Windsurfers are the only ones enjoying Sauble beach on Wednesday, but on sunnier afternoons, thousands flock to this spectacular stretch of sand along the Bruce Peninsula.

Although it's a stretch of shoreline that may soon belong to the Saugeen First Nation.

"The ownership of the beach is something that we've always perused. That's the bottom line. The ownership of the beach is ours," says Vernon Roote, Chief of the Saugeen First Nation.

The Saugeen First Nation says a treaty dating back to the 1800's puts them as the rightful owners of almost all of Sauble Beach's shoreline.

"It is not a land claim. It's clarity of the ownership of the land," says Roote.

Years of behind closed doors negotiation have led to a proposed agreement between the native band and the current owners, the Municipality of South Bruce Peninsula.

Essentially, public access would continue and no access fees would be charged.

It would also feature a board with both band and municipal members managing the beach, but the band would hold ownership.

Residents were told of the deal last week and have been given until August 21 to give their feedback.

Sauble Beach councillor Janice Jackson says residents need a lot more information on this precedent setting decision.

"People didn't understand that we were two weeks or a month away from signing the beach away until August the 6th and that's mind boggling," says Jackson.

Jackson worries about declining assessments for Sauble Beach residents.

Chief Roote wouldn't rule out possible user fees for the beach in the future.

"Simple answer, it hasn't been discussed. I could guess but it wouldn't do any good. It's something is in the hands of band council to decide," says Roote.

Residents like Craig Gammie contend the municipality would have a good case in court if the proposed deal is turned down.

"I feel very confident we would win but we don't need to go there right now. All I want is to slow this process down, get all the information on the table and I think we and the native band can make a good decision from there," says Gammie.

Chief Roote says he expects to sit down with the municipality and all levels of the government this fall to determine if a deal is done.

If not, a court date is next the step to decide who owns Sauble Beach.