The original people of Saugeen are Ojibway. They became known as Chippewa by people who could not pronounce the word Ojibway. Chippewas of Saugeen is the legal name of the community.
Like other Aboriginal people in Canada, in the early 1970s the Chippewas of Saugeen began referring to their community as a "First Nation".
Archaeological evidence proves all of the modern Bruce Peninsula (or the "Saugeen Peninsula" as referred to by the Ojibway) was home to the Chippewas of Saugeen. From time immemorial, hunting and fishing were plentiful in this area. Archaeologists are able to find artifacts from Early Woodland Period (1000 BCE to 1000 CE), calling the culture that left artifacts in the Saugeen Ojibway Nation Territory as the Saugeen Complex. Other than pottery, the projectile points calledSaugeen Point are typical characteristics of the Saugeen culture. Consequently, associated with both the Chippewas of Saugeen Ojibway Territory and the Saugeen Culture peoples were winter camps around Owen Sound, Cape Croker and the Collingwood area, as well as summer camps in Walkerton, Wiarton,Goderich, Tobermory and Red Bay. Traditional territory also included all of the Saugeen River watershed. Thus, places such as Tobermory, Meaford, Goderich, Cape Croker, Owen Sound and Orangeville are located in the traditional Saugeen Ojibway Nation Territory. The permanent settlement at the outlet of the Saugeen River which lent its name to the region and its people was called Zaageeng, meaning "mouth of river."
The Chippewas of Saugeen Ojibway are a member of the Council of Three Fires of the Ojibway, Odawa and Pottawatomi Nations. The Confederacy came to help in the Battle of Skull Mound and in the Battle of Blue Mountain.
The Wyandotte/Wendat Nation also made the area their home as did the Petun or Tobacco people.
Four of Seven major clans or doodem are found among the Chippewas of Saugeen.
People from many nations moved into Saugeen Ojibway Nation Territory after the War of 1812. They came from Ohio and from the State of New York. As a result of the American Indian Removal Policies of the 1830s more people came from Michigan and Wisconsin. Some were on their way to the Manitoulin Island project. Some moved from Coldwater on the Narrows. Others came from the Toronto and Niagara regions after newcomers affected their territory. Due to these influxes of people from other areas, the history of the Chippewas of Saugeen is often confused others who settled in Ojibway Territory after the American Revolution; often confused together are the history of those who settled in Cape Croker in 1854 with the history of the Chippewas of Saugeen.
Within 50 years of the Royal Proclamation the Upper Canada and its partners wanted the surrounding Indian lands, including the Saugeen Ojibway Nation Territory. The Army, Indian Affairs and Missionaries were aided by some Aboriginal people from other parts of Canada in the, “surrender” of the Saugeen territory.
Sir Francis Bond Head, represented the Government of Upper Canada, T.G. Anderson signed on behalf of Indian Affairs, J. Stinson signed for Wesley Missions, and F.L. Ingall represented the 15th Regiment of the Army. Three other non-native men witnessed the signing. And four “Indian” men who were not Chiefs or Head Men of Saugeen signed by their doodem and agreed to: “surrender Sauking Territory” and to “repair to (Manitoulin) island or to the territory north of Owen Sound.” They were: Mettiewabe, Kaquta Bunevairear, Kowgiswasis and Mettawansh.
The original people of Saugeen never surrendered or signed away their land or water.
In 1834 some people attempted to surrender Saugeen’s Fishing Islands by leasing them to the Huron Fishing Company. But Jacob Metigwob was from Manitoulin Island, John Ansance was from Christian Island and the Matweyosh families came from the Caldwell Band of the Chippewas of Point Pelee.
Around that time, the provincial government wanted all Anishnabek people to agree to surrender their traditional territory and move to Manitoulin Island. And, many people from the Coldwater and Point Pelee area sought shelter in Saugeen territory after other events and other people moved into their homeland.
According to some people the Chief of the Saugeen Ojibway at the time of Saugeen Tract Agreement was Wahbahdick.
Chief Wahbahdick’s name or doodem is not on Saugeen Tract Agreement.
According to our stories the last traditional Chief was John Kedugegwan/Kewaquom. A memorial in the cemetery at Chippewa Hill records John Kedugegwan as the last hereditary Chief of Saugeen.
Peter Jones b. January 1, 1802-d.1856, was a Mississauga from the Credit River. He was also a Methodist Missionary. To the Ojibway he became known as: Kahkewaquonaby or Sacred Waving Feathers and refers to the feathers taken from the eagle.
