is the largest of two marinas on the lake and the largest employer in Temagami. It is located on Inlet Bay within sight of Hwy 11.

Temagami Marine sought in 2001 a precedent-setting removal of Skyline Reserve for business expansion. The request was turned down citing public concern and lack of information on environmental impact.

  BACKGROUND: Crown land sale in Skyline Reserve turned down

MAY 19, 2006 

Parks bill moves to committee

Once a promise, now a peril, the provincial parks bill needs to be rescued as it moves into legislative committee.

Many sections of Bill 11 have been watered down by the Liberal government. One section allows portions of parks to be dissolved, another permits industrial roads and yet another opens up wilderness parks, including Lady Evelyn-Smoothwater, to motorized vehicles.

This threatens existing parks and the proposed Lake Temagami Park. The Wildlands League is fighting a tough battle to make the wording of the bill the best parks legislation in Canada.

Lobbyists from the Ontario Forest Industry Association, Ontario Mining Association, Ontario Waterpower Association, and Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters are working tirelessly to keep the existing wording, and even weaken it further.

Despite the large forces of opposition, these same groups failed to stop the near-doubling of the parks system in 1999.

The bill could clear the Liberal-dominated Standing Committee on the Legislative Assembly and be back in the Legislature for third, and final, reading before summer recess on June 22.

It will be called Provincial Parks and Conservation Reserves Act 2005 and will repeal the old act.

In Canada, most land is public called Crown land under provincial jurisdiction, leaving most parks in the hands of the provinces.

The Wildlands League says support is urgent and is calling for letters from the public that can be generated on its website.

  WEBSITE:  Wildlands League on Bill 11 and its letter generator

  BACKGROUND:  New Parks Act threatens Temagami parks

                          New parks act will hurt Temagami

                          Standing Committee on the Legislative Assembly

Photo: Paul Lake near Rabbit Lake in Temagami

      Paul Lake                                                       BOB OLAJOS

 MAP: Endangered canoe routes

MAY 2, 2006 

Endangered canoe route rehabilitated

One of 2006's most endangered canoe routes has been rehabilitated.

Nastawgan Network, a heritage conservation group, brushed the Paul-Reuben-Breeze lakes portages, southwest of Rabbit Lake.

Bob Ojalos described Reuben Lake as "beautiful with islands, old growth and cliffs" and Paul Lake as a gem.


MAY 1, 2006 

New Parks Act threatens Temagami parks

The newer-is-better parks act will decompose Ontario's protected areas if legislated as is.

Bill 11, as the proposed act is currently called, will start to allow motorized vehicles in wilderness parks and allow the government to reduce the size of parks.

Out of Ontario's 319 parks, only eight are wilderness the most protected parks in the system. One, Lady Evelyn-Smoothwater, is in Temagami.

It is currently bisected by the Liskeard Lumber Road, built before the park's creation. The road, which should be closed under current policy, is a gateway to ATVs and other vehicles and connects the Red Squirrel Road with Elk Lake.

Motorized access groups Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters (OFAH), Ontario Federation of Snowmobile Clubs (OFSC), Ontario Federation of All Terrain Vehicle Clubs (OFATV) have been lobbying to keep the road open and the new law will serve their purpose.

"More than ninety percent of Crown land is open for motorized access," says Evan Ferrari of the Wildlands League, "and less than four percent of the population actually engages in this activity, yet this small group wants more access to our parks and protected areas."

"They say it's time to share. We say, finally. They've got 90 percent of the land. Let's be fair and go 50-50."

Furthermore the new act would permit government to "dispose" of park land in 100-hectare portions. This jeopardizes all Temagami parks, including the proposed Lake Temagami Park.

Not only government threatens parks. "The province thinks protected areas don't need good neighbours," says Ferrari. "Should neighbours be exempted of any harmful wrongdoing? Surely, society would hold us responsible if battery acid were to find its way from our backyard to our neighbour's. Parks need a Good Neighbour Law."

The province is considering a good-neighbour policy, not a law. The Wildlands League says it must be law or it has no teeth.

The group is calling on Ontarians to tell their MPPs (or for non-residents, tell the premier) to fix Bill 11.

  WEBSITE:  Wildlands League on Bill 11 and its letter generator


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