The beach at Wanapitei stretches for about two kilometers on the north shore of Lake Temagami. The lake, about 350 kilometers north of Toronto, is the centre of nDaki menan, the homeland of the Teme Augama Anishinabai, the ‘deep water people’. Most Canadians view Temagami as a canoeists’, anglers’, cottage owners’ , snowmobilers’ paradise…and they’re largely correct about that. Sadly, relatively few of them are aware of the region’s rich indigenous heritage and the highly contested, just, and as yet, still unrecognized constitutional rights of the Teme Augama Anishinabai.
I camped on the beach in mid-September near Wanapitei Wilderness Centre, a kids’ canoeing camp, adult tripping and outdoor education operation. The sun shone for two surprisingly warm days. In the still of a windless evening, I could hear geese pointing south honking overhead…. it was eerily wonderful to hear that cacophony in the gathering darkness as I sat by the fire.