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A Visit to Manitoulin Island July 21st, 2011

I was honoured this week to accept an invitation to speak on September 14 at the Ojibwe Cultural Foundation Gallery (OCF) on Manitoulin Island’s M’Chigeeng First Nation.  Manitoulin’s Anishinaabe people are marking the 175th anniversary of the signing of the “Bond Head Treaty” on August 9.  As it happens, I’ve been working on a book about Sir Francis Bond Head, a nineteenth-century adventurer, rebel-rouser, and man of letters who was Upper Canada’s lieutenant governor from 1836-1838.  The OCF’s Alan Corbiere has invited me to talk about Bond Head at the gallery, where, for the first time, I’ll get to see the treaty document, which will be on display there.  I’ve wanted to visit Manitoulin ever since I was a young boy, when I spent my summers at my grandfather’s cabin on Georgian Bay.  I’m humbled by the thought of sharing my stories about Bond Head with people at the OCF, because although I’ve read most of Bond Head’s books and existing letters, the Anishinaabe communities on Manitoulin Island are there today because of the treaty their ancestors negotiated with him–so their knowledge of him is more profound than mine can ever be.  I will learn much during my visit.  Check out the OCF’s website at

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