Town issues statement on demolition at Ne’Bwaakah Giizwed Ziibi site

The Town of Saugeen Shores notes that an unauthorized demolition occurred at an important Anishinaabe archaeological site.  Here is a timeline of the Town’s actions around the incident. 

On November 9th, 2022, a concerned resident contacted the Municipal Offices to report an unauthorized demolition at 6 Rankin St., in Southampton (ON).  Chief Building Official, Josh Planz, immediately went to the site and verbally issued a Stop Work Order to the contractor, who did not have a Town-issued demolition permit. 

Aware of the site’s significance to Ojibway Indigenous heritage, Planz called the offices of Saugeen First Nation (SFN) and informed them of the unauthorized demolition.  Planz then returned to the site and posted a Stop Work Order. 

The area is registered with the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport, and has been registered as an archaeological site since the 1950s.  While the enforcement of archaeological sites is in the province’s jurisdiction, the municipality is aware of the site’s importance to our Indigenous neighbours, who have had a presence there for millennia.  The Town is committed to supporting SFN, the Ministry and the property owner in the preservation of this historical and culturally significant area and we will assist in the process in any way we can. 

The Town will not issue any further work permits for the site until further notice.