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VIDEO: Beach renaming and monument 'important and significant'

'It's by no means the hardest word in our language,' says Chief Scott McLeod in the video as he good-naturedly assures North Bayites the pronunciation of Shabogesic Beach will come with practice

Representatives from Nipissing First Nation, the City of North Bay, and MP Anthony Rota's office joined together at Shabogesic Beach to unveil a monument honouring Nbisiing Nation Chief Michel Zhaabgiizhik (Shabogesic), for whom the popular recreation area has been renamed.

See related: Monument will honor Nbisiing Nation Chief at Shabogesic Beach

Chief Scott McLeod offered a guide for locals who have not quite grasped the pronunciation of the Shabogesic family name and NFN Councillor Joan McLeod Shabogesic spoke about the history and legacy of Chief Michel Shabogesic (see video). 

Mayor Al McDonald said, "We need to recognize our neighbour, Nipissing First Nation, and the true meaning of these traditional lands. We committed to truth and reconciliation and this is all part of the journey. It's not just one event, it has to continue. The monument and renaming of the beach are very significant in our shared history."

McDonald noted it was the late Glen DeVuono, a long-serving manager of the North Bay and District Chamber of Commerce and active community volunteer, who first broached the idea of renaming Marathon Beach nearly 10 years ago.

Chief McLeod credited Joan McLeod Shabogesic for her work with the designer of the monument and her efforts in collaboration with the City of North Bay on the endeavour.

The beach renaming and monument are "important and significant," he declared. "For the longest time, our history and our presence weren't even recognized. In the last decade or so, that's starting to change. It's events like this that are part of the truth and reconciliation that we need to see happening."

See: Marathon no more: Council approves name change to Shabogesic Beach

The resolution passed in May acknowledges the City of North Bay's situation on the ancestral lands of Nipissing First Nation and is intended to share the importance of the heritage and history of NFN in the North Bay community. It was brought forward by Coun. Chris Mayne and seconded by Coun. Mark King, and was a collaborative effort with local Indigenous community leaders.

Stu Campaigne

About the Author: Stu Campaigne

Stu Campaigne is a full-time news reporter for, focusing on local politics and sharing our community's compelling human interest stories.
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