The Kewaquom name is from an original family of the Saugeen Territory. It is associated with the sound Thunder Going Home. They are of the Eagle clan. Peter Jones said, that by "taking this name I was dedicated to the Thunder God." Thunder birds are represented by eagles. Eagle feathers are used in all sacred Ojibwe ceremonies.
Peter Jones was the son of a Welsh Surveyor, Augustus Jones and Tuhbenahneequay, the daughter of Head Chief Wahbansay. His niece Nahnebahwequa or Catherine and her husband William Sutton traveled with him to Saugeen Territory and also lived at the Ojibway camp at Owen Sound. They went to England to solicit funds for their missionary work. Catherine Sutton is also reported to have met with Queen Victoria to ask for compensation for her property. He married an Englishwoman, Eliza Field and had five children.
Peter Jones baptized Chief Kegedonce. Kegedonce was the Chief of the Naguhweseebee-Ausable River which is by Port Franks, which is now known as the Pinery-Ipperwash area. Kegedonce took the Christian name Peter and became known as Peter Kegedonce Jones. He also told Peter Jones he would accept Christianity if Chief Wawanosh from Sarnia did. In the directory of First Nations Individuals in South Western Ontario 1750-1850, by Greg Curnoe,, Kegedonce is recorded as telling Rev. Peter Jones that he," wanted to settle at Saugeen" and accept presents at the mouth of the Red River-Goderich.
Chief Kegedonce Jones was found murdered near Goderich in 1831. His wife and family moved to the Owen Sound village, "to escape Kegedonce's enemies" (Mullin 1997) His son Peter Kegedonce Jones would later become a Chief.
In compliance with their agreement, Indian Affairs built 8 houses. Thomas Anderson, Superintendent of Indian Affairs noted on November 6, 1845 that “Four families from outside Saugeen Territory, two Michigan Pottawatomi and two from elsewhere in Canada occupied those houses.”
Chief Wahbudick lived at the Owen Sound village of the Saugeen people when others sought shelter in our territory.
In the Imperial Proclamation of 1847, which was signed at Montreal on June 29, 1847, the “Trusty” and, “Well Beloved Cousin James, Earl of Elgin and Kincardine, “witnessed the declaration of the “Royal Will and Pleasure” that “no surrender shall be approved or acted upon, unless resolved on or approved at a meeting of Sachems, Chiefs or Principal Men.”
On October 13, 1854, the church and the government gathered some men to place their name on their proposed surrender and division of more of the Saugeen territory.
Kezigkoenene (Giizhigowinini) or David Sawyer was the cousin of Peter Jones-Kahkewaquonaby and was from the Credit River. He was the son of Nawahjegezhewabe: Chief Joseph Sawyer b.1786, Genesee County, New York. Records in the Canadian Archives note that David Sawyer came to live with some of the people at the Owen Sound village which eventually became known as Nawash. It is recorded that the Nawash," on March 9, 1855, passed a resolution that David Sawyer replace Kegedonce as their chief and interpreter." David Sawyer attended the mission school taught by Peter Jones' brother: Thayendanega or John Jones. David Sawyer signed the treaty of 1854 to surrender most of Saugeen Territory.
Records in Library and Archives Canada also state that,"when Sawyer was absent from the Owen Sound area in 1856, the Indian Department" secured the surrender" when, "a few Indians were invited to Toronto to sign a Treaty" where they surrendered the Owen Sound village, "including Sawyer's farm" and Catherine Sutton's new home.
The 1851 census lists John Johnston as American Potawatomi. He signed the treaty of 1854.
In the Directory of First Nations Individuals in South-Western Ontario 1750-1850, Greg Curnoe records James Newash as an Odawa. He is reported to have moved to Saugeen after the war of 1812 and the Battle at Moraviantown. It is said that Nawash fought with Tecumseh. He settled with his community on the fighting islands of Detroit River around 1815 and moved to the Miami River in 1819. James Newash also signed the Treaty of 1854 .
Charles Keeshig is recorded as being a very well educated Pottawatomi from the United States who worked as an interpreter in Saugeen Territory. He was the brother in law of Peter Jones Kegedonce. Peter Jones Kegedonce was the son of Kegedonce Chief of the Ausable River people by Kettle and Stony Point.
The Department of Indian Affairs replaced David Sawyer with Charles Keeshick as an agent for the people who became known as the Nawash of Owen Sound. Library and Archives Canada, notes that "during Keeshick's term of office the band ceded to the government in 1854, almost all of the Bruce Peninsula." He signed the Treaty of 1854.
The Treaty of 1854 was one of the biggest land grabs in history. It involved the surrender of 1.5 million acres (6070 km²) of the traditional territory of the Saugeen Ojibway. It is recorded as No.72 : Surrender of the Saugeen Peninsula.
The doodem of Chief Wahbudick appears on that treaty even though Thomas Anderson, as Superintendent of Indian Affairs removed him from official office as the Chief of the Saugeen Ojibway.
The time of surrenders and treaties was very difficult for the Saugeen Ojibway. Most could not read or write English and that was the language used to sign and record land surrenders and treaties.
It was also the time that people from other places allowed the Department of Indian Affairs into Saugeen Ojibway Territory to set up an elected form of government.
Owen Sound (Canada 2006 Census population 21,753; UA population 22,649; CA population 32,259), the county seat of Grey County, is a city in Southern (Southwestern) Ontario, Canada. Owen Sound is located at the mouths of the Pottawatomi and Sydenham Rivers on an inlet of Georgian Bay named Owen Sound Bay.
This area of the upper Great Lakes was first formally surveyed in 1815 by William Fitzwilliam Owen and Lieutenant Henry W. Bayfield. The inlet was named "Owen's Sound" in honour of Admiral Sir Edward William Campbell Rich Owen, the explorer Owen's older brother.
The city of Owen Sound was originally known as Sydenham when it was first settled in 1841 by Charles Rankin. Prior to that the area had been inhabited by the Ojibway people. The city gained its current name in 1851 and was incorporated in 1857. For much of its history, Owen Sound was a major port city, known as the "Chicago of the North". Its location on Georgian Bay gave it access to the upper Great Lakes, and major rail lines moved cargo south from there. Port duties have declined dramatically since the opening of the St. Lawrence Seaway allowed shipping directly to the lower lakes and dramatically lowered costs compared to transshipment via Owen Sound. Being both the gateway to cottage country, and in the heart of Ontario's beef, apple and corn region, farming and tourism are still integral parts of the local economy.
At one time, Owen Sound's roaring seaport made it a rowdy town that was known to sailors as "Little Liverpool". Louis' Steakhouse, a popular upscale restaurant just outside of town, was opened by the Gavaris family in the 1980s and the historic building has changed hands several times since. It was originally a brothel where themadam would stand from its castle-like tower and watch the port for a ship to come in, and she would ready herprostitutes to excite the sailors. This reputation for vice and villainy, and the problems that came with it, caused the city to ban all drinking establishments for several decades. The city was "dry" until 1972.
One of the city's most famous sons was World War I flying ace andVictoria Cross winner William Avery "Billy" Bishop, Canada's leading pilot in the war. Bishop is also one of the few to have tangled with theRed Baron and survived, forcing the German pilot to retreat in a damaged aircraft. The Billy Bishop Regional Airport in the nearby Municipality of Meaford was named after him. His modest gravesite can be visited in the city's Greenwood Cemeteryby those willing to take the time to locate the stone. His boyhood home is now a museum dedicated to his life and to Canada's aviation history. The town was also the home of NHL Hall-of-Fame goaltender Harry Lumley and the artistTom Thomson (buried in the nearby village of Leith). Surgeon Dr. Norman Bethune, an avowed communist and pioneer of public medicine who gained notoriety in his innovative medical work with the Chinese army during the Second Sino-Japanese War, is an alumnus of the Owen Sound Collegiate and Vocational Institute. Legendary hockey broadcasterBill Hewitt was once sports director of the local AM radio station, CFOS. Tommy Holmes, another Victoria Cross winner, was also from Owen Sound, and the city's armoury bears his name.
Owen Sound is home of SummerFolk Festival, a popular folk festival that takes place annually in August. Summerfolk attracts over 4,000 people annually to the shores of Georgian Bay, specifically Kelso Beach Park located on the West shore of Owen Sound. The festival has run continuously since 1977 and is nationally renowned for its music and craft excellence. Many performers who have played there have gone on to great commercial success, such as Leahy, Valdy, The Rankins and Natalie MacMaster. Other more commercial Canadian talent has also graced the stages of summerfolk over the years with the likes of Gowan, Rik Emmett, Blue Rodeo and Bruce Cockburn. One of Summerfolk's most famous and revered performers was Stan Rogers. The Main stage features a memorial to Stan and is dedicated to his memory.
In 2005 Owen Sound became the National Communities in Bloom champion in the cities of 20,001–50,000 category in Canada for its beauty, natural landscape, and strong sense of community.